September 2022

I have a story in an upcoming issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. My first submission to EQMM was in the 90s I think, though the earliest rejection slip I have is from 2001. Twenty-one years.
There’s a “Don’t Give Up” lesson in spending more than half your life trying for something. Very few accomplishments pierce the armor of studied professionalism these days. This one does, and I’m thrilled about it. 

Sunset and Jericho is available for pre-order. The case concerns the missing brother of a politician—the mayor of Vancouver, actually. The character in the book is a fabrication, not based on anyone, but it’s been interesting reading coverage of the mayoral race. The issues which lead to the murder are the issues which define the city and the direction it’ll go.
Pre-order from your local bookstore, or from
Indiebound, Amazon (CA), Amazon (US), Barnes and Noble or Book Warehouse

I’ve added a new Bonus Resources section to Mystery Writing Mastery and The Noir Short Story, with articles on professionalism, ideas for getting motivated, good and bad habits for writers, advice I wish I’d known, and something aspiring authors should avoid. They’ve also dropped in price a bit—my own little “Back to School Sale.”

Every month brings new signups. I’ve read dozens of flash fiction pieces, most of which are excellent. I’ll be adding more to the resources when I can.
October 8th I'll be at the Point Grey library to talk about Vancouver crime fiction, the Wakeland series, Hell and Gone and Sunset and Jericho. Sign up for free here.
Movies: In Confess, Fletch, Jon Hamm does real justice to Gregory McDonald’s amiable detective series. God’s Country stars Thandiwe Newton as a quintessential James Lee Burke protagonist (ex-cop-turned-professor-and-outdoorswoman) threatened by rednecks. It’s more of a character study than an action film. Both are very solid.
Books: Some great new releases from Vancouver authors: Five Moves of Doom by A.J. Devlin, Blood Atonement by S.M. Freedman (Out Oct 17th), and There Are Wolves Here Too by Niall Howell.
You can and should pre-order The Marigold by Andrew F. Sullivan (Not the conservative pundit, the author of Waste, who once gave a reading at Pulp Fiction so grippingly unpleasant you could feel the room of UBC creative writing alumni reconsider the life choices which led them there.) 

Life's Work by David Milch was as brilliant and wide-ranging as you'd expect. I'll be rereading it soon.
I put down the late Hillary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light a few months ago because I didn’t want to speed through the end of the trilogy. Her historical writing is insightful and immediate. She doesn’t varnish the brutality of the past, the ideological mistakes and consequences. But she also doesn’t write about historical people as if our age is inherently wiser and better intentioned. Her characters are as wrapped up in the problems of their day as we are in ours, pushing against class and gender in ways which resonate with the present. The Wolf Hall trilogy is a feat.
Two months ago, a relative of mine was robbed at gunpoint in her home. A targeted attack, middle of the day. They took some items belonging to her live-at-home adult child. She wasn’t hurt, thankfully.
If I haven’t been as sociable these past weeks, that’s the reason. There’s a lot to do to make sure she’s safe, and a lot of emotional turmoil surrounding this. As there should be. Violence is terrifying.
But of course violence is part and parcel of crime fiction. There are many valid approaches to depicting violence, and I’d be a hypocrite if I pretended not to enjoy violent movies and books, or puzzle mysteries where the body is merely a locus of clues. 
But I try to depict violence in a way that squares with the real world. To show the consequences. I’m nauseated by crime writers tickled pink by their own jejune approach to the genre—"I kill folks for a living” and the like. Violence happens to people. And almost happens to them. It’s a subject we can’t escape.
Next month: more news, more events, and finally (hopefully) a cover.

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

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