Big Names, Short Stories: Child, Deaver, Starr & Jakubowski Launch Invisible Blood Anthology

Learn about Invisible Blood, a brand new crime fiction anthology and comment below for a chance to win a copy!

“If I could make a living writing short stories I would”

That was Jeffery Deaver earlier this week at The Mysterious Bookshop at the launch event for Invisible Blood, a brand new anthology series edited by crime fiction legend Maxim Jakubowski

Cards on the table, I hadn’t heard of Maxim until a copy of Invisible Blood came across my desk, and even then, it was the other names on the cover—Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, etc.—that stood out the most. It was an A-List anthology, and I wondered how Maxim could pull it all together. 

And then I went down the Wikipedia rabbit hole. Maxim has worked in book publishing for many years, and he eventually left the industry to open the Murder One bookshop, the U.K.’s first specialist crime and mystery bookstore. He’s edited numerous anthologies across various genres including crime fiction, science fiction, and erotica. (He is strongly rumored to be one of the authors behind the bestselling erotic author Vina Jackson, but this has never been confirmed.) Maxim has also served as the Chair of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and is now chair and judge for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut John Creasey Dagger award. All that is to say, the dude is legit.

Joining Jeffery Deaver at the event was Lee Child and Jason Starr, and the three of them sat with Maxim as he described the genesis of the anthology and made us laugh with his Getting the Gang Together stories and a few false starts. (Mark Billingham declined because he’s writing an opera. Laurence Block—Larry to Maxim—had literally just retired.)

Something unusual about Invisible Blood is that there is no overarching theme throughout the stories, and Child wasted no time in chiding Maxim for this, saying that made coming up with his story difficult. (His story “Smile” stars Reacher and is set in Heathrow.) 

Deaver, the professed short story lover, assumed the title was the theme and came up with “Connecting the Dots”—a story about a case with a blood-based invisible ink. 

And Starr, just like Deaver, took the literal path and concocted a crime story without any blood in “The Ghost of Williamsburg.”

As Maxim quipped, clearly no one is reading his emails. 

But in addition to discussing the anthology, the gang did what everyone in the audience was hoping for—they shot the shit. 

For a while, they discussed short, creative fiction. Between the various anthologies they’ve taken part in, the short stories they co-written with other authors (See ITW’s Faceoff anthology), and the continuous novels they’ve authored a single chapter for, handing the baton to someone else to continue the story. And all the while, it was clear just how much these writers loved writing. From Starr’s enthusiastic descriptions of the comics he’s working on (Red Border) to Deaver’s just-released novel (The Never Game) and Child’s romanticized admission that Maxim was the editor who publishes his very first short story, “James Penney’s New Identity” featuring a pre-Killing Floor Jack Reacher. 

And perhaps that’s the thread I’ve been trying to grab at here: Maxim. He’s been publishing crime fiction and other work for 60+ years. He’s worked with some of the very best writers out there, and he’s written his own critically acclaimed books. As Lee Child put it, “he’s a living legend.”

And I’ll end things here the same Lee Child ended things at the event. As you may have heard, Reacher is headed for the television courtesy of Amazon Prime, and unlike the films where Child didn’t have much say over casting decisions (cough Tom Cruise cough), he’s retained the final say in casting this time around per his contact and, to quote Child, “we’re gonna cast the biggest motherfucker out there.”

Photo courtesy of Titan Books.

About Invisible Blood:

Open the files on an anthology of seventeen new crime stories to probe the brutal and complex hearts of criminals, and unravel the strangest of mysteries. Watch as a secretive group of intelligence community officers trace Jack Reacher through Heathrow in Lee Child’s “Smile”. In Mary Hoffman’s “Fallen Woman”, a journalist on the trail of a secretive drug lord gets caught up in the violent suicide of a young woman in Siena. And in Jeffery Deaver’s “Connecting the Dots”, detectives follow the trail of clues in the brutal killing of a homeless man, wherever it may lead… Invisible Blood is a gripping collection exploring the compulsions of the criminal mind.

