Author appearance: Arnold Hano

November 27, 2012

The creator of the classic A Day In The Bleachers celebrates the release of a trilogy of earlier titles with an appearance at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, 2810 Artesia Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA, on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2:30 p.m.

From the press release:

Many know Arnold’s name as the editor of noirmeister Jim Thompson at Lion books –- Hano was the man who guided Thompson during his most productive period.  Others may know Arnold penned A Day in the Bleachers, the seminal book about baseball from a fan’s perspective centered around “The Catch” by Willie Mays in the 1954 World Series.  But what few may not be aware of is that Hano, under his own name and several aliases, wrote novels featuring driven, flawed characters.

3 Steps to Hell: So I’m a Hell / Flint / The Big Out reprints for the first time three of Arnold’s books.

The Big Out was his first novel and was set, appropriately, in the world of baseball.  The story features major league players, gangsters, bribes and the outlaw teams of Canada.  In So I’m a Heel, a WWII vet, with plastic for a jaw shattered by a sniper’s bullet, seeks to blackmail a rich man over his terrible secret, but the scheme goes way wrong.  And in Flint, a western inspired by Jim Thompson’s Savage Night, a tormented gunslinger takes on one more job to kill for money.

This edition also features an introduction by crime novelist Gary Phillips (The Warlord of Willow Ridge) and a Q & A with Arnold conducted by his longtime friend, playwright Dan Duling.  It should also be noted that Arnold, who recently turned 90, is well and writing, living with his wife of 61 years, Bonnie, in Laguna Beach.

“I solve mysteries.  Or try to,” Arnold said about his approach to writing.  “Be it a novel, a short story, a magazine article, a play -– whatever –- problems lie within and must be addressed.”

Arnold ably addresses those problems and conflicts in the novels published in 3 Steps to Hell.  Mystery, sports and westerns fans, indeed fans of compelling storytelling in general, will enjoy these tales finally back in print in this volume.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Hano for a recent podcast edition of the Bookshelf.

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