Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Gunfight comes out in 2011

Howdy, friends. Yes, it's true. Kyle William Lees is riding into Shakespeare, New Mexico, and A Midsummer Night's Gunfight is being published by Wild Oaks Press, the newest imprint of Oak Tree Press.

My dad would have been tickled. He and I spent many a late night in front of the TV as gunfighters shot it out and scores were settled. He was a Western afficianado. Me, I was just a fan.

The new book is about a man who comes to town with the intention of getting revenge. What he doesn't count on is a single woman trying to raise a son and a retired gunfighter trying to leave his past behind. And he doesn't count on them changing his life.

I'll keep you posted on when it is coming out. Then I'll harass you to buy a copy...and another...and another. They will make great gifts.

Thanks again to all the people out there who have supported me from the beginning and who have never lost faith. I have a feeling we just might be about to win this gunfight....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So Lonesome I Could Die

This is the cover for my as yet unpublished second novel, SO LONESOME I COULD DIE. Which is not to say it is about to be released or anything. I just decided I'd better design the cover just in case.

The first novel is called COLD, COLD HEART and like the second book, it features Deke Rivers, my Nashville songwriter turned detective.

My third novel is a not a detective novel at all, but rather a Western. It features Kyle William Lees and Tom Brennan, both gunfighters, and is set in Shakespeare, New Mexico, in the 1880s. It's tentatively titled A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S GUNFIGHT.

I have been away from the short story business for a while, so I am planning to roll up my sleeves and get back to the business of writing gritty, hardboiled tales of woe. If I write any Western short stories, I will call them tales of whoa.

Or not. :-)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Brass Knuckles" published in Yellow Mama

A bartender sees a lady he used to know. Only now she's more like a ghost of who she once was. And the reason for her fall from grace is sitting across from her at a booth in the back.

And somebody really ought to say something....

Check out "Brass Knuckles" in Yellow Mama and see if you don't agree.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Write like the wind, Bullseye!

The true test of a commercial writer is not how consistently he or she writes when things are calm and on an even keel. The true test is how well he or she writes when he's house-hunting and moving in 60 days, or when she is inundated with sprawling, scope-creeping, high-pressure projects at work, or when he is trying to train for a race in two months, or when she is dealing with three teenage children.

As for me, I am struggling to find the hours and the days necessary to meet my budgeted word count on the new book. The manuscript is due September 1, but I keep tossing out chapters, looking for just the right pieces to include and just the right way to include them.

Picture late nights at the kitchen table with microwave popcorn and herb tea. Or early mornings in the rocking chair of the front porch with an Eggbeaters sandwich on double-fiber, double-protein bread with a cup of insanely strong Elvis Presley brand Memphis Mocha coffee.

I have once again reached that delirious state of exhaustion where, without hourly mugs of chai tea, I could easily fall asleep in front of the laptop screen, where sleep lurks just behind the eyes, beckoning like a siren, tugging incessantly at heavy eye lids, slowing and deepening the breathing.

But I am determined to make deadline, so nothing short of dying can steer me from my course. Okay, winning the lottery might steer me from my course. Or an alien invasion. Or an Elvis movie marathon hosted by Quentin Tarrantino with a chance to win the Aloha from Hawaii jumpsuit and cape....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Once upon a time in the West

I remember thinking, a long time ago, that the private eyes of the 30s, 40s and 50s and the Dirty Harrys and Paul Herseys of the 70s - and all the hardboiled characters in the middle and since - all these guys are the descendants of the gunslingers who roamed the Old West. They traded their trusty steeds for muscle cars and their Walker Colts for Smith and Wesson .44 magnums, but deep down, they are the same guys.

So it makes sense I am now writing a Western. Deke Rivers, my country music songwriter turned detective, is taking a hard-earned hiatus (after two novels and a dozen short stories), and my new guy, Kyle Williams Lees, is riding into town with a gun on his hip, a chip on his shoulder and a score to settle.

I've been rewatching all the old films - lots of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood - and rereading all the old books - Grey, L'Amour, Shaeffer, Kelton, Boggs, Randisi - and I am having a blast.

I am interested to see how things turn out. I'll let you know. :-)