"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.




Saturday, August 22, 2009

Notes from the Backside of Nowhere

There hasn't been much of anything to report here lately. I'm writing the first draft of a new novel while revising some older work. I don't have anything new coming out for a while. I'm teaching two writing courses this fall and trying to snag some more freelance work.

And that's pretty much it. School begins September 2. My youngest starts kindergarten this year and my oldest hits the sixth grade. With the house empty every morning, I ought to be able to get a lot of work done.

Right?
(The picture was taken from the edge of my front yard.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

David Anthony Durham Wins the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Congratulations to my friend and former mentor David Anthony Durham, who just won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer for his novel Acacia. It's odd to see David get a "Best New Writer" award when he has four published novels under his belt, but Acacia was his first work of fantasy. David's other books are Gabriel's Story, Walk Through Darkness, Pride of Carthage and the forthcoming The Other Lands (second novel in the Acacia Trilogy).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You'll Be Sorry If You Don't

Sophie Littlefield's debut novel, A Bad Day for Sorry, hits bookstore shelves today. Go on out a get yourself a copy.

Stella Hardesty dispatched her abusive husband with a wrench shortly before her fiftieth birthday. A few years later, she's so busy delivering home-style justice on her days off, helping other women deal with their own abusive husbands and boyfriends, that she barely has time to run her sewing shop in her rural Missouri hometown. Some men need more convincing than others, but it's usually nothing a little light bondage or old-fashioned whuppin' can't fix. Since Stella works outside of the law, she's free to do whatever it takes to get the job done—as long as she keeps her distance from the handsome devil of a local sheriff, Goat Jones.

Normally, when I read the words "sewing shop" on the back of a book, I drop that sucker and run for the nearest restroom to wash my hands. But Sophie's got proven noir chops and a sick sense of humor I admire. Damn, she can write. I'm looking forward to finally getting to read A Bad Day for Sorry.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Damage, Inc.

If you haven't already, you should take a look at Do Some Damage. It's a new group blog by crime writers Steve Weddle, Jay Stringer, John McFetridge, Dave White, Russel D. McLean, Scott D. Parker and Mike Knowles. What's it all about? I'll let them tell you:

Do Some Damage is a group of seven crime writers, each with a different voice and something to say. From grizzled vets to grizzly rooks, they pull back the curtain on the way the industry works. Whether beating deadlines or beating characters, each week they share their thoughts on reading, writing, plot, voice and all the sordid junk that goes through a writer’s brain.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I've Never Been Called "Top Quality" Before...

Blogging at Women of Mystery, the perspicacious Terry Farley Moran has many nice things to say about Uncage Me, including this: "I was delighted to see so many top quality contributors: Declan Burke, Tim Maleeny, J.D. Rhoades and Patrick Shawn Bagley to name a few."

Among her favorite pieces in the anthology is Steven Torres' "The Biography Stoop, the Thief." I agree it's a great story and, given just how much reviewers seem to dig it, I'll be surprised if it fails to garner Steven a few award nominations next year.

Terry plans on raffling off a copy of Uncage Me next month, so check back at Women of Mystery for further details. Of course, you could always buy a copy from your local independent bookseller (or order online). No pressure. I'm just saying.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

...And Leaving the Party Early

Okay, I gave up on Michael Connelly's Echo Park. About halfway through it, I had an epiphany: Hey, waitaminute. This really is just another serial killer novel.

Have I mentioned before that I don't like serial killer novels? Nor do I give a rat's ass about profiling and forensics.

Throw in the fact that the dialogue is stiff (it must be odd living in a world where people hardly ever use contractions) and Harry Bosch is a jazz snob, and I'm outta there. I had to reread my ARC of Gischler's The Deputy just to cleanse the ol' palate.