My 2005 novel CREEPERS (about 8 harrowing hours in a long-abandoned hotel) will be a movie in 2023. Filming is complete. The post-production editorial process has begun. Director Marc Klasfeld is a famed music-video director who worked with some of the greats, including Britney Spears. The storyboards look terrific.
My short story, “The Puzzle Master,” is in Lawrence Block’s crime anthology, PLAYING GAMES (Subterranean Press). The Publishers Weekly review gave it special mention.
My short story, “Requiem for a Homecoming,” is included in THE BEST MYSTERY STORIES OF THE YEAR (2021). Lee Child edited the anthology. Otto Penzler edits the series.
Several long interviews with me are in THE STORY TELLERS: STRAIGHT TALK FROM THE WORLD’S MOST ACCLAIMED SUSPENSE AND THRILLER AUTHORS. Mark Rubinstein edited the volume and conducted the interviews. The other authors whom he interviewed include Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Lisa Gardner, Karin Slaughter, Fredrick Forsyth, and Heather Graham. A long list of many other splendid talents.
As my essay collection STARS IN MY EYES: MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH BOOKS, MOVIES, AND MUSIC shows, I love writing essays about cultural icons. I have a new one that introduces M. R. James’s classic GHOST STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY. It’s a new volume in the Horror Writers Association series, Haunted Library of Horror Classics.
My short story, “Requiem for a Homecoming,” is in an anthology, The Darkling Halls of Ivy, edited by crime-fiction legend Lawrence Block, published by Subterranean Press, which also released my story collection, BEFORE I WAKE. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said this about my story. “Among the standouts are David Morrell’s devious “Requiem for a Homecoming,” in which two alumni cast suspicion on each other while debating a 20-year-old murder.”
My essay “Happy Trails Again: The Rescued Films of Roy Rogers,” appeared in Roundup Magazine (Western Writers of America). From 1938 to 1954, Roy Rogers was voted the number 1 Western-film star by an organization of theater owners. Then a contract dispute with Republic Pictures (Roy wanted actors to share in the proceeds when their films were shown on television) led to his being blacklisted. The essay discusses the lawsuit and how Republic reduced his films by as much as a third when they were shown on television. Until recently, few people had ever seen a true Roy Rogers film.
A fifth Rambo film, RAMBO: LAST BLOOD, was released. I wasn’t involved, except that I get credit for creating the character. I don’t think the film is successful. It could have been about someone named John Smith. It fits into a category that was called “exploitation” in the 1970s and bears a strong similarity to a film from 1975, TRACKDOWN, which had almost the same plot.
I wrote an introduction for a new edition of Kent Anderson’s classic Vietnam War novel, Sympathy for the Devil (Mulholland Books/Little Brown).
My third story collection, BEFORE I WAKE, is available from Subterranean Press. This is a collectors’ edition: 1,500 numbered, signed hardbacks with one of the most vivid covers I’ve had. For information, please go to https://subterraneanpress.com/before-i-wake. Also check the BOOKS page of this website. Subterranean Press produces beautiful books. No ebook or paperback is currently planned.
My obituary for my good friend, author Brian Garfield (DEATH WISH, THE LAST HARD MAN, and numerous Westerns), appeared in Roundup Magazine (Western Writers of America).
Remastered versions of the first three Rambo films, FIRST BLOOD, RAMBO:FIRST BLOOD PART II, and RAMBO III, have been newly released in various home-viewing formats, including Blu-ray and 4-K Ultra. These discs have numerous new extras, including excerpts from a video interview with me. My full-length audio commentary is included. The fourth and fifth films are not included here because they have a different production company and distributor.
Born and raised in Canada, I’m thrilled that my novel CREEPERS has been chosen by the world’s first video wiki, Ezvid Wiki, as one of 10 Exceptional Examples of Canadian Genre Fiction. Here’s a link to the video about the 10 selections.
CREEPERS received a Bram Stoker best-novel award from the Horror Writers Association in 2005. It’s about a group of urban explorers (their nickname is “creepers”) who infiltrate a hotel that’s been abandoned since 1968 and discover that the darkest secrets live in places you’re not supposed to be. The novel is written in real time. Every instant of 8 hours in that hotel is on the page.
