Events

HEY GANG, CHECK THIS OUT

Hi Mark,

Congratulations!

I don’t know if you’ve heard already, but I wanted to let you know that your unpublished manuscript, Dunleavy, is a finalist for the Killer Nashville Claymore Award for Best Investigator https://killernashville.com/2022-killer-nashville-claymore-award-finalists/

On behalf of Clay Stafford, founder of Killer Nashville, and all our judging volunteers, we couldn’t be more excited!

I’m happy to answer any questions about the award and nomination.

The winners of each category will be announced August 20, 2022 at the Killer Nashville Awards Dinner https://killernashville.com/killer-nashville-awards-dinner/. We’d love to see you there.

I hope we see you at this year’s Killer Nashville Awards Dinner! And if I can be of any help in any way, please let me know.

Congratulations again!

– Ellis

This time, the whole family will be there. I’ll go to meetings and they will play tourist in Nashville. Wish me luck!

 

If you live on the Niagara Frontier, or your traveling that way on June 1st, stop by and see me at the Steel Plant Museum of Western New York. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “The trouble begins at 6:30…”

Hey gang, look at this e-mail I got!

Hi, Mark –

Congratulations!

Your book, The Vultures, is a finalist for the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for Best Investigator. I couldn’t be more excited! I’m connecting you with Joseph Borden. He can answer any questions about the award and nomination. The winners of each category will be announced August 21, 2021 at the Killer Nashville Awards Dinner (https://killernashville.com/killer-nashville-awards-dinner/).

Congratulations again!-

Clay Stafford

(Founder of Killer Nashville)


More book signings coming up, these on the Niagara Frontier in July

Thursday, July 8 at Undergrounds Coffee House, from 3:00 – 5:00 P.M., 580 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14210
Friday, July 9, at Bookworm & BW Gifts from 3:00 – 5:00 P.M., 34 Elm St., East Aurora, NY 14052
Saturday, July 10, at The Buffalo Harbor Museum, from 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., 66 Erie Street Buffalo, NY 14202
Sunday, July 11, at Dog Ears Bookstore and Cafe, from 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., 688 Abbott Road, Buffalo, NY 14220

A book signing? In person? You betcha!
     With the plague receding and the vaccination rate way up, I’ve checked around and it’s safe to have book signings again. I hope you’ll join us Saturday, June 19th from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. for a book signing at Hull Street Blues Cafe here in Locust Point, Baltimore.  I’ll have copies of my latest book The Vultures and my previous novel Every Man for Himself and a number of collector items –  like Covid pandemic era masks with The Vultures logo on it (designed by Business Manager and son Jeremy). Danny and crew at Hull Street are planning to have some Niagara Frontier food and drink specials (yes, there will be beef on weck) and any number of local characters in place. The last time I had a book signing at Hull Street a good time was had by all, and I look forward to seeing you there.
     If you’re not familiar with Hull Street Blues, check this out:   https://www.hullstreetblues.com/ and be assured you’re in for a treat.

For all you readers, fans, hecklers and web surfers, Apprentice House Press is hosting a Stream Yard event tomorrow evening, Wednesday, April 7 at 8:00 P.M.

Aha! This time, the event is going to happen. Tune in tomorrow, at either https://www.facebook.com/apprenticehousepress or . https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6eGm9Pa-VOc52SyjwE87gA and you’ll see me and fellow Apprentice House author Mark Reefe talking about our books The Vultures (me) and Spindle Lane (the other Mark).

DRAT! Due to the plague, events tentatively scheduled for March of 2021 are postponed. I had been looking forward to book signings for The Vultures at Dog Ears Bookstore, The Buffalo Harbor Museum, The Steel Plant Museum and Talking Leaves Bookstore up in Buffalo, but these venues have been postponed until this summer. When they are rescheduled, I’ll let you know. However, I’ll include some images here for these places and give them some promotion – be sure to support them.

There is some good news – I read in today’s Buffalo News that the International League Buffalo Bisons will have a season this year, running from April through September!

