Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You've the Right to Six Words: Week 9

So here we are for Week 9 and a new batch of most wanted crime writers. I really didn't fathom making it to Week 9 last year, let alone again this year. But here we are. And let me get right to it.

We're starting off this week with a writer who put his love of Hemingway to work for him. Michael Atkinson is the author of HEMINGWAY DEADLIGHTS, his debut novel, and the upcoming HEMINGWAY CUTTHROAT. These books are part of his series that he claims has "negligible respect for history but a veins-in-the-teeth yen for truth, irony, cocktails and the good graces of a well-turned sentence. Novel-writing is not his first foray into the writing world, however. Michael writes film criticism and book reviews for various publications; he's written non-fiction works, unproduced TV and poetry. Among Michael's other interests: very good beer, shellfish, and Italian opera in the summertime. So with all these interests and writing experiences, Michael says

I've only begun to babble.

Babble on, Mike!

Our next memoirist this week is still celebrating her debut. Attica Locke's BLACK WATER RISING was nominated for an Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award, an L.A. Times Book Award and a Strand Magazine Critics Award. In addition, it was short-listed for the Orange Prize. Not too shabby for one's first novel. Attica comes to the crime fiction world via screenwriting, having written movie and television scripts for a plethora of production companies. She was a fellow at the Sundance Institute's Feature Filmmakers Lab and a graduate of Northwestern University. This amazing young woman's been all over. She's a native of Houston, Texas but now calls Los Angeles home. Whew. Attica's parents were activists in the Civil Rights movement, naming Attica for the Attica Prison uprising in New York in 1971. She explains that origin and leads up to the origin of BLACK WATER RISING in a haunting personal note on her website. I encourage you to check it out. In the meantime, Attica puts her experiences to these six words:

Could never hold a real job.

And in the anchor position this week we have a fire-fighting crime fiction writer. By day, Earl Emerson is a lieutenant with the Seattle Fire Department - despite an effort to retire a year and a half ago, and by any other time he's an award-winning crime fiction writer. He has two series, Thomas Black and Mac Fontana, in addition to six stand-alone thrillers. His Thomas Black novel, POVERTY BAY earned him a Shamus Award for Best Private Eye novel and an Edgar nomination for Best Paperback Original in 1985. Last year, Earl returned to his Thomas Black series after a short hiatus with CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT. He reports that he has a futuristic novel in the works now. Born and raised in Washington State, Earl and his wife still call it home. So what does he call his memoir?

Like a cat: work, play, nap.

Well, I'm not sure how one has much time for the playing and napping part in between writing and firefighting, but I'll take his word for it! So happy he made time to participate in the project, though. Many, many thanks to these wonderful writers for their contributions to the genre and to "You've the Right to Six Words." See ya next week!

Happy Reading!

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Naomi Johnson July 13, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

Outstanding crowd this week. I've got Attica Locke on my must-read list.

le0pard13 July 13, 2010 at 9:33 PM  

Another excellent batch, Jen. Since Attica Locke's novel is on audiobook, narrated by the excellent Dion Graham, it's going on the TBR pile, for sure. And somewhere, probably packed in a box, is the unabridged POVERTY BAY that I have to get to. Thanks again for this, Jen.

kathy d. July 13, 2010 at 11:59 PM  

I loved Attica Locke's book, can't wait for the next one.

Serena July 14, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

LOL I love this one: "I've only begun to babble"

Jen Forbus July 14, 2010 at 12:12 PM  

Kathy, glad to hear you liked Attica Locke's book. Like Naomi and Michael, I've got it on my list to read. It actually just arrived at my house last week. Looking forward to it.

Michael, I was just doing a search at my library for the POVERTY BAY audiobook! They didn't have it so I was going to see if it existed. You saved me the search!! Thank you.

Pop Culture Nerd July 14, 2010 at 6:09 PM  

I hope this isn't inappropriate but wooh, is Earl Emerson sexy or what? Firemen are already hot but a smart fireman author? I need to turn on the A/C and stick my face right in the vent.

Fun memoirs, as always.

Pop Culture Nerd July 14, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

Oh, and I'm stealing Attica's memoir for my own.

Jen Forbus July 14, 2010 at 6:24 PM  

PCN, you never fail to crack me up! I just love you! Thanks for the smiles and laughs.

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