Comment below for a chance to win a copy of Invisible Blood!

To enter, make sure you’re a registered member of the site and simply leave a comment below.

Invisible Blood Comment Sweepstakes: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete the “Post a Comment” entry at http://www.criminalelement.com/big-names-short-stories/ beginning at 1:300 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) July 26, 2019. Sweepstakes ends at 1:29 p.m. ET August 9, 2019. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Macmillan, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.

Learn More Or Order A Copy

Comments

  1. John Quiring

    Awesome, count me in!

    • Laura Nason

      I love anthologies because they introduce me to writers that I would not normally read.

      • Roxana Garcia

        Can’t wait!

  2. John R. Lambert

    It looks to be interesting anthology by a great bunch of writers.

    • myssmith

      All the authors are great suspense writers in my book

  3. Jerry J. Dunn

    This looksikd very good reading. Can’t wait!

  4. Ann Hornby

    Sounds like a great book!

  5. Jana

    I love anthologies & this one sounds great.

  6. Linda Gawthrop

    Love the idea of a short story anthology – especially penned by a group of my favorite authors!

  7. Shelly Garnett

    I cannot wait for these stories from some of my favorite.

  8. Ivy Pittman-Outen

    Anything by Lee Child I get excited before I start reading the first line. This one sounds like a thriller!

  9. Melissa G Carlini

    Sounds cool! Can’t wait to read these!

  10. Richard Dominguez

    Sounds great count me in for a win

  11. Barbara Bibel

    Short stories from great authors, sounds fantastic! I would love to have it.

  12. Kathleen M Pulek

    Excited for this anthology – looks like a good collection of works from respected authors.

  13. Scott Halet

    Great contest, Lee Child is my favorite author, I just read Past Tense, so captivating I read in 3 days. Would love to find out if Jack ever made it to San Diego. I would love to win. Thanks for the chance.

  14. Dennis E Henley

    I wish there were more magazines that carried short stories. Luckily there are still anthologies like this.

  15. Craig Pittman

    I love these types of anthologies and would very much enjoy this one, I think.

  16. Joe Gordon

    Sounds awesome! Thanks

  17. Rick Ollerman

    Mark Billingham’s writing an opera? That’s interesting. The contributors’ list is still terrific…

  18. Susan Graham

    This book sounds intriguing! Thanks for the tip. It’s now on my TBR list, if I don’t win.

  19. Becky Minkler

    Looking forward to reading it. I enjoy these types of books, this one sounds excellent.

  20. Donald Hornbaker

    This is a very interesting anthrology with great writers. I would love to win a copy!!

  21. Mechelle Heard

    I adore Jack Reacher and would love to add this to my collection!

  22. Karl Stenger

    It contains stories from some of my favorite writers. Having it signed is a plus.

  23. Blake Dee

    Yay!!!! I’d love to win❤️

  24. Christian M. Mericle

    I would love to read this.

  25. Stacie Kronschnabel

    This sounds like an amazing collection of stories! I’m in!!

  26. Stacie Kronschnabel

    This looks like an amazing collection of stories. I’m in!

  27. Chris Azar

    You had me with the picture…lotta talent in one shot. Count me in

  28. Patty Kertai

    I love Jack Reacher books and movies. They are just so fastenating ,. I would love to win this book, thanks for the chance.

  29. Anita Sue Hamilton

    I always like to read LeeChild

  30. Nancy

    Looking forward to new and exciting stories!

  31. Steve Richardson

    Sounds like a great book, I’ll buy it if I don’t win a copy. Always hoping that Lawrence Block will come out of retirement but I guess he won’t. As for the Reacher on Amazon Prime, I’m all for it, especially since I saw the Jack Ryan adaptation. I didn’t mind the smaller stature of Tom Cruise, I think he did a good job, but no problem trying with a new actor.

  32. Sharon White

    Wow. I will definitely buy this one if I don’t manage to win it. Looks like a great collection of stories.

  33. Dawn Byers

    oh I would love to win this book!!!