Sahlen (a.k.a. Coca Cola, Pilot, etc.) Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons
The Buffalo Harbor Museum
Dog Ears Bookstore and Cafe
The Steel Plant Museum of Western New York
Talking Leaves Bookstore

ARRRGH! Belay the invitation to the event. The event scheduled for this evening isn’t an event, it’s a meeting between the authors and the publisher to plan an event. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Check this site or the Facebook sites https://www.facebook.com/everymanforhimselfhannon/ and https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011963208996 and I’ll let you know when something real, virtual or online is happening.-MH

For all you readers, fans, hecklers and web surfers, Apprentice House Press is hosting a Zoom Event tomorrow evening, Wednesday, November 18th at 6:45 P.M. with four of their recent authors: yours truly (“Every Man for Himself” and “The Vultures”), Nancy Burke (“Only the Women Are Burning”). Eric Goodman (“The Color of Jadeite”) and Roselee Blooston (“Trial by Family”). To tune in, latch onto this link https://loyola.zoom.us/j/3534972892 and say hello!

Interview with Annabelle Finagin

Interview by Annabelle Finagin about “The Vultures”

Q&A with Mark Hannon

Q: This book is inspired by the story of a true scandal surrounding a stadium in Buffalo. What can you tell us about that scandal?

A: In 1969, the then owner of the Buffalo Bills, Ralph Wilson, got an offer of a new stadium from the city of Seattle. He then threatened to move the team unless he got a new stadium in Western New York. This may have been the first time, or at least among the first times, a major league franchise owner extorted a new stadium from a local jurisdiction. Buffalo was broke and couldn’t afford a new stadium. Erie County, which Buffalo is part of, could, and floated a bond issue to pay for it. A local developer combined with the builder of the first domed stadium, the Houston Astrodome, to build the world’s second domed stadium, plus a development surrounding the stadium, which promised to turn the depressed rust belt Buffalo economy around, which was delusional. The deal fell apart through political corruption in the County Legislature, Buffalo never got a domed stadium and the ensuing litigation turned into the most expensive and longest running commercial legal case in New York State history, which is a story in itself.

Q: What things did you change from that inspiration, and what things did you keep?

A: I had characters, good and bad, from my first novel, Every Man for Himself, become the leads in this novel. Schemers never stop, and good guys are always after them, sometimes with flaws. The results of the history were the same, but the characters have their own outcomes.

Q: What kind of research did you have to do for this novel? Was there anything particularly shocking that you learned?

A: I interviewed a number of people involved with the domed stadium deal, read several books about the 1960s/70s, dug up newspaper articles, went through the SUNY Buffalo archives, etc. This was the era of the Vietnam war, and violence on the campus of SUNY Buffalo and the nearby University Heights neighborhood, where I grew up. What shocked me the most was the way Vietnam Vets were treated, and the “narcissistic vandalism” of the protesters who, when they were finished being radicals, then went on to graduate school, etc. A good text on this is Bryan Burrough’s “Days of Rage,” which is what the Weathermen called their protests in Chicago in October 1969, designed to “bring the war home to the streets.” Ironically, the term comes from a Gregorian Chant “Dies Irae” which refers to the second coming of Christ and the Last Judgement.

Q: Were there any resources or people who provided help with that research? What kind of things did you learn from them?

A: I used a lot of resources, some already mentioned, and interviewed a number of people whom I credit in the acknowledgements at the end of the book. Particularly interesting were the insights I got from lawyers involved in the domed stadium case and retired policemen who were working for the Buffalo Police Department back then.

Q: In addition to researching this scandal, you grew up in Buffalo. Are there any events or experiences from your time there that were translated into this book?

A: I was just starting high school in 1969-1970 and lived right by the SUNY Buffalo campus (now referred to as the South campus). The Vietnam War was on TV every day, and boys just a few years older than me were there fighting and dying, or protesting to end the war. In addition, the possibility of the Buffalo Bills leaving town is unthinkable in Buffalo, then as now, and the loyalty of Buffalo people to their city and teams that represent them is legendary, and I try to bring all this out in the story.

Q: While the main plot of the book is about the scandal, there are two side plots about the sons, Tom and Rory. Rory’s story is a particularly powerful narrative about the horrors of the Vietnam war. What inspired that? Did you have to do any research in order to portray it so vividly?

