First off, if you don’t know who Ray Banks is, you are dead to me. Go out, buy his books (all of them), read them, and then get back to me. I’ll wait.
While I have found that the crime writing community has been shockingly supportive and inclusive, Ray has gone above and beyond in his support for DOVE SEASON. Including this interview, in which Ray asks some really great questions. Check it out at The Saturday Boy.
And if that wasn’t enough, I wrote a guest blog about the 1965 movie, THE LOVED ONE on his crazy-awesome movie site, Norma Desmond’s Monkey.
My debut novel DOVE SEASON goes on sale today. It’s still hard to believe.
As a writer, I often joke that I have more discipline than talent. I’m the guy who shows up every day. I get my work done and try to maintain a certain level of quality in everything that I produce. I can’t imagine not writing every day, and I try to show respect for the work and my potential readers. But to actually have the book in my hand, to see my first novel out in the world, it’s an absolutely incredible experience.
I just want to say to everyone that has offered their support, to everyone that has chosen to spend some of their precious time reading my book, and to everyone in the future that picks up one of my books, I am truly grateful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Now back to the regularly scheduled shameless self-promotion already in progress.
The Advance Reader’s Copies of DOVE SEASON just arrived today!
It’s hard to describe the feeling of finally having the book in my hand. So little about writing actually feels concrete that having a real book is flat-out bananas. I am obviously at a loss for words if “bananas” is the best I can.
If there are any other authors out there that can describe the feeling of having your first novel in your hands for the very first time, I would love to hear from you. Or even your tenth book. The feeling can’t get old.
All this on top of some really awesome blurbs from Charlie Stella and Ray Banks. Here’s what they had to say about DOVE SEASON:
“Johnny Shaw is a talented writer with a genuine feel for desert speak. His debut, Dove Season, offers some cross-border issues of the day. A dying father’s last wish quickly turns into a deadly adventure for all involved. Shaw has writing chops deserving of future attention.” — Charlie Stella (author of Johnny Porno)
“Johnny Shaw’s Dove Season may well be the best debut this year. It has the warm wit of Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard novels, the effortless cool of Elmore Leonard and just a sprinkling of Crumley’s border dust. Here’s to many more Jimmy Veeder fiascos to come.”— Ray Banks (author of Beast of Burden)
It’s crazy (bananas, if you will) to get this kind of reaction from such great writers. One hell of a good week.
I attended the March meeting of Friends of Mystery in Portland to hear SF-based mystery writer Cara Black talk about her books and Paris. A really fascinating and engaging speaker. The way she talks about the city makes you want to head to the airport and jump on a plane. I haven’t read any of the Aimee Leduc series, but I’m going to add them to my voluminous list. I also got the opportunity to have a nice chat with Portland crime writer Bill Cameron. A great guy. If you haven’t read his books, you should take a look. LOST DOG and CHASING SMOKE are good places to start. He captures the city of Portland really well and it’s hard not to like a hero named Skin.
The next night, Greg Rucka was signing the new hardcover edition of his graphic novel STUMPTOWN at Bridge City Comics. Not only did I pick up a signed copy (look for my review soon), but Greg was generous enough to offer to read an Advanced Copy of DOVE SEASON. So if you don’t see me touting his blurb in a month or two, you’ll know he didn’t like it.
It got me thinking. I’ve been writing for a long time, so I have pretty thick skin when it comes to criticism and reviews. But I have to admit, it’s slightly more nerve-racking to hand your book to people who you have read and admire. Obviously I want good reviews from other sources, but I don’t know most of those people’s work. I do want other authors to like it. If they don’t, it’s cool. Chalk it up to a matter of taste. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want them to.
Just finished the book SMONK by Tom Franklin and absolutely loved it (I put a short review of it up at Goodreads). I might wrong a longer piece on it in the future. Definitely not for everyone, but if you like gleefully described unapologetic violence and gore, this western is for you.
Until next time…
This is the portable model
Over the last few months, I have been contacting various authors in an effort to get them to read an advanced copy of my novel DOVE SEASON for consideration in supplying me with an author blurb. You know what I’m talking about, those hyperbolic quotes on the back of the book that tells you that the book is awesome and you should buy it.
I sent out emails far and wide, thinking that if I was lucky I would get maybe two or three people to get back to me, let alone agree to read it. I was wrong, I got over 20 authors to agree to read it. And the ones that could not due to their schedules, were gracious and full of support and advice.
I have come to the conclusion that crime writers (and a few non-crime writers) rock.
The following list represents a group of authors that displayed unbelievable generosity and support to me. Not all of them could read the book and I am sure that not all of them will supply me with a blurb. But all of them welcomed me to the crime writing family. I’ve read books by all of them and if you’re looking for something to read, pick up a book by one of these writers. You won’t be disappointed.
Please note: Just because these authors are on this list, does not mean that they have endorsed my book (many are still in the process of reading it). I only wish to express my sincere thanks for their generosity and support.
Posted in Crime Fiction, Dove Season, Fiction
Tagged amazonencore, crime, Dave Zeltserman, Dennis Tafoya, Dove Season, Duane Swierczynski, James Sallis, mystery, Ray Banks, Sean Doolittle, Seth Harwood, Tana French