It’s taken a while, but I have managed to regain my rights to Deep Blood, the first Colt Harper DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAILstory. Even better, an expanded edition (with a new cover) will soon be available for download on Amazon — for less than half the price of the first edition. This new edition contains material from the original manuscript that did not make it into the first edition as well as material written after. So, stay tuned for updates as to availability

The Los Angeles Times Festival of the Book recently concluded, and it was my pleasure to attend and spend some time with fellow writers from Brash Books. If you’re a West Coaster and have never checked out this enormous book festival, and sat in on some of the seminars by the country’s best authors., you definitely should put it on your calendar.

 

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It’s been a busy start to February for me. Outside the Law is finally a reality and doing really well so far. And though I’ve tried to keep up with all the goings on, for a variety of reasons I haven’t really had time to digest the reaction to the book and post daily here, or any social media for that matter.

cropped-cropped-deadmulelogo-1But two items of note today. The first is the very generous review by the irrepressible Val MacEwan at The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, as good a journal of authentic Southern fiction as you’re going to find (if I do say so myself). I was fortunate enough to have a story published at the Mule  a few years ago, and it’s really a cool thing to be reviewed there. If you like your Southern fiction real, get over there and check it out. To read the review, click here.

Here’s an excerpt: “Outside the Law needs to be savored and enjoyed. Read it for the action but also read it for the sense of place. Thompson’s writing is sparse and brilliant, no flowery speeches, no unnecessary actions.”

Next, another great review from crime fiction reviewer David Nemeth. You can read the whole thing here, but here’s a preview: “If you like your Southern justice with a side of revenge and lots of good writing, then Outside the Law is just the book for you.”

Next up: the Los Angeles Times Festival of the Book, April 22-23. I’ll be heading to the West Coast to attend this event as one of Brash Books’ authors, and I’m really looking forward to my first trip to L.A. in about 10 years.

Today’s links

Boyce’s new book, ‘Old Bones’ crime fiction at its best“Old Bones” by highly acclaimed author Trudy Nan Boyce (Putnam, $27) is a superior crime novel scheduled for release on Tuesday.

The Dry by Jane Harper: The surprising roots of hot new crime thrillerWhat has Hull got to do with a critically acclaimed new crime thriller novel set in Australia? It is set in hot, dusty and arid rural Australia, so you might well be forgiven for wondering what East Yorkshire has to do with one of the hottest new crime thrillers.The Dry by Jane Harper has received rave reviews since it was published in the UK last week, mirroring similar critical acclaim back in Australia and in the US.

Outside-02-215x330Today is pub day for Outside the Law, and, as I did yesterday, I have to again say thanks to the crew at Brash Books (Lee Goldberg & Joel Goldman) for taking the time to read the manuscript, see something in it, and then have the patience and insight to help shape it into what I think is a damn good Southern crime story. Go ahead, buy a copy, read it and agree with me. You know you want to.

Also, please take the time to leave a review on Amazon. Believe it or not, every little bit helps. Then tell all your friends.

And just to whet your appetite (if it isn’t already), check out the first of three trailers for the book here. And read reviews on the “Books” link at the top of the page. Here’s the Publisher’s Weekly review to get you started:

“Sheriff Colt Harper, as the title of Thompson’s tough, fast-paced sequel to 2013’s Deep Blood suggests, takes a Dirty Harry approach to law enforcement. In his first term as sheriff of Mississippi’s rural Lowndes County, Colt has shot several people, and his office stands accused of using excessive violence. He’s unsure whether he should run for reelection. At the scene of a convenience store robbery, a teenage boy, whom Colt places under arrest, tells him that somebody has been taking down drug dealers. When drug dealers start turning up dead, Colt suspects that a serial killer is at work. Molly McDonough, an ATF special agent, helps him investigate. Colt and Molly, who have each become disillusioned with their jobs, are seeking redemption for past mistakes. Meanwhile, a Memphis crime lord has ordered Hack, a hit man, to stop Colt. Hack, too, expresses a desire for redemption. Fueled by either remorse or revenge (or a combination of both), Thompson’s convincing characters race toward an inevitable and explosive showdown.”

Outside the Law is released!

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Today’s Links

‘Six Four’ avoids every crime-fiction cliche. The reward is a gripping novelHideo Yokoyama’s complex, ingenious and engrossing new novel, “Six Four,” has no serial killers, no femmes fatales, no locked-room murders, no torture, no sexually repressed villains, not even much in the way of forensic evidence.

Book review: The Death of Kings by Rennie AirthThe 1938 murder of a young actress was an open-and-shut case for Kent police… an itinerant farm worker confessed and was hanged for his crime. But was it a miscarriage of justice?

