Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ray "Crash" Corrigan, film actor, stuntman, and owner of Corriganville Ranch.

Ray "Crash" Corrigan, film actor, stuntman, and owner of Corriganville Ranch, Simi Valley, CA.  Many Western films and TV series were filmed there beginning in 1938 into the 1960s.  I believe the first movie filmed there was The Drums of Fu Munchu serials; then Fort Apache (1948); The Long Ranger 1949-1957; Cisco Kid 1950-1956; Adventures of Kit Carson; Rin Tin Tin 1954-59; Have Gun Will Travel 1957-1963; Casey Jones 1957.   According to his own letter I read at his son Tom's restaurant website, Crash stated that more than 3,500 films and TV shows used his ranch at one time or another.   

From 1936-1938, Corrigan appeared in the first 24 Mesquiteers films (Republic made a total of 51 Mesquiteers films from 1936-1943)  Corrigan often got into his gorilla suit for film rolls.  He died in 1976 at the age of 74.    

Photo by my family on our visit there in 1953.  

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Don Pendleton's The Executioner: Mack Bolan Series

A new interview of me by Brian Woodman Jr. concerning my late husband, Don Pendleton and his creation of The Executioner: Mack Bolan Series.  The series and spin-offs now number almost 900 books. 

You can find it HERE:  QA-The-classic-paperback-series-The-Executioner.  Thanks,Brian for the opportunity. 

Don Pendleton's original series, books 1-15 and 17-38, are avail;able as ebooks, and books one - three, War Against the Mafia, Death Squad, and Battle Mask, are also available in print.  

This is what one fan, James Smothers, had to say about Don Pendleton and the series. 

"Why do I like Mack Bolan? In May 2012 I was laid off from a job I worked for 9 years. Prior to this I hadn't read Bolan for 20 years. Read him from 1983 to 1991 with sporadic books but could never locate the first 38 books prior to internet. Since I had a summer off I decided to read Don's original books. Enmeshed myself in the beginnings of Bolan's quest. Don's writing was amazing. Read the first 7 books multiple times. Helped me forget all my troubles with lack of employment and sent me on a wonderful journey. Don empowered me to work on goal setting and never give up. With Satan's Sabbath (Don's last book) I realized how much of a genius he truly was. I felt like I accomplished a great thing as Don spoke to me from yellowed lost pages."

Thanks, James for sharing.   


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Reference Books on Writing

Books on writing, among those I have on my bookshelves or Kindle.   

Stephen King: On Writing.

Elmer Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing.

Don Pendleton:  The Metaphysics of the Novel: The Inner Workings of a Novel and a Novelist.

Michael Newton: How to Write Action Adventure Novels.

Donald Maass: Writing the Breakout Novel.

Donald Maass:  The Fire in Fiction.

Donald Maass: The Emotional Craft of Fiction.

Richard Rhodes: How to Write.

Alexandra Sokoloff: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors.

Maren Elwood: Characters Make Your Story.

J. Michael Straczynski: The Complete Book of Script-Writing.

Scott Meredith:  Writing to Sell.

James Scott Bell:  Revision and Self Editing

Jack M. Bickham:  Scene and Structure. 


Friday, August 18, 2017

Phyllis A. Whitney, mystery writer

Phyllis A. Whitney (1903-2008), was one of my favorite mystery/suspense writers. She published more than 70 novels. In 1988, she was recipient of the MWA Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement. Her novels have been translated in 30 languages and sold in the millions. She was still writing into her 90s.
She ascribed her success as a writer to persistence and an abiding faith in her abilities. She wrote in her "Guide to Fiction Writing:" "Never mind the rejections, the discouragement, the voices of ridicule (there can be those too). Work and wait and learn, and that train will come by. If you give up, you’ll never have a chance to climb aboard.”


Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Don't We Know Who We Are?"

"We are the sun, the moon, the planets and stars, the wind and the rain, the sands and the seas–we, the miracles of creation, are everything that has ever been.

"What's more, and what's more important, we are everything that ever shall be!

"We are atoms and empty space, molecules and living cells, a colony of sentient beings called together from the depths of time to re-experience the world!  We are consciousness and understanding, awareness and appreciation, sensation and cognition.  We are fragments upon which is written all the secrets of creation and existence–and in which is carried the seed of all that can ever be.  Don't we know who we are?" ~Don and Linda Pendleton, Whispers From the Soul

Print, Kindle, Audiobook


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Don Pendleton, Father of Action Adventure, Comments on His Creation of Mack Bolan Novels.

Don Pendleton, the "father of the Action Adventure genre."

Don Pendleton was asked by his publisher in 1988, how he believed Action Adventure had developed since he created Mack Bolan twenty years earlier. His response:  "Bolan is the first of the modern action-adventure heroes, and need I say, the most durable.  His success serves as encouragement to breed others and has everybody looking for variations on that theme—essentially, one man against some personification of evil.  Almost any situation where people put their lives on the line in the service of an ideal became a legitimate excuse for clones of Mack Bolan—and I don't begrudge that.  The basic observation is that the field broadened a lot, and as the world changed, the genre kept pace by focusing on new issues.  International terrorism, for example."

