Tuesday, April 18, 2017


I'm pleased to announce that the trade paperback edition of THE LAST RANCH, the final book in my American West trilogy, will be available in bookstores nationwide and on-line, Tuesday, May 2.
"McGarrity's trilogy achieves an encompassing history that is real, heart-stopping, and harshly beautiful."
                   Robert L. Patten, senior research fellow for the Institute of English Studies,
                   School of Advanced Study,
                   University of London
For all of those who've been waiting for the paperback edition, you can order it now!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


 Just back from the Tucson Book Festival, I've plunged into RESIDUE with an eye to hit the halfway point in the story by April. Tucson was great, but it was my last major public appearance event of the year. Coming up next are four remaining events on my schedule, none of which are truly "public." This Friday, March 17, I'll be speaking to creative writing students at the New Mexico School of the Arts here in Santa Fe, and on Tuesday, March 28, I'll be appearing on a panel at the Society of Applied Anthropology at the La Fonda Hotel, also here in Santa Fe.
 On Saturday, April 8, I'll be speaking at the annual University of New Mexico Writers Conference in Albuquerque, and on Sunday, at an old friend's request, I'll meet with members of the Tanoan Book Club in Albuquerque. 
 And that will be it, until the end of the year.

 Over the past twenty-one years, I can't remember establishing such an absolute cut-off on public events for myself, but from May until the end of October, I need to be totally focused on the book. Maybe, if everything falls into place by then, and my editor is happy with the result, I'll take my sweetie away for a Christmas holiday somewhere nice and warm. 

I do plan to blog occasionally, so I won't become completely invisible.

See you down the road.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Since 2000, I've had a website typical of what most writers put up on the Internet. There's a brief biography, a list of my published works with lovely book review quotes of how great they are, some photographs, links to bookstores that sell my books, a way to email me, and an events page that now directs folks to my Facebook page. 

Although it has been updated several times over the years, the website (www.michaelmcgarrity.com) now basically sits there as is, lonely and neglected as I've developed new author "platforms" on the World Wide Web.

Author platforms are those things writers are supposed to do to expand their presence, enhance their media exposure, and draw new audiences to their work. For example, because of my past experience as a police officer, I should be blogging a lot about crime. Or, I should be using my background as a clinical social worker to be posting about problems such as homelessness among veterans with PTSD. By doing so, I establish myself not only as a writer, but as an "expert," thus giving me more "chops" that draws more fans, readers, and media attention to me and my body of work.

So now I Blog, and I'm on Facebook, the Goodreads Authors page, the Amazon Authors Page, and something called LibraryThing, which I don't have a clue about other than it lets writers sign up. And I'm wondering nine months on, if it's worth it. Has this attempt to make me more interesting, more accessible, more of a desirable commodity to readers, achieved any payoff in terms of sales, growing celebrity status, or heightened anticipation for my next book or public speaking event?

The answer is a resounding, "I don't know, but I doubt it."

 What it does is consume time I could be better using working on my next novel "Residue." That's not to say I'm going to stop. I just plan to pay less attention to social media, unless you, dear readers, can convince me otherwise. Your job here, as I see it, is to vote on the simple question:

Is my enhanced presence on social media important to you? Yes or No.

And thanks for voting.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Earlier in the day, as I was cleaning out and organizing old files, I came across a letter to me from the writer Richard Bradford, author of the acclaimed novels Red Sky at Morning and So Far From Heaven, postmarked in late December of 1995. It was in response to my request for an endorsement of my debut novel, Tularosa, which was due out in spring of 1996. A friend, Richard was the first writer I approached for a quote to use on dust jacket for the book to be published by W.W. Norton. This is what he wrote:
Dear Michael,

On the comment card I sent to Norton, there were a few ways I could go and still keep my integrity:

(1) A sensitive, poetic first novel of bruised feelings about a frail, albino adolescent coming to terms with this ambiguous sexuality. The extended interior monologues (in French) are enchanting.

