Wednesday, July 28, 2010

TIED IN Ties Up Rave Reviews

Our first reviews for TIED IN have started coming in...the first is from the Television Obscurities blog... and it's a rave.  They said, in part:
TIED IN doesn’t focus solely on television tie-ins. It also covers movie novelizations, comic book tie-ins and computer game tie ins. But that actually makes it even more valuable and more interesting.

[...]my favorite essays were those that did focus on television tie-ins, especially David Spencer’s wonderful “American TV Tie-Ins from the 50s through the early 70s,” which delves into the history of television tie-in novels and examines several of the writers from those decades, including William Johnston, Keith Laumer and Michael Avallone.

TIED IN is a fascinating exploration of the media tie-in business.
Novelist James Reasoner has given TIED IN a rave. He says, in part:
For someone like me, who’s very interested in the history of popular fiction, the highlight of TIED IN is David Spencer’s “American TV Tie-ins from the 50s Through the Early 70s”, which is almost a book in itself. It’s a fascinating historical discussion of how the TV tie-in novel originated and evolved over the years and touches on many of the books I was buying and reading when they were new. This article really brought back a lot of good memories for me. Along similar lines, also of great interest to me were fine articles by Paul Kupperberg about comic book and comic strip tie-in novels (I read a bunch of those, too) and Robert Greenberger about the connection between pulp magazines and tie-ins.

is available as an e-book right now, with a print edition coming out soon. Either way, I don’t think you can go wrong. It’s informative, entertaining, and a must-have if you have any interest in tie-in fiction. Highly recommended.
And Bill Crider also gives the book kudos. He says, in part:
I started reading, and I was fascinated. I kept right on reading, long past the time I'd intended to stop. This is really interesting and entertaining stuff.
I started with Tod Goldberg's essay on writing the Burn Notice books, moved on Jeff Mariotte's "Jack of All Trades," got really caught up in Max Allan Collins's "This Time It's Personal," kept right on going through the great round-table discussion, and read three or four more of the essays, including one that harks back to my era, David Spencer's "American TV Tie-Ins from the '50s to the Early '70s." All I can say about that one is that I'm glad I have my copies of John Tiger's I Spy novels because I'm sure a lot of people are going to be looking for them now.

I still have a few more essays to read, and I'm really looking forward to them. I was genuinely surprised at how much fun I had reading this book, and I'm sure most of you would like it, too. It's currently available in electronic format only, but a paperback is on the way. Check it out

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Scribe Award Winners Announced

Scribe Awards/Media Tie-in Writers Panel

The International Association of Media-Tie-in Writers presented the fourth annual "Scribe" awards, honoring such notable franchises as CSI, Criminal Minds, The X-Files, Star Trek, Stargate, Star Wars, and Dr. Who. Nominees on hand include Alina Adams (As the World Turns), Max Allan Collins (G.I. Joe), Keith R. A. DeCandido (Star Trek), Stacia Deutsch (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Jeff Mariotte (CSI), Nathan Long (Warhammer), and Dayton Ward (Star Trek). The event was hosted by moderator Collins and awards presenter Lee Goldberg (Monk).
Following are the nominated works. Winners are highlighted in bold.
As The World Turns: The Man From Oakdale by "Henry Coleman" & Alina Adams
CSI: Brass In Pocket by Jeff Mariotte
Psych: A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Read by William Rabkin


Star Trek Vanguard: Open Secrets by Dayton Ward
Star Trek: A Singular Destiny by Keith R.A. Decandido
Warhammer: Shamanslayer—A Gotrek and Felix Novel by Nathan Long
Terminator Salvation: Cold War by Greg Cox (Tie)Enemies & Allies by Kevin J. Anderson (Tie)


Countdown by Greg Cox
GI Joe: Rise Of The Cobra by Max Allan Collins
The Tudors: Thy Will Be Done by Elizabeth Massie


Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs by Stacia Deutsch And Rhody Cohon
Bandslam: The Novel by Aaron Rosenberg 
Thunderbirds: Deadly Danger by Joan Marie Verba


(pictured: Keith R.A. DeCandido, William Rabkin, Alina Adams, "Elizabeth Massie," Max Allan Collins, Dayton Ward, Stacia Deutsch)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TIED IN - The Book

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers is pleased to announce the publication of TIED IN: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing, edited by Lee Goldberg.

Tie-in novels are books based on pre-existing media properties -- like TV shows, movies and games -- and they regularly top the national bestseller lists. But as popular as tie-ins books and novelizations are among readers, few people know how the books are written or the rich history behind the hugely successful and enduring genre.

This 75,000 word book is a ground-breaking collection of lively, informative, and provocative essays and interviews by some of the best-selling, and most acclaimed, writers in the tie-in business, offering an inside glimpse into what they do and how they do it.

Contributors include Alina Adams, Jeff Ayers, Donald Bain, Burl Barer, Raymond Benson, Max Allan Collins, Greg Cox, William C. Dietz, Tod Goldberg, Robert Greenberger, Nancy Holder, Paul Kupperberg, Jeff Mariotte, Elizabeth Massie, William Rabkin, Aaron Rosenberg, David Spencer, and Brandie Tarvin.

Our hope is that our organization, through efforts like this book, can enlighten readers about who we are and what we do, as well as explore the diversity of our work and the rich history behind it.  

TIED IN is currently available in an e-edition on Amazon and Smashwords (and soon on the iBookstore and Barnes & Noble). A trade paperback edition will be published later next month.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Watch the Skies

Coming soon... TIED IN: THE BUSINESS, HISTORY, AND CRAFT OF MEDIA TIE-IN WRITING... essays and interviews by Max Allan Collins, Nancy Holder, Raymond Benson, Elizabeth Massie, Donald Bain, Alina Adams, Tod Goldberg, and Greg Cox, to name a few.

