New. Signed paperback edition giveaway. Enter contest to win a signed book of your choosing from my paperback editions. Go to the web site to enter. Will be giving away two books a month to readers who have entered. Winners will be selected at random. Nothing to buy just sign up and have a chance to win a signed paperback book.
This giveaway has just been running a few days–so far the two favorite books are:
Latest draft of cover for Murder So Final.
Release date will be soon. Once cover is approved should be days after that.
Tommy Jacks, experiencing success as a newspaper columnist, finds new love and old threats while covering the most brutal, ugly U.S. Senate race ever. The 1972 campaign in Oklahoma is between a ruthless oil baron, an idealist college professor and a reverend running under the God Party, set against the backdrop of a massive oil tank-farm inferno that threatens a major city. As Tommy puts it, “Electing lousy politicians is an American right—not one spelled out in the Bill of Rights, but a right, nonetheless. You just hope that the bad ones don’t outnumber the good ones, and the damage isn’t drastic.” But politics as usual suddenly turns deadly. The winner may be the last man standing.
Vincent Malone #4 is in the works; Durango Two Step.
This book opens with an amazingly violent accident which follows a cold-blooded killing at a truck stop diner. The truck driver causing all of this mayhem was hauling, illegally no doubt, a load of toxic something; and he was now dead. Soon Malone is in the middle of this stinky mess.
Been having some discussions about readers expectations regarding characters in a series. There seems to be good evidence that readers prefer a character to remain the same even though the series may cover an extensive number of years. I have trouble with that as a writer. I want my characters to grow, expand their experiences, find new loves—experience life. I can see the benefit of staying the same for readers wanting to not deal with a character becoming someone else. They liked the character in the first book and that is who they want to meet in the fifth book. But it seems stale to me as a writer. Vincent Malone was a broken man at the end of his rope; obviously he could not stay that way or no one would want to read about him and his associates. But should he find a new love or get married? Maybe there are limits to how much change readers find acceptable? What do you think?
I’ve written a couple of pieces about my favorite books and the ones that influenced me the most. Not on either one of those lists were a couple of items worth mentioning.
I’m not going to do a list of books I hated; instead, I will just forget them. If I did such a list, on it would be Atlas Shrugged. Actually any book by Ayn Rand. I know this moves into the political world and I don’t want to go there, but these books were just bad, I thought. I read Atlas Shrugged a very long time ago, and then re-read it in the last ten years or so. Maybe I was in high school or college when I first read this book; but I thought it was horrible. After a second reading I still do. At the time I thought it was a divisive book. Laying out class distinctions while claiming some moral high ground for achievers. Achievers mostly being defined as successful business people. But my biggest complaint about these books—they were silly. Even at my young age I could see that the characters were cardboard people with superficial emotions. Ayn Rand, who apparently believed selfishness to be the most desired human trait, left me cold. Like I said I’m not doing a bad book list, it’s too depressing, but Atlas Shrugged would be on top.
On the “influenced me the most” list I was remiss in not adding “Classics Illustrated” –all of them. Of course I didn’t read all of them, but I did read a lot. I loved those comic books. My favorite was The Three Musketeers. I would read them over and over. This was in the 1950s and those books meant a lot to me. Although I think technically they mostly belonged to my big brother, he seldom read them. During the last years of my parent’s lives those books were for some reason given away or discarded—besides the fact that they might have been valuable (probably not)– I really miss those wonderful comic books. My love of reading may have been born with Classics Illustrated.