Local Writer Revisits Past Works

Local writer and activist Arnold Hano officially launches the reissue of three of his early novels in an omnibus titled “3 Steps To Hell” with a book signing Sunday, Nov. 11 at Laguna Beach Books 1200 S. Coast Highway #105 at 1 p.m.  The collection is published by Stark House Press in Eureka, California.

Hano, a long-time Laguna Beach resident, who has been a professional writer and editor virtually his entire life, is perhaps best known for his book, “A Day in the Bleachers,” the seminal narrative about baseball from a fan’s perspective, centered around “The Catch” by Willie Mays in the 1954 World Series. Hano is also known in crime fiction circles as the editor for noir-novelist Jim Thompson. However, few may be aware that Hano, under his own name and several pseudonyms, himself wrote novels spanning three decades.

Stark House is reintroducing readers to a trio of Hano’s books. “The Big Out” was his first novel which was set 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.

Arnold Hano, who turned 90 in 2012, is still alive and writing. He has lived with Bonnie, his wife of 61 years, in Laguna Beach since 1955.

“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.”

“3 Steps to Hell” also features an introduction by noted crime novelist Gary Phillips (“The Warlord of Willow Ridge”) and a catechism with Hano conducted by Dan Duling.

“3 Steps to Hell” can also be ordered directly from Stark House Press at starkhousepress.com. Further inquiries can also be made by contacting Dan Duling at [email protected] or Gary Phillips at [email protected]

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