"Publishing a book like WAR AGAINST THE MAFIA, was a courageous act for any publisher.  It seemed to amount to a glorification of violence, and things like that were done only in pulp fiction.  I was glad to get away from all the psychoanalysis and endless, helpless hand-wringing popular in literature at the time. Essential to the action adventure novel is the hero with ideals, a man who feels that his actions make a difference.  This conviction is his motivation for unfailingly risking his life again and again.  He feels he can change the world, which he sees without the surface layers of the illusions generated by society.  He faces a grim world bathed in the light of a harsh reality where good and evil do battle. It is the gritty realism, unrelenting and revealing, that distinguishes action adventure.  It shows us violence, too, because the word is violent, and depicts the world as deep down we know it to be but which we avoid thinking about just to mange to survive and get on with our lives."  

Available as Ebooks, 1-15 and 17-38

First three books also in print,
War Against the Mafia 
Death Squad
Battle Mask.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sculptor, Vinnie Ream and Abraham Lincoln

A look back to 1864, to a woman whose hands left an imprint on history. Vinnie Ream (1847-1914), had sculpted a bust of Abraham Lincoln, which took her five months to complete, and it is said he sat for her.  After Lincoln's death, at the age of eighteen, Vinnie was commissioned by the U.S. Government to sculpt a full figure statue of Lincoln for the Capitol.  She was the first female and the youngest, to ever be commissioned, and in addition, she was one of the first women to be employed in the Dead Letter Office of the United States Postal Service (from 1862-1866).  The Abraham Lincoln statue was unveiled in 1871, when she was twenty-three years of age.  Later she was to sculpt two more statues, now part of the Statuary Hall Collection:  Iowa Governor during the Civil War, Samuel Kirkwood; and Sequoyah, Cherokee leader.
I took a photograph of the Lincoln statue on a visit to the Capitol, some years back.  I had no idea at that time the history behind the statue.
She wrote: “Congress appropriated money to erect a marble statue of the martyred President in the Capitol, it never occurred to me, with my youth and my inexperience, to compete for that great honor; but I was induced to place my likeness of him [Lincoln] before the committee having the matter under consideration, and, together with many other artists--competitors for this work--I was called before this committee. I shall never forget the fear that fell upon me, as the chairman (the Hon. John H. Rice, of Maine, who had a kind heart, but a very stern manner) looked up through his glasses, from his seat at the head of the table, and questioned and cross-questioned me until I was so frightened that I could hardly reply to his questions: "How long had I been studying art?'' and had I ever made a marble statue?'' My knees trembled and I shook like an aspen, and I had not enough presence of mind even to tell him that I had made the bust from sittings from life. Seeing my dire confusion, and not being able to hear my incoherent replies, he dismissed me with a wave of his hand, and a request to Judge Marshall, of Illinois, to kindly see the young artist home! Once there, in the privacy of my own room, I wept bitter tears that I had been such an idiot as to try to compete with men, and remembering the appearance before that stern committee as a terrible ordeal before unmerciful judges, I promised myself it should be my last experience of that kind."
"Judge then of my surprise and delight when I learned that, guided by the opinion of Judge David Davis, Senator Trumbull, Marshal Lamon, Sec. O. H. Browning, Judge Dickey, and many others of President Lincoln's old friends, that I had produced the most faithful likeness of him, they had awarded the commission to me-the little western sculptor. The Committee on Mines and Mining tendered me their room in the Capitol, in which to model my statue, because it was next to the room of Judge David Davis, and he could come in daily and aid me with his friendly criticisms. His comfortable chair was kept in readiness. He came daily, and suggesting ‘a little more here--a little on there--more inclining of the bended head--more angularity of the long limbs,’ he aided me in my sacred work by his encouraging words and generous sympathy.”
She wrote this after the unveiling of the Lincoln statue in January, 1871:  “This night when the Lincoln statue was unveiled in the rotunda of the Capitol was the supreme moment of my life. I had known and loved the man! My country had loved him and cherished his memory. In tears the people had parted with him. With shouts of joy and acclamations of affection they had received his image in the marble. Upon the very spot where a few years before they had gathered in sorrow to gaze upon his lifeless body lying there in state while a nation mourned, they had gathered again to unveil his statue. ‘The marble is the resurrection,’ say the old sculptors, and now the dead had arisen to live forever in the hearts of the people whom he loved so well.”
Her work included sculptures of other famous people, President Ulysses S. Grant, Senator John Sherman, Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, Frederick Douglas, but one I find especially beautiful, is her Sappho, Muse of Poetry, which is at the Smithsonian Museum.    

 Sappho, Greek Muse of Poetry, Smithsonian Museum

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Catherine Winter, Private Investigator Series

Shifting Focus

Third Novel in the Catherine Winter Series

"Greed, power, and sex—that's all some strive for, all they desire. And eventually it destroys—or kills. Welcome to the world of entertainment, Hollywood style." -Catherine Winter, Private Investigator


The divorce of a gifted singer and songwriter leads Catherine Winter into the dark shadows of drugs, sex, and power.  Determined to find the killer of an entertainment attorney to Hollywood's elite, Catherine discovers the multifarious and convoluted connections between several people as she searches for truth and justice. 

Working closely with the Los Angeles Police Department, and teaming up with former cop and private investigator, Joe Copp, the hunt is on to find a killer.  Catherine Winter has seen it all in her many years as a Southern California private investigator, and now in her sixties, she's as determined and dedicated as ever.  

"Linda Pendleton's first private eye novel is a brilliant debut.  Shattered Lens is good enough I hope it becomes a series."  -Richard S. Prather, Author of the Shell Scott Mystery Series.

Book One and Two in Print, Kindle, and Audio
Book Three in Print, Kindle, and soon in Audio