BLADE MAGAZINE published a special edition devoted to the knives in the Rambo films. There are numerous articles and photographs about the knives as well as about Jimmy Lile and Gil Hibben, the master blade smiths who made them. (I’m pleased to have Gil as a friend.) Blade editor Steve Shackleford wrote an article about me and my novelizations for RAMBO II and III, which emphasized the knives. The Rambo knives revitalized the cutlery industry. Along with the Bowie knife for the 195os film THE IRON MISTRESS, they might be the most famous knives ever made. The print version of this issue sold out quickly, but a digital issue is available from the Blade website. Here’s the link.
For a closer look and to read Blade’s article about David and the Rambo knives, visit David’s Rambo page.
December 15, 2017
Borderlands Press released a signed, numbered, limited edition of my LITTLE GOLD BOOK OF PROTECTOR TALES. Only 500 copies. This is a collectors’ edition in the form of a hardback that’s smaller than the size of a paperback. Very unusual. Part of a popular collectors’ series from Borderlands Press. The contents include an introduction by me and the three short stories (“Blue Murder,” The Controller,” and “The Attitude Adjuster”) that I wrote about Cavanaugh, the protective agent who’s featured (along with his wife Jamie) in my novels, THE PROTECTOR and THE NAKED EDGE. For details, please go to their website, www.borderlandspress.com.
December 5, 2017
My Bram Stoker award-winning novella ORANGE IS FOR ANGUISH, BLUE FOR INSANITY was reprinted in a beautiful anthology of 17 stories about great paintings, accompanied by the paintings that inspired them. ORANGE IS FOR ANGUISH is paired with a full-color reproduction of Van Gogh’s CYPRESSES. Eye-popping. An example of how printed books can be better than digital ones. The anthology is called ALIVE IN SHAPE AND COLOR, ed. by legendary Lawrence Block.
November 28, 2017
The gorgeous trade paperback of my third and final Victorian mystery/thriller RULER OF THE NIGHT is now available.
November 22, 2017
I was a guest on the new podcast show, “Books in Three Bytes,” presented by the AuthorBytes Cafe. Listen to my 15-minute conversation with book talk show host Jordan Rich. We cover some interesting ground.
Listen to “Books in Three Bytes 2: David Morrell” on Spreaker.
October 31, 2017
New trade paperback and mass paperback edition of First Blood from Grand Central Publishing. Contains a never-before-printed interview with me. The novel has never been out of print since it was published in 1972, 45 years ago.
October 19-21, 2017
National Guest of Honor at Florida Writers’ Association 2017 conference
April 20, 2017
The Crime Writers of Canada nominated my short story, “The Granite Kitchen” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July 2016), for its “best short story of 2016” award. The CWC names its awards after Arthur Ellis, the pseudonym of Canada’s hangman when that country had capital punishment (the death penalty ended there in 1976).
My first sale was in 1971, a short story “The Dripping” to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. It turned out to be my most reprinted story. In 2016, the magazine asked me to write something else for them–to honor their 75th anniversary. After you read “The Granite Kitchen,” you’ll never look at a kitchen in the same way again. Other Ellery Queen “first authors” are in the issue, along with an informative article about their Department of First Stories. One of my literary idols, Jack Finney, was an Ellery Queen “first author.” For information about how to acquire an issue, go to www.themysteryplace.com
April 1, 2017
My essay “Gene Autry’s ‘New Deal’ Western Films” appeared in Roundup Magazine (the publication of Western Writers of America), April, 2017, pp. 6-8. The heading for the article is: “Public Cowboy No. 1: Gene Autry sang praises for FDR’s New Deal during Depression-era programmers.” Here’s a quote from the piece. “While my solutions were a little less complex than those offered by FDR, I played a kind of New Deal cowboy who never hesitated to tackle many of the same problems: the dust bowl, unemployment, or the harnessing of power. This may have contributed to my popularity with 1930s audiences.” —Gene Autry
Who could have figured that Autry’s musical Westerns were message movies?
Gauntlet Press released a signed collectors’ edition of my novelization for RAMBO III. This volume is packed with extras that include an unpublished chapter, script pages, an essay abut Gil Hibben’s knives for the third and fourth Rambo films, and definitive essays about the film’s background, including Todd McCarthy’s “Rambo III: Budget Run Amok, How Rambo III Became the Most Expensive U.S. Film Ever Made” (from Daily Variety) and “The Boys Who Burned a Billion Dollars” (from Entertainment Weekly, about the spectacular rise and fall of Carolco Pictures). Only 552 copies. Only from the publisher and a few other sources. Not in stores. www.gauntletpress.com
I wrote the introduction for the 50th anniversary edition of Ira Levin’s classic horror novel, ROSEMARY’S BABY (from Pegasus Books).