  34. Aleta Anderson

    This sounds like a wonderful anthology and I would love to win a copy!

  35. James Grado

    I can’t wait to read this!

  36. Anne

    Great authors and wonderful feature.

  37. Linda Marie

    Wow, this sounds like a book for me! All these great author, I’m in!

  38. Peggy J Kincaid

    Sounds like a great book and what a amazing legacy Maxim has. I love the roundtable talk and wish I could just sit in and listen to them all talking. Might get to add some reader input as well.

  39. Ron Breznay

    Can never have enough Jack Reacher!

  40. Joseph Layer

    Glad to hear Reacher will appear on Amazon Prime.

  41. Kevin Burton Smith

    All those stories, plus “the biggest motherfucker out there”? I’m in…

  42. Angie Reeks

    Great group of authors, can’t wait to read this!

  43. Kimiko Simpson

    I have read other Anthologies before and loved them. It is funny/ironic that there is no “theme” this year, yet some of the participating writers chose a theme anyway. Looking forward to reading this new one!

  44. bill norris

    i love the movies and need to get into the books.

  45. Beverly Laude

    I would love to win this great group of stories written by some of my favorite authors!

  46. John Q. Wilson

    I would have loved to hear those pros “shot the shit.” Tom Cruise can be a fine actor, but was always 6 inches too short and 50 pounds too light not to be laughable as Jack Reacher. Really looking forward to Invisible Blood.

  47. Lynda Walls

    If I don’t win I will have to buy this book. I really hope I win 😁💗

  48. Peter W.

    Blood me! Yes!

  49. Jamie Rutland Gillespie

    Would love to win. Thanks for the chance!

  50. Sandy

    I’d like to win a copy.

  51. Jean Fike

    I would love to win this for my collection, I Love Jack Reacher!!!! Thank you for the opportunity to win!! 😀

  52. John OBrien

    I’m very much looking forward to reading this book, and really enjoy a good anthology.

  53. Deborah Morgan

    Lee Child! You bet!

  54. Derek Hawkins

    I love Jack Reacher and Lee Child makes his stories come alive and easy to follow. I would love to read stories from these other authors as well.

  55. Ray Summey Jr

    Cant wait to read it

  56. Daniel M

    sounds like a fun one

  57. Christine Robinson

    Sounds like an interesting read!!

  58. Linda Peters

    Lee Child is one of the best around.

  59. Joan Emerson

    This sounds like an amazing anthology. I’m looking forward to reading all these stories; several of the authors here are on my must-read list . . . .

  60. gail bartels

    sounds like a great read

  61. Sabrina Padron

    Sounds great! 🤓

  62. Jason Knecht

    I would love a new Jack Reacher story

  63. Nancy

    Sounds fascinating. Terrific cover.

  64. karen dingley

    Lee Child is one of my faves!

  65. Barbara Noel

    Love Mysteries and have read most of the Jack Reacher books so I would love to read this one also

  66. susan atkins

    I am a huge Jack Reacher fan.

  67. Patrick Ewing

    Sounds fantastic. Can’t wait.

  68. Annette OMullan

    Wow! What a wonderful group of authors! I’m a big fan of the Jack Reacher books. I would love to read this anthology. Thank you!

  69. Calvin Bullock

    Known favorite authors with some never read…love new discoveries

  70. Cathryn Treiber

    I am so looking forward to reading this anthology whether I win it or buy it!! Some of my all time favourite authors!

  71. Margaret Blaho

    Thank you so much for the opportunity

  72. paul klumbach

    would love to have another Jack Reacher story in my hands

  73. Suzee

    A book I am anxious to read, some favorite and some authors new to me, a great mix.

  74. keith brodkorb

    not connected but sometimes the twists make the shorts that much better.

  75. Deb Tilton

    I can’t wait until Lee Child’s book into movie, hopefully it will be available easily to all and not just subscribers or some service

  76. Kathleen Hicks

    What a great looking book. I will bet all the stories are mysterious! LOL This is a favorite genre of mine.

