What’s up, y’all? Happy New Year. Or almost, anyway. I’ve had so many changes going on in my personal life lately that I get almost no blogging done, as evidenced by the large gap since my last post here on the site.
I guess that’s been a good enough excuse for me to avoid taking time to reflect, but please accept my apologies anyway. Now is a good time for me to seek some perspective before 2019 kicks into gear.
I struggle with perspective, both artistically and in my personal life. I’m an emotional person, and no one who knows or loves me would deny that it clouds my judgment sometimes.
My wife puts up with a lot when I get like that. More than she deserves, actually. She’s my best friend, and I think I have a habit of dragging her into the shadows where a lot of my natural disposition feels at home, which is far from ideal for her naturally cheery disposition.
I’ve been told chaos is a trusted ally for adult children of alcoholics. I’ve seen a lot of chaos in the last two years. Sometimes I create problems that aren’t really there just so that I can go about solving them. Or, better yet, talking them into submission, as I’ve been known to do.
It comes off like trying to strangle a handful of water—everything soaks through the cracks. But 2018 was a good year, even as it was a hard one. I had personal high points and a lot of rough moments where I probably wasn’t myself. I’m at peace with it, though I plan to be better moving forward.
If I’ve been a dick to you in any way in 2018, consider it my bad, and please take into account that I probably didn’t mean whatever I said anyway. I’m happy to be good with you, and I wish you an incredible 2019 and beyond.
There seems to be a wave of really positive energy brewing around here as 2018 comes to a close. I’ve been working hard on my writing, and I have a number of projects in the works for 2019 and beyond that I’m excited about. I feel like my work is finally maturing to a place where I feel proud of it and excited to keep making it.
2018 writing roundup
I did do a lot of writing this year in spite of the setbacks and distractions. I’m nearly finished with my first P.I. novel, Throwing Off Sparks, the first in the Riley Reeves P.I. series.
For those who don’t know, I work full-time as a private investigator, and I love it. I’m satisfied that the book captures the realities of the work without being barred from telling a good story by the less interesting aspects of the day-in, day-out reality.
I’ll have a bunch more information about the book and about Riley in the near future, so stay tuned. It’s the first novel I’ve ever written from the first person point of view, and in so many ways I feel closer to Riley than any other character I’ve ever written.
I love who she is, and I think you will too.
Throwing Off Sparks has complex family dynamics, unexpected violence, and a climax that ends in emotional armageddon for Riley, forever altering every single person around her in the process.
In 2019 I’m getting ready to begin work on the second book in the series, Daughters of the Republic. Obviously, it’s too early to release any plot details about that book, but let’s just say it’s the plot I’m the most excited about of any book I’ve written to date.
If you want to get a little taste of Riley before the series drops, her origin short story, “Weathering the Storm,” will appear in The Eyes of Texas anthology in 2019, edited by Michael Bracken and slated for release to coincide with Bouchercon 2019 here in The Big D.
In the meantime, my next novel, Rose City, will be released in March 2019 from Down and Out Books. It’s a very special book to me because it’s the first full novel I ever wrote. Four years of revisions have whipped it into a dark, emotional tale of bloodlines, corruption, racism, classism, and violence. You can read more details about it HERE.
It’s the second in the Teller County Series, and though it involves unique circumstances, some characters from Texas Two-Step do make appearances, including the ever-elusive scoundrel of a villain, Sheriff Jack Gables.
You can get ahead of the curve now by taking the time to pick up a copy of Texas Two-Step, which will lead nicely into Rose City.
Rose City has a tone all its own, and if you enjoyed Texas Two-Step, I think you’ll love it even more.
2019 and beyond
2019 is shaping up to be a big year for my writing. I’ve got several irons in the fire right now in addition to Daughters of the Republic. A pulp novella (the first in a series of five featuring P.I. Rick Malone) called Catfish Quorum, and a standalone noir thriller called One Way Out. Each project is so different from the others that all are sure to push my style and ability to new places.
The novella, Catfish Quorum, might even be just the pulp P.I. revival you’re been itching for. That’s all I’ll say about it for now. The project represents something wholly new and totally unique in the current crime fiction world. Look for it in 2019. I expect the project to grow into big things over the next decade.
As for One Way Out, it’s the perfect blend of modern crime fiction and classic pulp noir style. It’s a claustrophobic book that’s sure to keep you turning the pages. I can’t wait to introduce you all to Marcus McMasters.
Be sure to keep up with me in 2019 and beyond to see how things shake out. Thanks for checking in, and if you see me out and about, come to say hello. I’ll buy you a beer if you’re nice, a bourbon if you’ve read one of my books. Cheers!