Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Steve Hockensmith

Though the town elders of Louisville, Ky., have yet to acknowledge it with so much as a single commemorative plaque, Steve Hockensmith was born in the Derby City on August 17, 1968. The first two decades of his life passed uneventfully, the only notable highlight being a short stint as an intern at People magazine, an experience that allowed Hockensmith to realize his lifelong dream -- crank calling Crispin Glover.
Despite (or perhaps because of) such lapses in his professionalism, Hockensmith became an entertainment journalist, writing about pop culture and the film industry for The Hollywood Reporter, The Chicago Tribune, Newsday and lots of magazines and newspapers you’ve never heard of. Sensing that print journalism was going the way of Raphus cucullatus, however, Hockensmith switched to an industry that he knew would offer dependable stability for decades to come: publishing.
Hockensmith is not known for his business acumen.
Nevertheless, his first novel, the Sherlockian mystery/Western Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for Edgar, Anthony, Shamus and Dilys Awards in 2007. Three sequels followed (On the Wrong Track, The Black Dove and the Nero Award finalist The Crack in the Lens), and a fifth book in the series, World's Greatest Sleuth!, will be released in January.

In 2010, Hockensmith tried his hand at romzomcoms (romantic comedies with zombies) with Dawn of the Dreadfuls. Though a prequel to the hit “mash-up” Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Hockensmith’s novel was 100% original. Well, 100% new, anyway. Most of the characters and settings came courtesy of Jane Austen, who’s been a real doll about the whole thing and hasn’t complained yet. In March 2011, Hockensmith will complete the PPZ trilogy (yes, it's a trilogy now) with the novel Dreadfully Ever After.

Though he considers himself a Midwesterner at heart, Hockensmith currently lives in California’s Bay Area. He says he’s adjusted to life on the West Coast, but confesses that he still misses thunderstorms, snow and Long John Silver’s Seafood Shoppes. He shares his home with the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect son and a slightly imperfect dog.

Here you can read his short story "Dear Mr. Holmes."

Books by Steve Hockensmith


Holmes on the Range--The Wild West gets even wilder when cowboy brothers Otto “Big Red” Amlingmeyer and Gustav “Old Red” Amlingmeyer set out to catch a killer using the methods of the late, great Sherlock Holmes. The only thing standing between them and the truth: stampedes, rustlers, Holmes-hating English aristocrats and a cannibal named “Hungry Bob.”

On the Wrong Track--Big Red and Old Red sign on as guards for the hated Southern Pacific Railroad and quickly find themselves headed full-steam toward disaster. The train they’re on is robbed, the baggage man loses his head (literally) and the passenger list includes a drunken Pinkerton, a secretive Chinese doctor, a mysterious beauty named Diana and a deadly swamp adder with a taste for cowboys.

The Black Dove--Big Red and Old Red hit the wild (not to mention dangerous) streets of San Francisco and almost immediately run afoul of Chinatown crime lords and Barbary Coast cutthroats. Good thing their new, if duplicitous, friend Diana is along for the ride. But can even her wily charms save them when they stumble into the middle of a tong war?

The Crack in the Lens--This time it’s personal. Years before, Old Red lost his one true love to a brutal killer. Now — he hopes — he has the deducifying know-how to track down the killer. Yet how can he and Big Red even start the search when everyone in town wants the secrets of the past buried forever...and the brothers buried with them?

World’s Greatest Sleuth!--A detectiving contest brings Big Red and Old Red to Chicago during the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Unfortunately, someone commits a dark deed in “the White City”: The man behind the competition is found dead. Old Red knows it’s murder, but no one seems to believe him but his brother and an old friend who could hold the key to the mystery — and their future.

Naughty: Nine Tales of Christmas Crime--"It's the most wonderful time of the year," the old song tells us. But that doesn't mean the people celebrating it are always so nice. Criminals get the Christmas spirit, too! In this collection of hilarious short stories, you'll see what the thieves, killers, psychos and scumbags are up to come the yuletide...and it's not caroling door to door. Well, not unless they're casing the neighborhood for a break-in, as a rag-tag gang does in the title story. You'll also meet a mall elf menaced by a very, very bad Santa (in "I Killed Santa Claus,") a London police inspector hunting for the man who murdered Ebenezer Scrooge (in "Humbug"), a trucker out to save his shipment of Cabbage Patch Dolls from bumbling hijackers (in "Special Delivery") and many more characters you'll never forget. Originally published in Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazines, these stories are sure to have you ho-ho-hoing from the first page to the last!


Dawn of the Dreadfuls--Jane Austen’s Bennet family has a lot more to worry about than matchmaking and avoiding scandal when the dead start clawing their way from their graves. It’s time for Elizabeth and her sisters to set aside their ladylike ways and take up “the Deadly Arts.” But can they master zombie-slaying before the brains-craving unmentionables overrun all England? And will Elizabeth lose her heart to her stern new instructor, the mysterious Geoffrey Hawksworth, or the eccentric (and perhaps even mad) Dr. Keckilpenny? And will Jane resist the amorous advances of the libidinous Lord Lumpley — perhaps with the help of the dashing Lt. Tindall? And just what is that awful howling sound coming from the attic? Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, has all the answers.

Dreadfully Ever After--Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and its prequel, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, were both New York Times best sellers, with a combined 1.3 million copies in print. Now the PPZ trilogy comes to a thrilling conclusion with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After. The story opens with our newly married protagonists, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, defending their village from an army of flesh-eating “unmentionables.” But the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the proper course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote under development in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.

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