Happy Friday, everyone! Next weekend is Bouchercon at Long Beach and for the first time in five years I won't be attending. So I expect everyone there to have a little bit of extra fun for me and then if you all have a little bit, that should add up to enough to represent me, right? No, really, enjoy yourselves and celebrate the mystery genre!
I posted on Wednesday about participating in the Thankfully Reading weekend. I hope some of you will be joining in as well. I know it's a busy weekend for many, but if you're not overwhelmed with holiday obligations then kick back and enjoy the weekend with us.
I've also decided that I will be doing a holiday gift feature starting on Thanksgiving (fingers crossed). I am going to have one post each week on Thursday up through the December holidays that features either a special gift book or a gift idea for book lovers. If you have any suggestions or want to write one of these features yourself, please drop me a line and let me know.
I'm also freshening up the Five on Friday feature. I'm keeping all the present question options for participants, but I'm adding in some new question options as well. I've started doing this for some people who are scheduling for the new year but I'm still in mid-refresh, so if you have some creative questions you're dying for me to add to the mix, drop me a line. And if you have an author you'd love to see featured on here but haven't yet, let me know. I can't make any promises but I'm happy to take your requests and see what I can do.
O.k. a few quick highlights on giveaways.
First if you're a Goodreads user and you enter their giveaways, I highly encourage you to go put your name in the hopper for Lou Berney's upcoming novel The Long and Faraway Gone. It is outstanding. It's a departure from Berney's Shake Bouchon capers, but it's simply another layer to Berney's tremendous writing talent. Now quit listening to me blather and go enter.
Criminal Element has a slew of books in its "Watch What You Read" Sweepstakes, so be sure to check that one out.
Friday Reads has The Forgers in its giveaway this week.
And as always, don't forget to swing by and see what my friend Lesa is up to for her weekly giveaway.
O.k., enough already, right? Let's get on with the good stuff. Well this week's good stuff--and it is very good stuff--comes to us in the form of 2013's Tony Hillerman Prize winner. C.B. McKenzie's debut and already award-winning novel, BAD COUNTRY, came out on Tuesday. The novel introduces Rodeo Grace Garnet, a former rodeo cowboy turned private investigator in remote Arizona. I'm not going to tell you too much more because C.B. McKenzie has shared some great responses, so I'll let HIM tell you more...
The most bizarre place I ever found inspiration for a story was: A translation class I enrolled in (and quickly dropped) during my PhD. Program at the University of Arizona. I asked the Instructor if there was a translator who was famous for being “so bad she/he was good.” She thought this was the craziest questions a student had ever asked her….but it led me to write a postmodern novel called THE BAD TRANSLATOR which is the basis for my next mystery/thriller THE SAME, BUT WHITE.
The last books I recommended were Mike McGarrity’s HARD COUNTRY because it’s a great Western in the classical tradition, but with a modern sensibility; Jeff Parker’s new literary fiction, FULL MEASURE, because it is an important book and has a Ford Pick-up Truck on the cover as does my BAD COUNTRY; Michael Farris Smith’s apocalyptic road trip, RIVERS and; Mathew Guinn’s macabre historical thriller, RESURRECTIONIST.
My biggest pet peeves are: Mysteries that get “mushy plot” in the middle and then collapse in ridiculousness in the end or pull rabbits out of hats to extricate themselves from conundrums: all mystery/thrillers ought to exist within some realm of reasonable possibility and operate with some degree of Logic (Jurassic Park, for instance, does); endless descriptions in books of the preparation and consumption of food and drink when this exposition serves no plot or character development purpose, but mostly just serves as “filler” (pun intended).
A superstition or ritual I have to observe when I write is: Flop sweat: I don’t especially like to write, it makes me very nervous and gives me heart palpitations, so I sweat a lot when I write.
The #1 item on my bucket list right now is: I’ve led a pretty interesting and varied life which has included the types of things that are on most people’s Bucket List—through-hiked the Appalachian Trail, surfed in Costa Rica, ridden a bicycle across the Great State o’ Texas, run marathons, done a modeling campaign and many catwalk shows for Giorgio Armani, traveled, lived and worked all over Europe, Japan, roadtripped across the USA (even on the Hi-Line across North Dakota), lived in NYC, been a Californian, swum around the Statue of Liberty, lived in the woods of Vermont w/out electricity or running water, sung solo in the church choir, earned a PhD, won a writing prize… “Getting Published” was the one and only thing left on my bucket list…now that’s done, no more bucket list!
Well, let's hope C.B. still has plenty of years left even if he doesn't have any bucket list left! I'm psyched to read BAD COUNTRY and I'm thrilled that C.B. McKenzie had time during his book tour--which you can follow along with on his Facebook page--to hang out with us for a bit. Hope you enjoyed today's Five on Friday as well.
Have a lovely weekend, my reading friends!