  77. Kathleen Hicks

    What a great looking book can’t wait to read it this is my favoribe genre.

  78. Maggie

    ME, ME, ME — PLEASE! I would LOVE TO WIN a copy of this book. Child and Deaver are two of my FAVORITES!

  79. Doreen Moran

    I’d love a new Jack Reacher story!

  80. Laura McDonald

    I would absolutely KILL to get this. Would this post give me away if other commenters all died under mysterious conditions?

  81. Mary Henaghen

    Looks like a great read. Can’t wait to get it.

  82. Robin Weatherington

    I’m excited just thinking about it!

  83. Phill

    Great writers, and great stories, I’m sure.

  84. Rick J Bryant

    Reacher…IT IS GOING TO BIG BIG!!!!!!

  85. rs2

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  86. Diana Hardt

    It sounds like a very interesting book. Thank you for the chance!

  87. Nicholas Goodrick

    I doing this for mom who is a lee child fan

  88. Jayne Homsher

    Thrilling story and characters that drive me to the edges before I can see a finish to the story. Fantastic author and great books that I quite often re-read again and again!

  89. WisdomGone75

    An excellent list of noted writers that I look forward to reading again.

    • Carolann M Fritz

      I love anthologies & this book features some of my favorite authors! I can’t wait to read it!

  90. Jeannine

    Sounds good to me, I want one.

  91. Darryl

    I love nothing more that getting hooked on an anthology… I hope I win!

  92. john428

    Anxiously awaiting the Movie with someone other than Tom Cruise, and this anthology is a tremendous idea>

  93. Brenda Sumrow

    I’m eager to read this anthology, I love shirt stories, and buy every collection I see

  94. Michelle Damon

    This sounds like a powerful anthology! I can’t wait to discover the ability of these writers that are new to me! This helps me to find more works for writers I typically wouldn’t have looked for. And, who can resist a Jack Reacher adventure! Whether I win or lose (fingers and toes are crossed) I simply cannot wait to get lost in this book….my only complaint would be that it will be over too soon! I hope it contains many stories!!

  95. Kathryn Arevalo

    Count me in, too. Short stories are what I write at this time. Grampa said if you want to write well, read, read, read. More please.

  96. Nicole Nickerson

    I’d love to read it – sounds awesome!

  97. Bodman55

    thanks for the chance to win….

  98. Madonna Litwin

    I love Lee Child’s stories about Jack Reacher, looking for a new author to read, this would be great

  99. Josh Nuttall

    If I could make a living reading full-length fiction novels and short stories, I would get on that road faster than anything you can think of that is really, really fast.

  100. Roxanna Buck

    I cannot wait for this to come out! Thanks for the chance to win a copy 😊

  101. Daniel Weber

    Can’t wait to read!

  102. Jean Boe

    My favorite authors!!! Please enter me for a chance to win a copy.

  103. Jennifer Richardson

    Am curious as to what constitues “biggest motherfucker out there” for casting. Who is on your individual lists?

  104. Mike Kennedy

    Sounds like a good read

  105. Desmond Warzel

    Count me in, please!

  106. Melissa Dials

    Really enjoy anthologies! These authors are awesome👍🏼

  107. Lilorphanannie

    To have Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver as headliners for this book, makes it a must read. I cannot wait to be able to read it.

  108. Sheila Tiouti

    I can hardly wait for a new jack reacher story and I love anthologies too!

  109. Ronald Roseborough

    Lee Child has my vote for his Jack Reacher charater. Count me in.

  110. Janet Gould

    Wow! Can’t wait to read this.

  111. Patrick Miller

    Top of my summer reading list!!

  112. Pam Walrath

    I would love to read this, and my mom will be so excited!

  113. myssmith

    Top suspense writer, with new stories in a collection. Way to Go!

  114. Shirley Hughey

    Sounds wonderful, would make a nice fall read.

  115. Tiffany

    This looks so good

  116. LadyGoshawke

    Would love to win an anthology of some of my favorite writers along with new writers to read.

