Editor’s note: Starting today, I will endeavor every Monday to provide an update into my writing life, as well as links to interesting articles about publishing, journalism, and other items I’m interested in — all in the name of keeping you busy while you avoid the start of the workweek.
As many authors do, I am currently working hard to keep from spilling news before I can — about something new about to drop, about a promotion that’s not quite ready to be announced, etc. But there’s always one thing every writer can announce: the start of a new project! Many of us procrastinate before this gets done, and I’m no different.
But this weekend, I finally looked that blank page in the face and said with authority, “Do you mind terribly if I start writing now?”
It took a day of reading other books and surfing the web, but I finally put words on the page this weekend.
Those words will eventually lead to my third full novel, a not-yet-titled sequel to my first Bartholomew Beck thriller, Let the Guilty Pay.
Many fans are still coming to grips with Lee Child turning over the writing of his insanely successful Jack Reacher novels to his brother Andrew Grant (who is writing under Andrew Child for the Reacher novels. The folks at Suspense Radio got a hold of Andrew to talk about the news last week and did a wonderful interview: Click to listen to the podcast (Suspense Magazine / Suspense Radio)
The McClatchy Company, which signed my paychecks when I was a correspondent at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the late 2000s, filed for bankruptcy recently. It’s the latest in the hedge-fund-ization and death spiral of newspapers: Newsonomics: six takeaways from McClatchy’s bankruptcy (Nieman Lab)
The embattled novel American Dirt is about to hit the small screen in the form of an Oprah’s Book Club episode on Apple TV+, which was filmed recently in Tuscon: Winfrey holds TV discussion on ‘American Dirt’ in Arizona (Associated Press)
Movies and TV
I was saddened to read that one of my favorite TV shows about one of the crime fiction genre’s best characters, Harry Bosch, is coming to an end in 2021. But at least we’ll get a Season 6 and Season 7 of Amazon Prime’s best series, Bosch: ‘Bosch’ Renewed For 7th And Final Season by Amazon (Deadline)
I confess to not having kept up with it very well, but the Writers Guild of America, the country’s labor union for TV and film writers, has had “substantive discussions” with most of the big talent agencies representing those writers in their monthslong negotiations: WGA Says It’s Had ‘Substantive Discussions” With All But One Of The Big Five Agencies To End Stalemate (Deadline)
Meanwhile, in Texas
I really enjoyed this piece in Texas Monthly about the new USA Netword series, Briarpatch, which is set in a fictional El Paso and adapted from the 1984 book of the same title: A Ross Thomas Adaptation Rethinks the Border Noir (Texas Monthly)
The San Antonio Book Festival, which I highly recommend after signing books there last year, announced its lineup. My highlights include (but are certainly not limited to) Sandra Cisneros (The House on Mango Street), Chandler Baker (Whisper Network), Attica Locke (2019 Texas Writer of the Year), and Scott Pelley (60 Minutes, CBS Evening News): San Antonio Book Festival Announces 2020 Lineup Featuring More Than 120 Authors (San Antonio Book Festival)
Odds and ends
I was yesterday years old when I found out Neil deGrasse Tyson, America’s favorite astrophysicist, earned a master’s of astronomy at my alma mater, The University of Texas at Austin. Tangentially related: I took an astronomy class during my time at UT, and it was one of my favorites.
I am currently reading an advance reader copy of The Evil Men Do by John McMahon, who is up for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel for The Good Detective. I’ll do a full recommendation post later, but the book comes out in early March and you should get it if you like detective mysteries a la Michael Connelly.
For those in the Amarillo area, one of our own who was recently published by a Big 5 publishing house, Rye Curtis, will be at the Amarillo Barnes & Noble on February 28 to sign copies of his debut novel, Kingdomtide, out now from Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group)