My novel Thomas De Quincey novel RULER OF THE NIGHT was selected by Suspense Magazine as one of the best historical mystery/thrillers of 2016.
The same magazine chose Echoes of Sherlock Holmes, ed. by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger, as one of the best crime anthologies of 2016. My short story “The Spiritualist” (about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s obsession with the afterlife) is part of that anthology.
January 2, 2017
I achieved literary immortality (ha) when Rambo was used as a question on the television game show, Jeopardy. The category was “Literature and Action.” The question was “This Vietnam vet and action hero sprang from the pages of First Blood by David Morrell.”
My essay collection STARS IN MY EYES: MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH BOOKS, MOVIES, AND MUSIC is now available from Gauntlet Press/Borderlands Press. John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Richard Matheson, Henry James, Wilkie Collins, Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock–these and many other cultural icons are discussed in essays I wrote for magazines and introductions. In many cases, the essays provide as much information as a lengthy book. Available only as a signed, numbered, collectors’ hardback and only from the publisher. Learn more.
November 15, 2016
Publication of RULER OF THE NIGHT, the third and final novel in my Victorian mystery/thriller series. From Mulholland Books. Signed copies available at Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, AZ (888-424-2842), Murder by the Book in Houston, TX (888-424-2842), Tattered Cover in Denver, CO (303-322-7727), Collected Works in Santa Fe, NM (505-988-4226), Bookworks in Albuquerque, NM (505-344-8139), and VJ Books online (www.vjbooks.com). They might also have signed copies of some of my other novels, including Murder As a Fine Art and Inspector of the Dead.
INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD (the second of my Victorian mystery/thrillers) is published in trade paperback by Mulholland Books.
My short story “The Spiritualist” (about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s obsession with mediums and the afterlife) is published in Echoes of Sherlock Holmes (Pegasus Books), ed. by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger.
Bouchercon (the world’s largest convention for fans and authors of mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction) gave me its Lifetime Achievement Award. Other authors who received it include Donald E. Westlake, Jeffrey Deaver, Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, and Tony Hillerman.
My first sale was in 1971, a short story “The Dripping” to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. It turned out to be my most reprinted story. A while ago, the magazine asked me to write something else for them–to honor their 75th anniversary. It’s called “The Granite Kitchen.” You’ll never look at a kitchen in the same way again. Other Ellery Queen “first authors” are in the issue, along with an informative article about their Department of First Stories. One of my idols, Jack Finney, was a “first author.” For information about how to acquire an issue, go to www.themysteryplace.com
June, 2016 Signed collectors’ edition of my novelization for RAMBO (FIRST BLOOD PART II), with plenty of extras, including my introduction, a definitive 1985 L.A. Times article by Pat H. Broeske “The Curious Evolution of John Rambo,” script pages that illustrate the movie-to-book process, and more. 500 numbered copies and 52 lettered ones. Not available in stores, only through Gauntlet Press. A beautiful book. www.gauntletpress.com
April, 2016 INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD is a finalist for the best thriller published in hardback in 2015–the Thriller Award from the International thriller Writers organization.
The e-book of my Ph.D. dissertation JOHN BARTH: AN INTRODUCTION is now available. It analyzes the the writing lessons I absorbed from this brilliant author, especially the idea that the theme of a novel should be matched by the way it’s written.
December, 2015 KIRKUS REVIEWS, a major publishing magazine, puts INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD on its list of “10 most arresting crime novels of 2015.”
June 2015 Signed collector’s edition of FIRST BLOOD with extras. 500 copies are now available. The extras include an essay by bestselling author Steve Berry, a profile of my writing mentor Philip Klass/William Tenn, the never-before-published original first chapter, and a revealing 1986 essay by John Swinton–“Rambo at Penn State.” Click here to purchase from Borderlands Press. It’s a beautiful book.
March 24, 2015 INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD, the second novel in my Thomas De Quincey trilogy, is now available.
A related De Quincey short story THE OPIUM-EATER is also available as an e-book and in the print version of an anthology NEVERMORE, edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles.