  117. margaret gergel

    Love a good short story

  118. John Marganski

    I started reading mystery fiction via Ellery Queen collections almost 60 years ago. I am looking forward to this collection.

  119. Amanda M Adams

    Love it!

  120. Renee Gorman

    Looking forward to this! Thank you all for sharing your talents with us!

  121. Big D

    Looks like a great anthology + you had me at Jack Reacher.

  122. SUSAN GANNON

    What I great picture – Thanks for the chance to win

  123. Michael Carter

    Please enter me in this sweepstakes.
    Thanks!

  124. Darlene Slocum

    I would very much like to read this. Thank you!

  125. shawn manning

    Sounds like a lot of fun

  126. shawn manning

    Would love to be able to review on my blog

  127. Stephanie L Nelson

    This looks like an interesting read!

  128. spegs2

    i love these kind of books!

  129. Martha Merder

    Stories from my favorite authors! What could be better! So glad to hear about a believable Reacher!

  130. Kay Z

    I am excited to read this anthology of short stories!

  131. Deana Kneen

    I totally want to win!

  132. Emma Cazabonne

    That would be a lovely way to discover a new to me author! Thanks for the chance

  133. Saundra K. Warren

    Oh Lordy!! I want this!!!!!

  134. barrereg

    I would LOVE to win Jack Reacher’s new book!
    PLEASE PICK ME!

    • barrereg

      Of course, I mean, Lee Child’s new book. His characters are so real to life that I actually think of them as real people; thus, Jack Reacher…..

  135. Gary Fritch

    I enjoy Anthologies as a means to discover different authors, (although I’m familiar with several of these) and it gives those authors an opportunity to expand their general style and fan expectations! Love ’em!

  136. Renee Morgan

    I would love to win!

  137. Susan Morris

    The anthology supplies me with a taste of each author’s writing style, introducing me to new writers. Nice!

  138. Mark Means

    Lee Child And Deaver how can you go wrong. They alone are worth the book.

  139. Sabine Blanch

    Sounds interesting, thank you for the chance!

  140. Martha Current

    I am so excited to read this!

  141. Charl Birdett Roberson

    Honestly, some of my FAVE authors, all together and short stories, to boot!! YEAH!

  142. Donald Cosney

    Looks like an exciting and fun read. Looking forward to it. And the new Jack Reacher on Amazon Prime.

  143. Sally Schmidt

    Wow! What a terrific group of writers. I love Jeffrey Deaver’s short stories, would love to read this book.

  144. tbergstresser

    Love these kinds of collections!

  145. Johanna Rodriguez

    I’d love to be introduced to these writers! Mysteries are my favorite.

  146. Ruth Surette

    Looking forward to it!

  147. Elaine Hirtle

    I’m looking forward to reading this

  148. Karen Terry

    I love all these authors.

  149. Shirley Evans

    Wow, love short stories and especially those by some of my favorite authors. Would love to win! Thanks so much!

  150. Lois A Becker

    Sounds, like a hot one. Can’t wait to read.

  151. Vicki Wurgler

    sounds great-I love to read crime stories

  152. Joel Shulkin

    Great author lineup!

  153. Bev Penick

    Short stories has always been one of my favorite genres.

  154. Louis Burklow

    I enjoy a good anthology. It lets me discover writers I may not know. This one sounds fun.

  155. Don Mcclure

    Thanks for the giveaway

  156. camsgrma

    I love Jack Reacher! Totally agree with Lee Child’s casting desires. I hope the anthology will be available as an audio book. Looking forward to finding more authors to read.

  157. Lana Baker

    I LOVE anthologies!!

  158. Marisa Young

    Sounds great.

  159. Marjorie Anderson

    Huge fan of Lee Child. Anything Jack Reacher

  160. johnna smith

    What a great group of story tellers!! And to Lee Child…..thank you for selecting a more suitable Jack Reacher!!

  161. teresa sopher

    I love these “anthologies”.

  162. Susan Glatki

    I am looking forward to reading new stories by old favorites and finding new favorites.

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