Monthly Archives: December 2013

Finding Thriller Influences in … Linda Ronstadt?

I get asked occasionally why I write about strong female characters. And the most obvious reason is that I was influenced by great writers early who specialize in female protagonists.

But I have to say: I remember a summer when I was 15, working at a summer job as listening to Linda Rondstadt’s “Different Drum.” Which contained the lyric:

I ain’t saying you ain’t pretty

All I’m saying is I’m not ready

For any person place or thing

To try and pull the reins in on me

So good-bye I’ll be leaving

I see no sense in this crying and grieving

We’ll both live a lot longer

If you live without me.

I was 15, remember. I recall thinking: Wait, wait … the girl in this scenario is saying that to the boy? Is that okay? Can girls be the ones to make those calls?

Talk about traveling to the beat of a different drum.

Sounds stupid today, I know. But you’re 15 and you’re thinking about dialog and trying to figure out how to write, and a lyric like that makes you think about the direction of dialog. And about who can hold the reins in a relationship. It’s a little thing. But not unimportant. To this day, that remains one of my favorite lyrics in all of the American songbook.

Today, it was announced that Linda Ronstadt has been nominated to the 2014 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

‘Bout time.

Reviewing Reviews

An end-of-the-year tradition: Looking back at some of the fun reviews ICE COLD KILL received this past year.

Here’s a couple of my all-time favorite paragraphs from Pamela Kramer at 

ICE COLD KILL“Furthermore, while all this mishegas unfolds, the reader learns way more than he/she ever wanted to know about weapons and the details of how they are constructed and used. On the other hand, maybe all this stuff will inspire you to run out and ‘exercise your Second Amendment rights.’ If that’s your cup of tea. Probably cyanide-laced tea in this case, come to think of it.

“And here’s the kicker: it’s an extremely enjoyable read. Kudos to Mr. Haynes. Anyone who could construct a real novel with a reasonably readable plot and paradoxically villainous heroes from such a mish-mosh of mayhem deserves our (grudging) admiration.”

I lose love that line about mishegas. That one’s just never getting old.



Bookish Weekend

Two great events this past weekend:

Annie Bloom’s Books in Multnomah Village pressed a bunch of writers into service to celebrate Small Business Saturday. And The Oregon Historical Society hosted more than 70 writers for its annual authors fair.

Thanks to everyone who showed up!



It’s a Cyber Monday Miracle!

These online booksellers understand that nothing says “Joy To The World” like international espionage and mayhem! ICE COLD B&W






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