Home Front

2.08.2021

Bubba's back!

Thanks to ebooks and self-publishing, I've kept all my 33 books available in one form or another, but some editions have become increasingly hard to find. So it was with the first two Bubba Mabry books, which had finally slipped out of print.

Those novels, LONELY STREET (1994) and BABY FACE (1995), were my first published books. Pocket Books brought them out as mass-market paperbacks. Years later, the books were reprinted by Intrigue Press. Later still, LONELY STREET was made into a Hollywood movie starring Jay Mohr, Robert Patrick and Joe Mantegna.

Now, the books are freshly available in new trade paperback editions with stellar new covers. You can find them here and here. And, of course, we have them at Organic Books, our two-year-old family bookstore in Albuquerque's historic Nob Hill neighborhood.

Publishing the new editions required me to re-read them, and that got me thinking again about Bubba Mabry, my bumbling private eye. It's been nine years since I last wrote about Bubba, in the novella PARTY DOLL, and frankly I thought I was done with him. But a new idea has been nibbling at me, so there might be another Bubba novel in the future. If so, it would be the 10th in the series.

Here are the Bubba books, in order:

LONELY STREET

BABY FACE

WITCHY WOMAN

SHAKY GROUND

DIRTY POOL

CRAZY LOVE

SANITY CLAUSE (novella)

MONKEY MAN

PARTY DOLL (novella)

In recent years, I've mostly written standalone crime novels rather than a series character like Bubba. The latest was the heist novel UPSHOT, which came out early last year.

I did some publishing work during 2020, but I took off from writing. Too many distractions during the worst of the pandemic, and I needed to pour my energies into our bookstore. Organic Books is doing better than ever now, and I feel my attention slipping back toward fiction. We'll see how it goes.

Hope you and yours are healthy and safe and finding lots of wonderful books to read.

8.16.2020

Drumroll and . . . rimshot!

Need a laugh in these trying times? How about 4,000 laughs? Would that help?

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my 33rd published book, RULES FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVING, available now on Amazon and at Organic Books in Albuquerque (505-553-3823).

 

As most of you know, I've written daily Rules for Successful Living since 2009, distributing the addled adages via Facebook and Twitter. In 2012, I assembled 1,500 of the Rules into a self-published collection. 

 

Lot of Rules under the bridge since then. The master list is at more than 4,400 now, and I'm still writing a new one every day. Around 4,000 made the cut for the latest collection, which is 220 pages in paperback.

 

A few of my favorites:

 -Never argue with a man whose tattoos outnumber his teeth.

-A watched pot never boils, and a boiled watch isn't much good, either.

-Looking down your nose makes your head look fat.

-When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's myopia.

-It takes two to tango, but you can pirouette all by yourself.

-Circus people always refer to the lion tamer as "the new guy."

I often use the summer months to write a new novel. But like a lot of writers, I've been sort of frozen during the COVID quarantine. It's hard to concentrate on fiction while the world is going nuts all around you. Instead, I poured myself into editing and publishing the RULES FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVING, and into work at our family bookstore. Organic Books reopened to customers on July 1, and business has been brisk.

 

Tomorrow, I'm back to school, teaching my weekly writing class in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. The class will be taught mostly in person, and we'll all wear masks and keep our distance in an oversized classroom. It promises to be weird, but I've gotten accustomed to wearing a mask from my shifts at the bookstore.

 

I hope you and yours are healthy and happy and getting the laughs that you need.


4.22.2020

First time in paperback!

One of my personal favorites, my crime novel BANK JOB, is now available in trade paperback here.

BANK JOB was published in hardcover in 2005, but a paperback contract fell through. I subsequently published an e-book version, but print copies were getting hard to find.

For most of its 15-year life, BANK JOB has been under movie option in Hollywood. The current option holder is Peter Ettinger, who made my novel LONELY STREET into a 2009 film. Things are shut down in Hollywood right now, but we hope to one day see BANK JOB on the big screen.