Reader Mail

This email came to Lee Goldberg's agent, who forwarded it to him:
"Could you tell me the name of the Dalmatian and her owner shown on the cover of the Lee Goldberg book Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out?"

The Giveaway: Behind The Music

(From Tod Goldberg's blog)

My third Burn Notice book, The Giveaway, comes out today, so in honor of that, here are a few behind-the-scenes details:

1. Most of the characters in the book are named for real human beings. The client, Bruce Grossman, is one of the fine critics at, and as a thank you for him sending me a really great bootleg of a Replacements concert, he is now forever immortalized as an old bank robber with mommy issues. Likewise, one of Sam's buddies is a man named Rod Lott, which happens to be the name of the editor of Rod's a great lover and champion of crime fiction, so I thought making him a strange friend of Sam's was only the right thing to do. Brenna Fender, yet another friend of Sam's, won a contest on the Burn Notice message board on the USA network site and now, well, now she's a bad ass.

2. This is the first book in the series that has the client's POV, for a little while at least. And thus far it's the only one, but who knows since I'm only 20 pages into the 5th book now. I've been tinkering more and more lately with how to do the other parts of the book that aren't in Michael's pov, so that the books have a bit more depth. So in this one you get Michael's pov, Fiona's, Sam's and the client's. Oh, and the car talks, too.

3. I finished this book in the summer of 2009, so if you're curious where my Burn Notice mindset was, I'd read the scripts up through the end of the second season and the first couple of episodes of season 3. As usual, however, I haven't attempted to integrate the burn notice management angle all that much, simply because by the time the book comes out -- i.e. today -- that part of the story has changed dramatically. I try to drop in small bits when I can so that readers who've seen all the episodes and read all the books will get some sense of continuity, but hopefully you can pick this book up if you've only seen last week's episode (whenever last week might be) and not be lost or confused.

4. A tiny plot point from this book became the genesis of my 4th Burn Notice book, called The Reformed, which is due out in January. Which was a good thing, because I had no fucking idea what I was going to write about next.

5. The plot for this book came to me one night while watching a documentary about the origin of biker gangs. I already knew that I wanted to write about a bank robber who robbed safe deposit boxes, but didn't know quite where that would lead me other than that I wanted him to rob a biker gang. Matt Nix suggested that he hit their stash house and it all came together.

My Semi-Annual "Swearing Is Bad But Killing People Is Fine!" Email Exchange With A Burn Notice Fan

(From Tod Goldberg's blog)
As the title of this post suggests, I tend to get at least one email every time a new Burn Notice book comes out regarding the use of swear words in my Burn Notice books. Now, mind you, it's not as if I have Michael Westen calling everyone he meets a dirty cunt or a dripping cum slut or anything like that. In my current book, the word fuck is used five times, all in dialog. The word shit is used 10 times, also all in dialog. Keep that in mind as you read the following exchange:

I very much wanted to enjoy your latest book, The Giveaway, but all of the swear words were really objectionable to me. Why did you feel like you needed to use the f-word and the s-word? They never say those words on the show and it doesn't add anything to the realism for you to have them saying it in your books, plus it turns a lot of people off. I won't be reading your Burn Notice books if you continue to have swear words in them.

Normally, I try not to respond to emails like this unless it is late at night and I've had a bad time writing, because if I do it in the daylight hours, it feels like a waste of my nominal creative talents. But, well, I had to ask this person a very important question:

I understand that you might find swearing offensive, but you do realize that, say, a member of a biker gang might have somewhat salty language? (Never mind a former spy, a former Navy SEAL and a gun runner.) But I have to know: Did you find it offensive that Fiona essentially paralyzed a guy in the book by beating him with a bat? Did you find it offensive when all those bikers were murdered? How about when one of the characters was found dead in his bathtub covered in acid? I guess what I'm asking is: You find the word fuck more offensive than wholesale violence and murder? So will you continue to read my books if I keep up the same level of death and destruction provided no one says the word shit? Is a word somehow worse than a dead human being? How about the fact that Michael and Fiona have pre-marital sex? What's the worse sin here?

The reply came this morning:

The death and murder are for entertainment purposes only. It's not real. So it's not the same thing. Everything that happens on the show is fake so it's not the same effect as reading those words. That's why it's worse to have swearing. Reading those words and hearing them in my own head is not pleasurable for me.

To which I replied:

You're aware the books are fake, too, right? And only for entertainment purposes, too. So basically what you're telling me is that if you hear swearing on television or in a movie, and presumably if you witness murders, it's okay because it's not in your voice in your head? That's fucking crazy.

...and I've surprisingly not received a response yet.

A Novel Promotion for Tie-Ins

Penguin-Putnam, has found an unusual way of promoting their tie-ins...

Congrats to Penguin TV Tie-In Emmy Nominations!

We wanted to congratulate all the nominees for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards!

Here are the list of nominees from Penguin TV tie-ins:


The Pacific
Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries Or Movie
Outstanding Casting For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries Or Movie (Part 5 and 9)
Outstanding Costumes For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Part 3)
Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special (Part 8 and 9)
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Miniseries Or A Movie (Part 5, 9, 8)
Outstanding Main Title Design
Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or A Movie (Non-Prosthetic)
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Original Dramatic Score)
Outstanding Miniseries
Outstanding Sound Editing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Part 5)
Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Miniseries Or A Movie (Part 2, 5, 8, and 9)
Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Part 1 and 5)
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special (Part 8 and 10)

True Blood
Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series
Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series

Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Burn Notice
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)

Return to Cranford
Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries Or Movie

Kudos to Penguin for a) taking pride in their tie-ins and b) trying to get some extra attention for them.