A: The Vietnam War lasted twenty years and split families, generations and this nation. I did considerable research to make the Vietnam scenes and the aftermath as truthful as possible. I read books on it by veterans, interviewed people who were there and had those sections reviewed by participants.

Q: Tom’s story is also fascinating, dealing with riots, drugs, and youth anti-war culture on campuses. Were there any experiences that inspired his story? Any specific moments researched for that?

A: When the SUNY Buffalo campus turned into “The Berkeley of the East” in 1969, my friends and I would ride our bikes up to Main Street and watch the police battle the students – until we got a face full of tear gas, anyway. I know people who were on both sides of the conflict and try to reflect that in the story. I also did a lot of research in the SUNY Buffalo library which has archived documents from that era and remember concerned parents of GIs then overseas, students determined to end the war, small business owners whose shops got wrecked, etc.

Q: You do a good job of explaining the characters’ views on that controversial war, but the characters, understandably, have different viewpoints. What’s yours, and did that have any influence on your characters and/or plot?

A: I was told by a Vietnam Vet that I was a real lucky guy – too young for Vietnam and too old for Desert Storm. The GIs fighting the war were caught between a corrupt government in the south and the murderous communist regime in the north, and getting spit on when they came home. They couldn’t win and feel bitter about it to this day. Me? I feel guilty about not having served in the armed forces, but like that Vietnam vet said, I was lucky.

Q: Did you have any characters that you based off of someone in particular? What elements did you keep, and what did you change?

A: Two characters in particular were based on real people. One is the developer from Texas, Rex Yarborough, who is based on Roy Hofheinz, the developer who built the Houston Astrodome. There is a biography of him called “The Great Showman” which I read, depicting a very flamboyant and shrewd builder. Also, the Sammy Messina character is based on a particularly colorful guy I knew in Buffalo, a bookie who spent his days drinking and womanizing, and whose motto was “steal all the money.”Q: How does this novel connect to your previous book, Every Man for Himself?A: Several of the characters – the detective, Pat Brogan and his associates Lou Constantino and Inspector Wachter, the politician “Jazz” Jezerowski, and especially the City of Buffalo reappear in The Vultures. Every Man for Himself takes place in the post war industrial and prosperous Buffalo, while The Vultures takes place in a city whose economy is falling like a paralyzed falcon. The characters from the first book have to deal with a lot of change in the Buffalo of 1970 and some, despite the economic collapse, keep grasping at anything that’s left, hence the title.

The Vultures

November 14, 2019 – Apprentice House Press informed me that they have selected my second novel, The Vultures for publication. It will be out in October of 2020. Think Buffalo in 1970…

…and I now have copies of The Vultures in the trunk of the car, so if you see a slightly battle damaged Chevy rolling around South Baltimore, gimme a scream and I’ll get you a copy.

Apprentice House Press will be having a booth at the Baltimore Festival of Light and Literature in the Inner Harbor November 1st through the 3rd. Yours truly will be there with copies of Every Man for Himself. Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

The Vultures
Mark Hannon
Apprentice House Press

Some stories are so steeped in the geography and culture of their locale that the place is practically one of the characters. Retired firefighter and author Mark Hannon is a native of Buffalo, New York, and that’s where he has located his protagonist, Pat Brogan, in both his first novel, Every Man for Himself, and now in his second, The Vultures, set in the early 1970s. In this latest, Brogan has just retired from the Buffalo police force and is now working as an investigator for the D.A. When the owner of the Buffalo Bills threatens to move the team unless he gets a new stadium, political and financial shenanigans abound in the initially well-intentioned quest to revitalize the ailing downtown while keeping the beloved team. As Brogan works to sort out which vulture is up to what, his elder son Rory suffers a catastrophic injury in Vietnam while his younger son Tommy is getting mixed up with radical war protestors on the UB campus.

Hannon does a fine job of laying out the many threads of his story, and pulls the reader along as she wonders how he is going to tie them all together. He has a knack for capturing his characters in a few quick, pointed strokes, though the constantly expanding cast is sometimes difficult to follow. But it’s clear that the author has a soft spot for many of his characters, as well as genuine affection for the scuffed-up city they inhabit.