Saturday, February 13, 2010


Jen Forbus offers the second half of her two-part interview with me at her site, Jen's Book Thoughts.

Topics include Hemingway's death, FBI conspiracy, and literary vs. genre debates, the new novel, PRINT THE LEGEND (appearing in stores Feb. 16) and the state of contemporary crime fiction, among many other topics.

Interview excerpt:

Q. The age-old debate comes through in Hector’s story through his friendship with Hemingway. Hector the “genre” writer and Hemingway the “literary” writer. And it is especially pronounced in PRINT THE LEGEND with all the scholars present. But there are also some interesting viewpoints on that debate in this book... Are there crime fiction writers today that you think we’ll look back on and find that they’ve influenced writing as a whole? How do you feel about the legitimacy of the debate??

A. This past week, in fact, brought the usual dust up about that fissure on the web…a debate about putting a moratorium on the term “transcending the genre” and so forth. Having this year sampled something like 300 crime and mystery novels, speaking as a former genre critic, interviewer and current genre writer, I’d submit we desperately need to push boundaries and “transcend genre” more than most authors in genre currently seem impelled to do or many publishers are willing to buy. Many acquiring editors won’t buy things that fall between or meld genres. A lot of current crime and mystery fiction, for me, is frankly stultifying as written. There are astute people in publishing houses in New York who’ll say the same thing to you, quietly. Staying in the lines is choking genre fiction.

Read the whole interview here.

Part 1 of the interview can be seen here. Jen's reviews of PRINT THE LEGEND and TOROS & TORSOS are here and here.

(NOTE: Regarding that vast number of books I read last year alluded to in the above interview excerpt, I can now reveal I served on the Hammett Awards Reading Committee. Our selections for award consideration can be seen here. The award winner will be selected later this year from among the five nominees that me and my fellow committee members put forward.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Jen Forbus offers the first half of her two-part interview with me at her site, Jen's Book Thoughts.

Topics include the Hector Lassiter series, the new novel, PRINT THE LEGEND (appearing in stores Feb. 16) and the philosophy of writing a series, among many other topics.


Q. Your “series” with Hector Lassiter doesn’t follow a traditional chronological order. Instead the events from each novel intertwine with each other. It’s kind of like taking the concept of the epic novel and blending it with the serial novel. What made you decide to use this approach? What are the greatest benefits and what are the greatest drawbacks or challenges?

A. For better or worse, events in our own lives are never discrete from one another: it’s all like a kind of oil spill. I wanted to capture some of that in a series format which is something I don’t think has ever been done before. For me, it’s all one big book. This way of using time also allows me to recontextualize things and kind of never shut off Hector’s evolution as a character...I think the only way to pull this concept off is to do the crazy (or audacious) thing I did: Draft all eight novels, then revise them tightly as a block. Then cross your fingers and hope nothing falls apart in the process of preparing/polishing the books with an editor.

The entire interview appears here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Today I’m guest blogging at the Murder by the Book blog site. (I’ll be visiting Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas on Sat. Feb. 20 at 5 p.m., and BookPeople in Austin, Sun. Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.)

When MBTB honcho David Thompson extended the invitation to write something for the site, he asked if I had any Texas angles I could bring to the table.

As it happens, my continuing character, Hector Lassiter, has long been established as a native Texan — born on January 1, 1900 in Galveston.

There are other Texas ties that are explained in the guest blog.

You can read more about all that, and the story behind Hector’s surname, here.

David also provides some more information regarding the collectible "COLT" chapbook that will be available at the Texas signing.


Also, over at Jen's Book Thoughts, day three of her week of focusing on the Hector Lassiter series turns attention to reviewing my new novel, PRINT THE LEGEND, which will be released next Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Day two of Jen Forbus' week of special coverage keyed to the release of PRINT THE LEGEND continues today with her review of my second novel, TOROS & TORSOS.

The week continues Wednesday here.

Monday, February 8, 2010


The amazing Jen Forbus — mystery/crime novel reviewer, interviewer and exceptionally nice person — is kicking off a week of coverage tied to the release of my third novel, PRINT THE LEGEND, at her most excellent site, Jen's Book Thoughts.

In addition to reviews, Jen is also going to present a special two-part interview she conducted with me regarding the new novel and the overall Hector Lassiter series, among other topics.

Jen's also offering a chance to win a copy of the PRINT THE LEGEND advance reader's copy.

You can check out her introduction here and watch here for updates throughout the week.