…began his first novel when he was eighteen years old. A short eighteen years later, he finally published one. His first published novel, Murphy’s Fault, was the only first mystery named to the 1990 New York Times Notable Books List.
Now, thirteen novels later, Steven Womack continues writing fiction that garners similar critical accolades. Six of the novels published by Womack have received national recognition, including the highest award presented to writers in the field of mystery and crime fiction.
Womack’s third book, Dead Folks’ Blues, was presented the 1994 Edgar Allan Poe Award as Best Original Paperback Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. The novel featured bumbling ex-newspaperman turned private detective Harry James Denton and was called by the Virginia Pilot And Ledger Star a “virtuoso performance.”
Murder Manual, the fifth installment in the series, was published by Ballantine Books in 1998 and received nominations in the “Triple Crown” of mystery (the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards), winning the 1999 Shamus Award as Best Paperback Original by the Private Eye Writers of America.
Dirty Money, the sixth installment in the award-winning Harry James Denton series, was published in February, 2000 by Fawcett Books and was called “irresistible” by the New York Times. The book was also nominated for the Shamus Award as Best Original Paperback Novel by the Private Eye Writers of America.
The second Harry James Denton mystery, Torch Town Boogie, published in November, 1993, was also nominated for the Shamus Award, as was the third installment in the Denton series, Way Past Dead, published in March, 1995. The New York Times called Way Past Dead “a real hoot,” and added that “Harry has something that cuts him apart from the rest of the herd.”
The fourth installment in the series, Chain Of Fools, was published in May, 1996 and was nominated for both the Shamus and Anthony Awards. The Harry James Denton novels have been published in Japan, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.
Resurrection Bay, published in June 2014, was his first collaboration with another writer. He and New York City-based screenwriter Wayne McDaniel partnered on the book, which was based on the real-life story of Alaska’s most famous serial killer, Robert Hansen.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Womack is a graduate of Western Reserve Academy and Tulane University, where an unpublished novel of his was the first novel ever accepted as an undergraduate honors thesis. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in English and Writing from the Southampton College writing program.
In 1995, Womack was the first faculty member hired at the new Watkins Film School in Nashville, which was a program within the Watkins College of Art and the first film school in the state of Tennessee. For the next 25 years, he anchored the screenwriting curriculum, while also serving five years as Chair of the Film School. When the Watkins College of Art closed its doors in May, 2020, he was the longest serving faculty member.
He has served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Screenwriting Association, has been a Regional Vice-President of the Mystery Writers of America and for several years led a fiction writing workshop at the Tennessee State Prison. He also served on the Board of Governors of the Mid-South regional chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Womack co-wrote the screenplay for Proudheart, an original made-for-cable movie which premiered in August, 1993 on The Nashville Network. Proudheart was nominated for a CableAce Award. He also co-wrote the ABC-TV film Volcano: Fire On The Mountain, which first aired in February, 1997 and was one of the highest-rated TV movies of the year.
Womack is a former president of Novelists, Inc., an organization of multi-published professional novelists. He is still a member of Novelists, Inc. as well as The Writers Guild of America, East. A frequent speaker, Womack regularly appears on writers’ panels and at book fairs.