The Clarksville Writers Conference Is Almost Here…

I’ve been working feverishly the past couple of days getting ready for the 2016 Clarksville Writers Conference, which starts tomorrow at Austin Peay State University.

I’m doing two presentations. Tomorrow, June 2nd, at 2:45, I’m giving a presentation on the changing face of publishing and how to get started as an independent publisher. I’m calling it The Writer’s Survival Camp.

On Friday, June 3rd, I’m doing The Detective’s Journey, a panel on how classic mythic dramatic structure works in crime and detective fiction. It’s at 2:45 as well.

You can check out the CWC website by clinking on the logo below:


On the 45th Anniversary of FALILV

Timothy Denevi on the 45th Anniversary of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas…

Age changes your perspective in the weirdist ways. When I was in high school I read Kerouac’s On The Road and it was the most romantic, adventuresome, epic journey of all time. I hitchhiked cross-country (south to north) on less than five bucks, from New Orleans to upstate Vermont, to see a girlfriend, inspired by Kerouac and Neal Cassady and the rest of those guys…

Thirty-five years later, I reread OTR while working on my MFA at Southampton College. I was nearly fifty, with a new baby and a new marriage, and desperately trying to finish the degree to hold onto my teaching job.

And all I could think of, as a middle-aged parent, about the characters in On The Road was how depressed and lost they all were. “Get some Prozac and see a shrink,” I kept saying to myself.

Kerouac did, of course, drink himself to death…

First-Edition_FearLoathing-207x300Now, Timothy Denevi (a writer I’ve just discovered) has just published a 45-year retrospective piece on Hunter Thompsons’ Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, another book that blew me away in my early twenties. Thompson’s “savage journey into the heart of the American Dream” made me want to bite off as big a piece of life as I could…

After reading this article, though, and having seen a couple of documentaries on Thompson–who toward the end of his life was a hopeless drunk, an obnoxious jerk, and a parody of himself–I’m glad I stayed away from the ether. As Thompson wrote, nothing was as scary as a man in the depths of an ether binge……/hunter-thompson-oscar-ac…/

Harry James Denton Books Update

After several months of waiting, I got a letter over the weekend from Random House. The last of the rights to the Harry James Denton novels have been reverted to me!

Dead Folks’ BluesTorch Town Boogie, and Murder Manual–along with Way Past Dead, Chain of Fools, and Dirty Money–are now free to be republished under the Spearhead Press imprint.

I’m excited, but truthfully, a little bit sad as well. I had a 22-year-run at Ballantine Books/Fawcett/Random House with those books and I’m very grateful for that experience.

But I’m also looking forward to seeing those books available with new covers and to seeing Harry back in action!

Self-Publishing Preview For 2016

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately, but mostly because I’ve started a Twitter account and am really devoting time to making my FB page worth reading. I’m constantly finding new industry articles and news that I think you’ll find interesting, so check it all out.

In the meantime, Publishers Weekly has just published a really good article on the indie press publishing prospects for 2016. It remains an exciting new world out there, one with great potential and great challenges.

Well worth reading…


MWA Panel At The Southern Festival Of Books A Great Success

Here I am completely outnumbered at the Mystery Writers of America panel at the Southern Festival of Books this past weekend. It was a lively, fun panel with Sallie Bisell , J.T. Ellison, Stacy Allen, and me, along with a great capacity crowd!

I think the crowds may have been a little down this year due to the incredible downpour (two days later and it’s still raining like crazy here), but it was still a wonderful weekend. If you’ve never made it to the SFB in October, you really should. Mark it down in your calendar for October, 2015.

Photo By Shalynn Ford Womack
Photo By Shalynn Ford Womack

Bringing Down The Devil at the Southern Festival of Books

Despite the downpour, we had a great panel today at the 2014 Southern Festival of Books. Nashville native/L.A. transplant Don Winston, Texan Ron Davis, and I did a panel called “Bringing Down The Devil: Three Thrillers. We had a near capacity crowd, a lively dialogue that made the ninety minutes go by like five, and lots of good Q&A.

All in all, it was a great day! More tomorrow!

Steve Womack, Don Winston, Rod Davis

On Publishing & The Music Biz

I’ve been observing and studying the publishing industry for a long time and I’ve watched first-hand some of the changes that have occurred in this business since I got into it. I’ve also thought for the longest time that the publishing industry is just a few years behind the music industry in the evolution and difficulties it’s encountered.
There’s a fascinating article on the Digital Music News website called The Music Industry Has 99 Problems. And They Are…

If you want to see where publishing is headed, check this article out at:


Edgar and Shamus Award-Winning Author