JUST KILL ME: new book out soon

Advance Praise:

“Ominious, unsettling, and dripping with snark, Just Kill Me is a delicious dark comedy that will leave murdermongering readers jumping at shadows and waiting for a knife in the back. The ending still haunts me.” – Delilah S. Dawson, author of Strike

Just Kill Me is a hilarious punch to the brain. Quirky and full of Chicago ghost history, I raced through the pages to see who would go from from murder-monger to good old fashioned murderer. I loved every page!” – Demetria Lunetta, author of the In the After series.

“A message to all weird and wonderful morbid kids – you’ve found your heroine.” – Caitlyn Doughty, “Ask a Mortician” and author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

JUST KILL ME cover!

Cover, etc, of my new book, due in August:

I’m sure I’ll see some of you at the Anderson’s Bookstore Children’s Literature Breakfast on the 20th. I’ve been busily working away on a 900 page book on H.H. Holmes for Sky Horse, simultaneously with a Mysterious Chicago book. Once these wrap I swear I’ll get going on more fiction! I don’t know about more YA. I want to do more middle grade. That’s where the fun is these days.  
Also: want to come see the original Sherlock Holmes film in the very room where it was filmed in 1916? 
Oh, and dig this: Mary E Holland, one of the most famous female detectives of the early 20th century, deserves to reclaim her place in Chicago history. 
Also also: in 1992 I went around to lunch tables in my suburban Des Moines middle school shaking hands and drumming up votes for my 2016 campaign. I came in dead last at the Iowa Caucus, then conceded and made my endorsement on WGN late that night. I lost pretty badly, but, hey, I managed to pull off a joke that was 24 years in the making, and I did it on national radio, and it made the news, so that’s pretty good.

Teasers

– Kinda last notice but 82nd Street will be at Burlington Bar on Fullerton tonight (Dec 6). We’ll be playing stuff from the new album, plus some older material. It’s the time of year when I break out “Heavy Metal Vomit Christmas Party,” after all. Some songs on the cue sheet I haven’t played since about the 90s. Including one about Charlton Heston whose shelf life seems like it SHOULD be expired since he’s dead and all, but still feels pretty relevant.

– I have seen the cover to Just Kill Me, my new YA novel about a ghost tour guide who makes places more haunted by killing people there. I can’t show it to you for a couple months yet though, so nyah nyah nyah. Several archaic synonyms for swear words will be appearing in print for the first time since the 1600s.

– There’s gonna be a new cover for Play Me Backwards, too. It’ll have a similar feel to the one for Just Kill Me. Which is super cool and reminds me of Pushing Daisies. I can’t wait to show it off!

Oh! I have a whole new company! I parted ways with the ghost tour company I was with off and on for the last ten years. And now I’ve moved the old Mysterious Chicago blog, started a new podcast, and launched new tours at Mysterious Chicago.com ! Get on the mailing list, subscribe to the podcast, and follow Mysterious Chicago on twitter and facebook!

– There are two tours and one cool event coming up NEXT WEEKEND. I’m teaming up with the Obscura Society to launch….

 – DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY: MYTH AND MYSTERY.
   A 2.5 hour bus tour about H.H. Holmes, our most popular antique murderer, Sat Dec 12, 1pm. (I’ll be at work on a Holmes book all winter – more details coming soon).

   UNSOLVED CHICAGO MYSTERIES
   A 90 min specially-priced bus tour of some super-cool Chicago stories I’ve researched over the years. Sat Dec 12 4pm

   DRINK LIKE THE DICKENS!
   A night of drinks from the works of Charles Dickens (Port negus, rum flip, Rocky Mountain Sneezer, etc) and Victorian-inspired food (whitebait fritters, gruel shooters, mutton meat pie, etc) at Knife & Tine. Sun Dec 13 at 5pm.

  Regular walking tours will start in the Spring. Private tours available all the time.

New album, new tours, new books, new radio appearances!

Been a busy fall!  I’ve done a lot of radio shows lately, including 10 minutes on the Big John Howell show on WLS 10/27 and the second half of the Patti Vasquez show on WGN the night before (click for podcast links).

I’ve been running more private tours lately, including some really neat ones for Atlas Obscura, such as “Grave Robbing 101” and “The Darker Side of Taylor Street,” and a handful of H.H. Holmes tours for small groups in cars (which allow us to hit a site or two where busses just won’t fit).  There’s a whole new page for that stuff – adamchicago.com
Advance copies of my new novel, Just Kill Me, should start circulating soon. It’s all about a ghost tour guide whose company is making places more haunted by killing people at them. Simon and Schuster is putting it out next year. 
AND, last but not least, after nearly 10 years since the last “Adam Selzer and his Revolving Door All-Stars” album, I just released a new record. The band is called 82nd Street, and the album is called Every Man Has His Price and Mine is $300. It’s a rock and roll concept album about a pizza man who picks up a hitch hiker who claims to be a time traveler. You can stream it on spotify, Tidal, iTunes and all of those places. We’ll be playing an acoustic set at Windycon on Sunday morning, 11/15.   
Stream/buy links at 82ndStreetRules.com

Ghosts of Lincoln

My new Ghosts of Lincoln book is out from Llewelyn next month; early copies arrived at my door the other day. It’s up for pre-order at all of the usual sites, and I sometimes have copies available on tours.

Ghosts of Lincoln takes all the stories about Lincoln haunting the White House, predicting his own death, attending seances, etc and attempts to trace them back to their sources. I couldn’t believe some of the stuff I found – I ran into earlier sources on his famous “Who’s dead in the White House” dream” than have previously been examined, and found previously un-studied independent verification that he attended at least one seance in the White House (he thought the whole thing was a joke), and lots of new data on the story that he once rode on a flying piano (which I really want to believe is true).  I even found time to examine the provenance of tales about his grand plan to poop in Austen Gollaher’s hat. .

Over the fall I’ll be making several radio appearances talking about it, in addition to my usual fall schedule of ghost tours.  I’ll also be doing a few new historical walking tours for Atlas Obscura – details coming soon.  And on August 20th, I’ll be on a “Ghost Hunting” panel at WizardWorld in Chicago.

And for a hint of what’s coming next, head on over the Derelict Theater.com …  or 82ndStreetRules.com  …

Some News

1. I’ve turned in the last draft of Kill Me Now, my next novel, to my editor at Simon and Schuster. Due out next fall.

2. My Ghosts of Lincoln book is out Sept 18!

3. I’ve been playing music around town under the name 82nd Street. Our next gig is Friday, July 24, at The Mutiny in Chicago. I last played there about ten years ago. There are demos up on the soundcloud page.

4. Now that the novel is turned in I’m back in earnest at the Mysterious Chicago Blog. There was a new post about a nun who turned to stone the other day, and this week there’ll be five new posts about the Eastland disaster, including some new-to-the-internet photos.

Flickering Empire All Over the News!

In all these years and all these books, I’ve never had anything LIKE the response that Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the US Film Industry has received. Mike and I have recorded a handful of radio interviews (we’re about to do another this afternoon!), and the book is being written up in major press outlets.   Just today, Chicagoist said “Smith and Selzer clearly did their homework, and the result is a book that immediately joins the ranks of essential film references.”   Wow!

It also got written up today in The Chicago Tribune, and was also recently featured on a Turner Classic Movies blog.

Mike and I recently sat and chatted about it with Andy Miles of Transistor – hear it here.   We also chatted with Patti Vasquez on WGN. 

Our launch party is Saturday night at Transistor (3400 block of N. Broadway in Chicago) at 8pm – we’ll be talking and screening some very rare films.  Look out for more events, lectures, parties and talks soon!