Monday procrastination roundup: Just give it away

Fiction comes in many lengths. I’ve put a checkmark next to a couple of novels, and I finished a piece of flash fiction (or a short, short, short story, depending on what word count guideline you use) late last year that will be coming out this spring in the Texas High Plains Writers’ centennial anthology.

I crossed another format off the list a short while ago: the novella (or a novelette, depending on what word count guideline you use). These were much more common in the 20th century. In fact, many of the classic stories that we think of as novels, such as Animal Farm, The Old Man and the Sea, and Of Mice and Men are technically short enough to be novellas.

My first crack at it is Live with the Truth, and it is much shorter (and not of the quality, obviously, because how few things could be) than the aforementioned works. But I enjoyed not wondering if I had enough story to make a full novel, which for my age range and genre is basically 80-95K words. And when I found a great way to end the main story, I was able to stop the narrative and tidy up things/set up the first novel in the series with an epilogue.

And as I’ve mentioned before, I’m giving away the digital download of Live with the Truth to my newsletter subscribers throughout March. (If you want a chance to read even more free books in exchange for your email address, I’m part of a multi-author promotion that you can access by clicking here.)

Also in the world of freebies, the Kindle edition of my award-winning debut novel, Deep Background, will be free on Amazon for anyone and everyone on March 16. So, if you or someone you know would like to read it for free, go here on March 16.


In memoriam

The crime fiction world lost a queen and a giant in less than a month.

Mary Higgins Clark, the undisputed Queen of Suspense, passed away in late January. She was 92. Mary Higgins Clark (1927-2020) (The Big Thrill)

Clive Cussler, author of 85 adventures, passed away on February 24. He was 88. Clive Cussler, Best-Selling Author and Adventurer, Is Dead at 88 (The New York Times)


Where the action is

It’s early in the year, but The Real Book Spy has rounded up the best action thrillers of the year so far, including titles from Austin author Meg Gardiner and legend Steve Barry, both of whom are kind and entertaining in person. THE YEAR’S BEST ACTION THRILLERS (SO FAR) (IT’S NOT EVEN MARCH) (CrimeReads)


Meanwhile, in Texas

The writing world is descending on San Antonio for AWP, the annual convention of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. I am not attending, though my publisher for Deep Background, Black Rose, will be there for me. Okay, for all their writers. But also for me. AWP: Conference Overview (AWPwriter.org)

The Texas Institute of Letters has recognized the best in Lone Star literature. Texas Institute of Letters Announces 2020 Literary Awards (Lone Star Literary Life)

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