August 2022

Edits are done for Sunset and Jericho, which comes out next spring. 
I’m fortunate that Derek Fairbridge (who also edited Hell and Gone) took great care with S&J. Not just with word choice, grammar, and continuity, but also with the geography of Vancouver. He’s caught countless errors and made suggestions that forced me to rework the book for the better.
I’m very proud of this one. 
Sunset and Jericho is out April 15th in Canada and the States. I know it’s a billion years away, but pre-ordering helps authors and publishers get heard over the din of publishing. It's sadly essential if you prefer bespoke fiction to the off-the-rack variety. 

Pre-order from your local bookstore, or from Indiebound, Amazon (CA), Amazon (US), Barnes and Noble
Book Warehouse

I have a new short story, “Saviors,” up now at Tough Crime Magazine….
...and an article on McCabe & Mrs. Miller and The Outlaw Josey Wales at Montecristo.
Invisible Dead and Cut You Down will be available as audiobooks in Canada on September 6th. Long overdue (a rights issue, long story.) Donald Corren read all three Wakeland novels.

Film/TV stuff rolls ahead with Wakeland and Never Going Back. I’ve seen Cineflix’s pitch for Wakeland and it’s a smart and true adaptation of both Hell and Gone and the series as a whole. Very exciting! 
BooksUnderworld by Don DeLillo is immersive and brilliant and bizarre and depressingly good. 
Joan Didion’s travelogue South and West is perceptive and funny. 
The Wolfpack: The Millennial Mobsters Who Brought Chaos and Cartels to the Canadian Underworld by Peter Edwards and Luis Nájera is a very solid and at times riveting true crime book—one of the main characters just escaped from prison while on trial for murder, so there might be a second edition or follow-up on the way.
Now that Better Call Saul is over I’m listening to Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama, Bob Odenkirk’s memoir. Pretty great.
The Noir Short Story online class is fifty bucks for twenty lessons of useful instruction. Take a look at on the Mystery Writing Mastery page. There’s a free “Beginning Your Mystery” course on there, too.

A few weeks ago I introduced Night Moves at the Vancouver Film Center. It’s one of my favorite PI films and neo-noirs, and a million times better than Altman’s very good Long Goodbye, striking the same notes more percussively, more gracefully, and with more style.
Here’s my introduction.
The private eye story has always had an affinity with the family drama. Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest and Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep are two of the best early examples of this—to solve the case the detective must delve into a family’s tragic history, finding secrets hidden in the past.
Ross MacDonald did this better than any other novelist. Nearly every book in his Lew Archer series involves generational trauma, unresolved Oedipal conflicts, secret family histories, crimes, lies, and perversions heaped one on top of the other. Excellent stuff.
That same spirit animates Night Moves, the 1975 collaboration between Arthur Penn (who directed Bonnie and Clyde) and Scottish screenwriter and novelist Alan Sharp. This is a story about two broken families: the family of Harry Moseby, a detective whose marriage is at breaking point; and the family of Delly Grastner, a teenager whose broken home and hypersexed mother have caused her to run away. Harry is hired to find Delly, which leads him from L.A. to a film set in New Mexico, to the Florida keys and back.
There’s a lot to love in Night Moves. It boasts one of Gene Hackman’s best performances, as a complex, frustrated, stubbornly independent and seriously wounded private eye. Jennifer Warren gives a terrific performance as Paula, who’s somehow at the center of the conspiracy Harry uncovers. Melanie Griffith and Edward Binns and Susan Clark are all great as well. The score by Michael Small is haunting and whimsical. The chess match Harry mentions is a fascinating study of missed opportunity. There’s a strange  and surreal dance scene which brings to mind Twin Peaks. And the film has some of the greatest dialogue, including a line borrowed by the TV show The Wire
But what makes Night Moves special, to me, is what makes the 70s special as a decade for film. Every other era of American film history is given over to winners. The 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, an unbroken string of John Wayne cavalry rescues, Cary Grant getting the girl, Katherine Hepburn getting the guy, Humphrey Bogart doing what’s right…The 80s, 90s, most of the 2000s, the same thing. America loves winners. They love winners so much that in their last election, the outgoing president couldn’t admit he’d lost. What a stunning and unfathomable lack of character that shows.
But 70s movies are about losers, and while winning is great, losing is more fascinating, because it involves reflection, recognition, maturity, and hopefully growth. There’s a truth in losing, and a poetry in losing, and a recognition of human frailty and an appreciation for life which you’ll never get if you just endlessly win and win.
Night Moves is a film about people who lose. I don’t know what it says about me that I was asked to introduce it. But it’s an honor, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Next month I’ll have a cover for Sunset & Jericho to show off—I hope!—as well as some new projects to announce. Thanks for reading.


Copyright © 2022 Sam Wiebe, author, All rights reserved.

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