"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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Been a Long Time Since I Rock and Rolled...

A quick glance at the sidebar will show you I haven't published a story since 2009. That's not much of a hiatus by Charles Portis's standards, sure, but it's one hell of long time for a writer who was considered to be up-and-coming.

So what happened?

Stuff. Stuff happened. I fired my agent. Then I stopped writing for a while.

No, that's not quite true. I've been writing every day, often for hours at a stretch. But that's part of my day job. See, I supervise two homes for adults with cognitive disabilities. My work entails writing behavior plans, support plans, reports, protocols, etc. There are meetings, budgetary considerations, staff to train and manage. I teach Mandt. I work as an agency investigator for Adult Protective Services, which also requires mucho writing. I love my job and plan to stick with it for a long, long time.

So what about fiction, all the short stories I wanted to write? What about novels? What about Bitter Water Blues?

I'm working on a couple of short stories set in Wesserunsett, though I'm not sure where they're going. I've started a new novel that is, well...pretty fucking weird. And I'm having a blast writing it (hat tip to Chris F. Holm; he knows why).

As for Bitter Water Blues, that one has become my "trunk novel." Sort of. I'm currently rewriting sections of it as a novella called The Ballad of Hag & Earl. It is some of the nastiest, grittiest country noir you'll ever see. And you will see it. The rest of it is probably best left buried and forgotten.

I've learned a lot about making time for the writing I want to do, as opposed to using my day job as an excuse for avoiding it. Will I regain that up-and-comer status of just a few years back? I sure as hell hope so. I want to get back there and then hit the next level. And I hope you're all still interested enough to read my new stuff when it comes out.

Thanks for being cool and hanging around.