The novel features a trio of knucklehead criminals who stumble upon a retired bank robber named Vince Carson. They take Vince's wife hostage in an attempt to make him rob a local bank for them. But Vince has other plans.

It's a fun, action-packed novel with geriatric heroes. Maybe that's why I like it so much. More and more, I can relate to the old folks.

I hope to use our quarantine time for more of these re-publishing tasks, including new trade paperbacks of LONELY STREET and other early Bubba Mabry novels. I'll keep you posted as they become available.

Our Albuquerque, NM, storefront, Organic Books, remains closed by order of the state, but we're selling books online via bookshop.org/shop/organicbooks or call us at 505-553-3823.

We're beating this virus. Stay home and read!

4.03.2020

Safe at home

Like most of you, we're hiding out in our house, waiting for the experts to tell us the worst of the coronavirus plague has passed. Here in Albuquerque, the peak is expected in late April.

We've been sheltering at home since March 14, when we returned from a quick road trip to San Diego. The Left Coast Crime conference was canceled by health officials six hours after we arrived. We went home the next day, and have been there ever since. As near as we can tell, we're healthy.

The family enterprise, Organic Books, was hit by the closures ordered for retail stores throughout New Mexico. We're still doing business online and by phone, but the Nob Hill storefront remains closed.

If you'd like to help us, you can order new books from bookshop.org/shop/organicbooks and they'll be delivered to your door. Independent booksellers like us get a percentage of the sales. Same goes for audio books at Libro.fm, where you can type "Organic Books" in the bookstore field so we get a cut. Finally, and this especially applies to local customers, if you're looking for a used book, call us at 505-553-3823 and we'll see if we can deliver it.


It's a strange time in publishing. Here's this enormous audience, trapped at home, looking for something to read, but the virus restricts movements and cancels events, so it's difficult to get the word out about new books.

I published my latest crime novel, UPSHOT, in late January, just in time for it to be roundly ignored as the whole country focused on the contagion. I brought out the Kindle version in March and sold a few, but I think UPSHOT and a lot of its contemporaries will get lost in the COVID shuffle.

UPSHOT did get a nice review in the Albuquerque Journal last Sunday, but of course all the stores were closed so it's hard to tell if it did any good. You can read it here, but beware, there lies spoilers.

I've got other publishing projects to pursue during the quarantine. (Next up: a trade paperback edition of BANK JOB, which was published in hardcover and e-book, but never in paperback.) But I'm not trying to write anything new and I'm glad. Too many distractions right now.

Take good care of yourselves during this crisis. Stay home. Wash your hands. Order a bunch of good books. Time passes quickly when you have a book to read.

2.05.2020

New heist thriller!

UPSHOT is now officially available on Amazon, via independent booksellers and at our family-owned Albuquerque, NM, bookshop, Organic Books.

My 32nd published book, UPSHOT is my first new novel in nearly two years. The last one, COLD CUTS, came out in April 2018.


In the new novel, set here in Albuquerque, a heist crew knocks over an armored van belonging to a cannabis courier company. The owner of the company is determined to get even, and things escalate.

UPSHOT is out now as a $9.99 trade paperback. Expect a Kindle version in a few months.

On March 8, we'll celebrate the new book with a 3 p.m. party at Organic Books. Y'all come!

Later that week, I'll be at Left Coast Crime in San Diego. I'm looking forward to my Saturday morning panel, which is called "Fiction Writers are Professional Liars: But can they do it to your face?" Terry Shames will be the moderator of the panel, which also features Bill Fitzhugh, Donna Andrews and Ellen Byron. Should be fun!

In April, I'll be part of the faculty at the annual writers' conference sponsored by University of New Mexico Continuing Education. My workshop is called "Polishing Your Prose."

On May 19, I'll give a talk on humor-writing at SouthWest Writers.

Busy times. And all these events come on the heels of three short-story anthologies that came out in in the last few months of 2019. I had stories in collections called KNUCKLEHEAD NOIR, A BEAST WITHOUT A NAME and TROUBLE & STRIFE. Check 'em out.

Happy reading!