John Kenyon of Things I'd Rather Be Doing interviewed Max Allan Collins, author most recently of a "posthumous Mickey Spillane novel, Dead Street, finished by Collins.... A Killing in Comics, an interesting mesh of vintage crime novel and a comic strip, and finally Collins' own Hard Case Crime novel, Deadly Beloved."
The opening exchange from their Q & A:
TIRBD: For a guy who has tried a number of different things over your career, 2007 will go down as a groundbreaking year: Your first novel featuring comic character Ms. Tree, finishing a Mickey Spillane novel and writing a hybrid of sorts in the book A Killing in Comics. Does a year like this tell you anything about avenues you have left to explore or give you more license to try new things?Read the entire interview.
MAC: It was a busy writing year as well, perhaps the busiest of my career. I probably should be slowing down, but as I get older, the reality that the time ahead is finite becomes all too apparent. So a lot of what I've been doing reflects me getting around to doing things that I've intended to do for a long time – the Ms. Tree novel, for example. Black Hats, the Wyatt Earp novel (written as Patrick Culhane), is a notion I've been nurturing for 10 or 12 years. My new DVD, “Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life,” is the culmination of all of my years of
Nessinterest as well as my desire to keep honing my filmmaking craft. I'm at a stage where about half of the effort is designed to make a living – the movie and TV tie-in work – and the rest is artistic ambition and working to get done all of the things I'd like to do.
It looks like I may get to do Nathan Heller again, and I will very likely write the final two books, to make sure the series has a sense of having been finished. If they are successful, I'll fill in with earlier stories, but I have always intended to do Marilyn and Kennedy as Heller's last cases.