Emma Flint’s shattering debut, ‘Little Deaths,’ leads crime fiction roundupIt has been a long time since a novel captured a time and place as powerfully as Emma Flint’s shattering debut, “Little Deaths.” Inspired by real-life events, the book imparts a poisonous nostalgia in evoking working-class lives in Queens, N.Y., in 1965 — a year after young stabbing victim Kitty Genovese, a bar manager, had her screams for help ignored outside her apartment in that borough’s Kew Gardens neighborhood.

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Today’s Links

Book reviews: Thrillers and crime fictionMejia’s first foray into crime is a good one. Hattie Hoffman is a precocious, whip-smart 17 year old. She wants “a life bigger than Pine Valley” – the small rural Minnesotan town she’s grown up in.

Live By Night: Ben Affleck pulp fiction bombs; earns less than $10 mln at US Box officeAcademy award-winning actor-director Ben Affleck is back with yet another directorial venture Live By Night, an ambitious pulp fiction set in the 20s—adapted from Dennis Lehane’s 2012 novel of the same name.

 

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Today’s Links

Gripping yarns: Our pick of the best new crime fiction: JAKE Kerridge clues up on new crime fiction.

The True Mystery of Popular Crime Fiction: With adaptations of crime fiction barely ever off the stage and screen, and the most famous writers of the genre enjoying constant re-issues of their popular works, the case for the longstanding appeal of the murder mystery seems incontrovertible.

Book review: Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb: Steph Broadribb is perhaps best known by her alter ego, Crime Thriller Girl… an online blogger and book reviewer with a love of ‘all things crime thriller.’

Book review: blood scars the snow in The Pledge as Swiss noir runs deep: The body of a girl is found in woods outside “a little hole in the wall” Swiss village. Matthäi, an inspector in the Zurich cantonal police, is reluctant to take on the case: it is his last afternoon in the job and one of his last days in the country before he embarks on an overseas posting in Jordan.

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Writing vs. Editing

There’s an old saying that it’s easier to edit than it is to write, but I’m not sure I’m all in on that.

Especially when you’re writing long form fiction.

A question that comes up often when I’m in a discussion about writing is “Do you edit as you go, or at the end?”

My answer: depends on the writer. I write my first draft longhand, using a pencil and a small notebook. This allows me to get ideas down fast. I just write it out, regardless of whatever errors may exist. And I usually write a chapter at a time. Then I transcribe the handwriting onto my laptop file, and that usually serves as my first edit. And I try to make that my only edit at the time.

I do believe in writing the entire story first, though. There’s time for a thorough edit once you’re done. Going back over the already written portion again and again bogs me down when I need to focus on going forward.

Sure, there are times when I print a section, or all, of the manuscript at some point and give it a read-through because I need to tighten up a timeline, or remember a specific sequence of events, and when I do this I can’t help but edit … a little. But I try to hold off on that until I’ve completed the novel. Once I have, I open up my “working copy” and edit extensively, using “track changes.” Sometimes, because I’m still old-fashioned, I’ll print the whole thing out and mark it up, which allows me to physically spread the book out and take a look at it from a “panoramic” view.

Today’s Links

PAUL AUSTER’S NOVEL OF CHANCEAccording to a currently popular line of philosophy, a self is merely the sum of all the stories we tell about a particular human body.

 

 

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Today’s links

Star of Spanish crime fiction returns years after creator’s deathLike any good private eye, Pepe Carvalho refuses to let a little death get in the way of his inquiries.

In the Valley of the Weed review: Michael Wilding’s satire of neoliberalismMichael Wilding, a landmark in Australian literature for the best part of 50 years, shared the 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards non-fiction prize for Wild Bleak Bohemia, a scholarly biographical study of colonial Australian writers Marcus Clarke, Henry Kendall and Adam Lindsay Gordon.

 

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Today’s links

Ingrid Thoft delivers action-packed plot in ‘Duplicity’The private detective novel continues to explore contemporary hot-button issues, as Ingrid Thoft illustrates in her latest exciting novel about Boston investigator Fina Ludlow.

10 Irish crime fiction novels you didn’t know you needed in your lifeIrish crime fiction has exploded into a literary phenomenon in recent times. Declan Burke selects the best examples of how the genre has developed through the years.

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Today’s links

5 Must-Haves for a Great Detective in FictionThe Detective in its formal sense is a fairly recent construct – the first professional police service wasn’t established until 1829 with Robert Peel’s Metropolitan Police Act in London – but crime has been a part of human behavior since time immemorial.