"You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing." --Chris F. Holm, author of The Big Reap, The Wrong Goodbye and Dead Harvest.

"Bagley's got the poet's eye, but that doesn't mean everything is prettier in his work. It means the ugly stuff is more vivid. More intense. Like a sudden switch from analog to HD. And that's a trait to very much admire in his work." --Anthony Neil Smith, author of Hogdoggin', Yellow Medicine, The Drummer and Psychosomatic.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Last week, I interviewed for a job that interested me and paid decent money (a rare combination around here). I thought the interview went well, but I got a “thanks but no thanks” letter in Saturday’s mail. I’m just finishing up a freelance copyediting assignment and I’ve picked up some freelance writing work with a monthly paper, but a job with regular hours and steady pay would have helped solve a couple of money problems.

The high point of the weekend was receiving a signed copy of Kelly Link’s latest collection, Pretty Monsters. The inscription reads “For Patrick from a fan. Love, Kelly.” How cool is that? If you haven’t experienced Kelly’s slipstreamy genius, then you’re missing out on some beautifully disturbing stories.

I wrote the opening scene of the new novel yesterday. Felt damn good.

It was difficult not to turn last Thursday night’s class into a lecture on James Crumley. I settled for reading aloud the opening line of The Last Good Kiss and talking briefly about its place in the crime fiction canon.

A couple of things coming up on the blog this week: my review of Tony Black’s debut novel, Paying for It; my review of Sandra Ruttan’s The Frailty of Flesh; my contribution to Forgotten Books Friday will be Hell House by the great Richard Matheson.

Joan Jett turned 50 yesterday. I remember buying “I Love Rock and Roll” as a 45 in 1982. That was twenty-six years ago? Jesus.

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