Thursday, December 13, 2007

Literature and Lead with James O. Born

I did something different this week. I even put some effort into it. I made a short video. That’s right, I’m gonna let this five minute movie do the talking for me. If you’re a crime fiction fan or writer and want to see what guns can really do- have a look. If you want a chuckle – have a look. If your curious and wonder what I do with my free time – have a look. It's called Literature and Lead, Where Books Meet Bullets. And yes, some books were hurt during the filming of this video.

But if I draw in some rednecks or hunters to the world of reading, it'll all be worth it. Once you’ve had a chance to see it, leave me a comment here or at my website, . I’d love to hear what you think. This thing was a lot of work. My friend Jeff Shelby gave me the idea and helped. It was fun. A lot of fun and I hope it shows in the movie. Don’t worry, I’ll write something for the blog next week. This week I want you to indulge me and look at this damn movie.
And maybe tell a friend or two.

I want to thank Joe Konrath and Jeff Shelby for their help in this endeavor. They're good sports and we talked about it before I made the movie. For the record, I really liked both of these books. I even blurbed Bloody Mary. I wrote a review of Jeff's first book, Killer Swell, and rank it and Wicked Break among my favorite novels. After all the jokes these two have played on me it did feel good to plug away at their books. Finally, all those years on the SWAT team paid off.

The movie might be at the bottom of the post but I've had problems uploading it. If not its posted at Youtube at:

See you next Thursday.



  1. Oh, Jim, please, please, please shoot my book next time! What a hoot!

  2. Nancy,
    I must have hit on something. I've been getting e-mails for the past 24 hours from authors asking me to shoot their books.

    I have to feel the book needs shooting.

    For the record, I talked to both Konrath and Shelby before I did it. If they hadn't been so enthusiastic I wouldn't have done it. They both have excellent senses of humor.

    I might add that to the blog.



  3. Jim, I think you need to shoot some Sacred Cows. Or Shallow Grave(s). Or Trashed(s).

    I have to watch the video again because I was laughing so hard I couldn't pay attention to what you were saying.


  4. OH. MY. GOD!!!!

    Finally, a book trailer that I could watch from beginning to end without being bored.

    I'd be honored if you'd shoot one of my books. :)

  5. Do you wear that shirt everywhere you go? Just so people know? You should because otherwise people will assume you are a "BALLERINA DANCER" or something. It's totally intimidating, if a bit geeky.

    Well done, sir. Well done.

  6. I would happily donate my book to the cause if it wasn't so far out of print that the only copy you can find is being used to level a wobbly table in a bar outside of Baltimore.

    But that really is some damn fine shooting, Mr. Born. Although the nines were a little low so maybe you're pushing the pistol a bit anticipating the recoil.

    Just a thought.

  7. David,
    The low shots are from a burst from the MP5 sub gun. Always aim low so the momentum drives the rest of the burst up. C'mon, you were in the army. Or is that why we lost Viet Nam? Now it makes ense.


  8. And here I thought you'd purposely shot a 7 into Jeff's book with the .40.

    That was awesome!

    You have to be the coolest man on the planet. I'll add my plea to the mix, please shoot my book!

  9. Will you teach me to shoot like that? If not, maybe I can just hold your gun.

  10. You have waaaaaaaaay too much time on your hands.

  11. You're a sick man, Jim, but damned funny. Love the video.

  12. Shelby has no idea what he's started. I see payback in your future, my dear.

    Louise Ure

  13. Jim,

    I served so long ago that we used muzzle-loaders.

    Automatic weapons? What will they think of next?

  14. "Amazingly, we've managed not to shoot Mr. Shelby in the face." That was the funniest part. I can't wait for more.

  15. I still think the funniest part was the Masterpiece Theater music. And that's saying a lot, because the rest of it was damn funny, too.

    Maybe you could just make a pile of ALL our books in a big pit and then napalm the sucker? I, too, would be honored to be included.

  16. Dear Mr. Born:
    It has come to our attention that you may (or may not have) used government equipment for a non-governmental purpose without first filling out Form T-13 (b) (2).

    Please report with all your weapons, ammo, and books to headquarters at once.


    Barley Q. Snodgrass
    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms

  17. I apprecite all the comments. I'm shocked at the e-mails and interest in the film.

    Nad MS. Johnson, I spent
    50 minutes filming
    an hour editing
    the hardest part was uploading it to the blog which took about two hours.


  18. Special request, Jim. Please, please shoot my work-in-progress. I'm willing to pay you for it. I think a Glock .45 would do nicely. It deserves it.