Dec. 6, 2014 MURDER AS A FINE ART received the Nero Wolfe Award from the Rex Stout Society for the best mystery of 2013.
Nov. 13, 2014 My Victorian mystery/thriller MURDER AS A FINE ART received the Macavity Award, the official category of which is the Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award. The Macavity gets its name from a poem by T.S. Eliot, “Macavity, the Mystery Cat,” sort of the Mack the Knife of felines. It’s one of the top mystery/thriller prizes. I’m very pleased, especially because research for the novel required two years.
Sept. 24, 2014 My standalone comic-book SAVAGE WOLVERINE (#23) is now available at comic-book stores. It’s my version of an EC Comic, the legendary 1950s company whose stories were so strong that the U.S. congress neutered the comic-book industry. Only in the 1980s, did comic books regain their strength. The story is set in the Canadian Rockies and dramatizes the harrowing division in Wolverine’s personality between his animal and his human nature.
June 2014 The U.S. trade paperback of MURDER AS A FINE ART is a home-readers-group edition, with discussion topics as well as a conversation between me and Thomas De Quincey biographer, Robert Morrison. There’s also an essay in which I explain why I write the kind of novels that I do.
June 2014 David’s two-part SPIDER-MAN:FROST comic-book series appears in trade paperback, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: PETER PARKER, THE ONE AND ONLY, along with my essay about my approach to writing comic books.
December 2013 Library Journal chooses Murder as a Fine Art as one of the five best mysteries of 2013. Publishers Weekly chooses it as one of the ten best mystery/thrillers of 2013. The novel receives the American Library Association reader’s guide award for best mystery of 2013.
August 2013 Murder as a Fine Art reaches #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list and makes the New York Times bestseller list.
August 2013 Murder as a Fine Arts wins Audiofile Magazine‘s audio-book Earphones Award.
REVIEWS FOR MURDER AS A FINE ART
The Associated Press calls Murder as a Fine Art “A literary thriller that pushes the envelope of fear.”
From the Providence Sunday Journal: “David Morrell isn’t just one of the best thriller writers out there, he’s one of the finest writers alive today. A preeminent novelist as well as storyteller who, in Murder as a Fine Art, has crafted a masterpiece.”
From Suspense Magazine: “Murder may be a fine art, but this author has also proven that writing is the finest art of all—and he is the master of it.. The scenes literally pull the reader back in time. . . . This is one thriller that it s beyond thrilling.”
Publishers Weekly calls Murder as a Fine Art a “brilliant crime thriller . . . Everything works–the horrifying depiction of the murders, the asides explaining the impact of train travel on English society, nail-biting action sequences–making this books an epitome of the intelligent page-turner.” (starred/boxed review)
From Booklist: “… exceptional historical mystery…riveting…page-flipping action, taut atmosphere, and multifaceted characters…Sure to be a hit with the gaslight crowd.” (starred review)
From the New York Times Sunday Book Review: “Morrell writes action scenes like nobody’s business.”
From Entertainment Weekly: “Morrell’s masterful blend of fact and fiction reads like a 19th-century novel, evoking 1854 London with such finesse that you’ll hear the hooves clattering on cobblestones, the racket of dustmen, and the shrill call of vendors. . . . This brilliantly plotted thriller will take you to the cobble-stoned streets of Victorian London, where a killer mimics the methods described in a controversial essay, forcing the author to prove his innocence by solving the case.”
From The Washington Post: “Highly entertaining. . . an inspired blend of innovation, history and gore. Murder is rarely this much fun.”
My newest novel, a Victorian thriller, Murder as a Fine Art, is receiving some of the best reviews of my career. The novel is now available in all formats.
The newest additions to my cultural-icon series are now available as e-works–FRANK: THE ARTIST AND HIS MUSIC and NELSON RIDDLE: THE MAN BEHIND THE MUSIC.
My novel THE NAKED EDGE is now available in a print edition. Previously it was an e-book only.
My three Cavanaugh short stories are now available together as one e-work, THE ATTITUDE ADJUSTER, continuing Cavanaugh’s adventures from THE PROTECTOR and THE NAKED EDGE.
My novelizations for RAMBO (FIRST BLOOD part II) and RAMBO III are now available as e-books with revised texts and in-depth introductions. They feature the plots that the films might have had.