Monday, September 22, 2008

Snuck up on me

Wow, time really does fly. It's already the end of September, which means the beginning of October isn't far away. That, for the readers patient enough to make it this far, means it's almost time for the third ACCOMPLICE book to hit store shelves. The Silent Partner covers a small period of time where Doc was supposed to have been in Deadwood. It's also rumored he may have crossed paths with Wyatt Earp, but might not have officially met him.

When I wrote this one, I thought I'd have a little piece in Deadwood and then move on. Turned out half the book wound up in Deadwood, simply because it was fun to write. Those of you who watched the HBO series (Deadwood) will probably recognize some familiar characters. While I based these guys on accounts of their true activities, so did the people who made the series. I really liked that show and, thanks to DVD, still do. Also, I've been to Deadwood a few times recently so writing that section was great.

I didn't want to rush the ACCOMPLICE books too quickly toward Tombstone. I've always said that Doc had a hell of a career before the OK Corral and wanted to take my time with a period in Doc's life that isn't so familiar. That being said, a lot happens in this book. Once Doc hit his stride in the gambling scene, he met a lot of famous folks and kicked up a lot of dust. The Silent Partner covers a span where he meets Wyatt (in Deadwood as well as the more "official first meeting") along with Kate Elder. Kate was a lot of fun to write. There's almost as much contradictory stuff about her as there is of Doc and I had to pick and choose which "facts" to run with.

I didn't really intend on doing such a long post about this. The book's coming out on Oct. 7. I've got to be honest about the cover. I'm not crazy about it. Caleb doesn't look anything like I imagine and I don't know who that third guy is supposed to be. At the very least, I suggested changing Doc's cane into something a dandy like him would actually use. The suggestions were passed along and nothing was changed. Oh well. I had fun writing it and I hope you have fun reading it.
---edit 9/23 --> I just got an advance copy of the book today and it looks ok. I still don't think this cover is up to par with the first two, but never fear. The stuff between the covers is just fine!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Still kickin'

Yes, I’m still alive. Just taking some time to put together a bunch of different projects. Writing professionally is tricky enough. It gets REALLY tricky when you don’t have another (dreaded) day job. Not all regular jobs have to be tedious and mind-numbing. Lots of authors are also teachers or lawyers. I’m not fortunate enough to be quite so smart. I write and write some more.

Writing for a living is a constant hustle. For those who’ve read my ACCOMPLICE books, you’ll know Doc and Caleb make their money in a lot of different ways besides sitting at a poker table and giving suckers…I mean other players…a hard time. For me, I’ve got projects in other genres like horror and fantasy to go along with my western stuff. Do I like some genres more than others? Sometimes, but it changes. Variety and all that.

Here’s where all the risk and uncertainty of a writer’s life pays off. Hustle enough and you can move along doing what you love. Like Doc, we get to leave our day jobs behind and forge a trail of our own choosing. I don’t get to carry pistols and get into saloon fights, so I’ll take my comparisons to Doc wherever I can get them. There’s a lot of more surefire ways to make a buck, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a lot of writers will tell you, any money you get from selling your work feels like a victory. And in the words of Fast Eddie Felson, “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”