  19. Excellent! Ditto what everyone else said. Loved the flick.

    That last Putnam book was one tough cookie. Sure it wasn't wearing a vest?

    Tom, T.O.

  20. You're definitely keyholing on the 9mm. Watch your breathing.

    And "draw in some rednecks or hunters to the world of reading"? You must have a goodly number of such readers already. If not, move over to my genres. I've had up to a million on some works. Expect them to be critical, though. They've read everything from Thucydides and Caesar to Poe and Kipling to Capstick and Rowling.

    I shot a few of my own cover flats for promotion. It's fun. I started at 100m and worked back, using stuff a mite more powerful than 9mm:)

    It's been a long time since I read genre crime fiction. I may have to give it another go.

  21. "But if I draw in some rednecks or hunters to the world of reading, it'll all be worth it."

    You're too late. I didn't start shooting until I was five years old, but I was already reading by then. I still do a lot of both.

    Last helpless animals that I've murdered? Four deer this season, a couple of weeks ago. In fact, I've just had a message from the processor who's informed me that I'm to pick up my summer sausage and other smoked products ASAP. The roasts, chops and tenderloin went straight into my freezer. My master's degree in population genetics primed me to accept the evidence from the Natural Resources Department of this state that the deer here are too numerous for the health of the species in this area. Besides, they're delicious.

    Last books that I've read? During those couple of weeks since the annual Bambi Slaughter, it's been three Richard Dawkins books that I'd missed when they came out, a new Rita Mae Brown novel and re-reading an older one (in the Sister Jane Arnold fox-hunting murder mystery series), chunks of two feng shui books that I haven't looked at for a while, a collection of Asimov essays entitled, the Planet That Wasn't, Atlas Srugged again just for grins, and Heinlein's The Green Hills of Earth. Oh, and Paul Fussell's book on clothing, entitled Uniforms. Sorry, mike, I saw your new one in the book store, but it was in hardcover, just before payday. I'll pick it up in the next few days.

    True confessions: the only things I've had published in the past several years are high school math books. They're full of story problems, so I expect that many would just Luuuuuve to blast them. Too bad; shoot yer own damn' books.

  22. As I said in my blog:

    Oh, I figured it was most likely a joke. You didn't seem unfamiliar with weapons, and I saw your barbs with a couple of vets. But when I see a chance for someone to misinterpret (and I know plenty who would) I jump on it. If I can get an excuse to have a few dozen people hit my blog as well, I take the exploitation.

    If I'd thought you meant it as an insult, I'd have just sent them to your blog:) And I do hope you're not getting deluged by the type who fit the stereotype.

    BTW, the best books to shoot are L. Ron Hubbard, Michael Moore and anything from Soft Skull Press. Though .50 BMG APIT is considered excessive in some circles.

  23. My apologies! Besides being a reader and shooter, I'm also an experienced conclusion-jumper. Lessons to be learned, for me:

    1) Get enough coffee before you type.

    2) Understand that other writers can be facetious, too.

    3) Get enough coffee before you type.

    4) Read more of a newly-encountered blog before posting; learn the writer's tone.

    5) Get enough coffee before you type.

    6) Breathe properly, keep both eyes open and then slowly Squeeeeeze the 'Enter' key.

    7) Get enough coffee before you type.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled comments.

  24. I appreciate the comments from Mike's Blog. I knew fellow rednecks had a sense of humor.


  25. This was so well done I think you should leave your writing career in the dust and move over to movies!

    From Texas, where we all have guns.

  26. When I was in, oh must have been 7th grade, my class did that Scholastic Books thing where you get a big box of paperbacks and everyone gets one. One book we all mocked and despised was Frank Bonham's Durango Street, which apparently is now considered quite ahead of its time and praised fot its surprisingly mature portrait of teenage gang life. (And for all I know, rightly so. We were a bunch of redneck kids in the sticks confronted with a book about the urban poor. And I wouldn't exactly trust the judgment of my 7th grade self to begin with.)

    So when we were done, a few of us went around hoarding copies of Durango Street and using them in weird 7th grade jokes - filling up someone's desk with them, etc. I decided to take one home and blow a hole in it. That sounded like an eloquent statement to me.

    So I clipped it up on the clothesline in the back yard and got the only gun I had access to, a .410 shotgun with slugs. And I lined up my shot from about a foot away because I wanted that hole to be right dead center in the cover, and I pulled the trigger.

    I did not get a copy of Durango Street with a nice clean two inch or so hole through the middle. I got a cloud of tiny paper shreds all over the back yard. I can't recall how I explained that to my parents, but it must have been good...