Monday procrastination roundup: The very first time

The biggest names in commercial fiction started somewhere. They all had debut novels, and not all of them were instant successes. John Grisham and Harlan Coben both famously had their first novels published by small presses (A Time to Kill and Play Dead have since been reissued).

But there are many other incredibly successful authors who have their own origin stories. And thanks to author Rick Pullen, you’ll get to read them.

Pullen, a former journalist and novelist (Naked Ambition, Naked Truth, and The Apprentice), is writing a nonfiction anthology about famous mystery and thriller writers chronicling their journeys from “aspiring” novelists to bestsellers.

On his website you’ll find four of these interviews. My favorite is Michael Connelly, author of the Harry Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer novels and himself a former reporter. Other super heavyweights you can read about include Lee Child and Steve Berry.

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Then there’s the history of Don Winslow

Don Winslow

I’ve only read Winslow’s Cartel trilogy (The Power of the Dog, The Cartel, and The Border), and they are fantastic.

But it turns out that I was introduced to one of his earlier works through the movie Savages, which I also enjoyed. He’s had a crazy life that spans private investigator work and several publishers, and he’s a major literary personality on Twitter (be prepared for strong political views if you follow him).

Much of the literary side of Don Winslow is explored in this CrimeReads piece that is worth the time if you’re a fan.

Speaking of Winslow and CrimeReads …

His new collection of novellas, Broken, is one of CrimeReads’ 10 Books You Should Read This April. Among them are the latest from other favorites Jennifer Hillier and Gabino Iglesias (as editor of and contributor to an anthology).

Meanwhile, in Texas

Congratulations to Keaton Patterson, a Pearland resident and the lead buyer for Brazos Bookstore in Houston, who has been named a judge of the 2020 National Book Awards in the fiction category. Brazos Bookstore Buyer Keaton Patterson Named NBA Judge (Lone Star Literary Life)

After replacing its board of directors, the Houston-based Romance Writers of America has issued apologies to its members and also an author who the RWA censured last year, an act that sent one of the biggest national literary groups into a free-fall. Romance Writers group issues apologies (Houston Chronicle)

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