(2) A thumb in the eye, a knee to the balls! McGarrity makes Hemingway look like a ballet dancer, makes Spillane sound like a pansy. The NRA says, "For those few members who can read, this is the book of the year."

(3) The most absorbing, and socially useful, book I've read since the 1968 edition of Noguchi's classic Serum Diagnosis of Syphilis.

Anyway, I sent something in, and if the Norton people think it's useful they'll use it and send you a copy. Otherwise, they'll cough nervously and deposit it discreetly in the round file.

See you on the 30th.  Love to Mimi.



P.S. I thought TULAROSA was terrific.

The blurb Richard wrote for the book was as follows:

"Michael McGarrity has a sharp ear for Southwestern talk, a clear eye for Southwestern country, and an alarming knowledge of the reaches of human wickedness. This sure-footed mystery may be his first book but -- believe me -- this guy's been practicing."

Richard died too soon in March, 2002 and I still miss his friendship, humor, and great intellect. If you haven't yet read his two classic novels of Santa Fe and New Mexico, I invite you to do so.  You won't be disappointed.  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

MY 2017 New Year's Resolution

It might seem a bit early, but given the pending state of the union, here are my resolutions for 2017:

Stay tough-minded, remain tolerant, within reason, of others, be wary of all true believers, and never fail to remember the basic ideals of a civilized society that matter to us all.  


Sunday, December 11, 2016


McGarrity Inadvertently (Stupidly) Deletes Blog.

Dateline Santa Fe, NM
December 11, 2016

After publishing a rambling, rather long philosophical blog concerning the cover story featuring a nine-page spread about his novels in the Sept./Oct. 2016 issue of Firsts: The Book Collector's Magazine, McGarrity attempted to correct a typo but instead managed to delete (thankfully) the entire posting. All attempts to rescue it from the void of cyberspace  having happily failed, he herewith provides the following synopsis from the Table of Contents:

     (McGarrity's) "first book, Tularosa, is a masterpiece of it's genre and the ones that followed were just as good. Recently, McGarrity finished his Kerney Family Trilogy of Western novels. None of McGarrity's books are as elusive or as expensive as they are certain to become."

In a side note, he promised to work at improving his proof-reading skills. (Don't count on it.)

Thursday, November 24, 2016


This Thanksgiving morning, I had coffee with Emmy and Oscar-winning producer, Chris Donahue, here on holiday with his family, who produced seasons 1-3 of the Longmire series before moving over to Paulist Productions as president. For several years until it expired, Chris held a Movie/TV option for the Kerney crime novels. Now, not only have we agreed to enter into a new one-year option for the twelve Kerney novels, but we've also agreed to the same with my American West trilogy.
I've been down this road before with media options given to reputable, experienced producers that  yielded no results, and I understand the odds of actually going into production are always small. But with Chris I am excited about our prospects. Not only is he a true professional with a great track record and a big fan of my work, but he's a good guy as well.
It's such a lovely Thanksgiving surprise, I couldn't help but share it with you.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Cowboy Christmas Social

I’ll be appearing and signing at the COWBOY CHRISTMAS SOCIAL, Friday, December 2, 2016, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Crown Plaza Hotel. 1901 University Blvd. NE, Albuquerque.

Held in conjunction with the annual New Mexico Cattle Growers Convention, it’s a fundraiser for the organization, with a buffet, a live auction, books, jewelry, fine art, and crafts for sale by the artists, followed by dancing to a country music band. The public is invited and tickets can be purchased at the door, $50 for an single ticket, $70 for a couple. Here’s your chance to meet and tip your cowboy hat to New Mexico’s best ranchers and producers. Come, kick up your heels, and rub shoulders with real cowboys and cowgirls. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016


In Denver on Weds., Oct. 26th, I was the featured speaker at a gala, sold-out evening benefit and book signing for the Craig Hospital Scholarship Fund and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation Scholarships, sponsored by the Denver Alumnae Association of KKG. Over 300 people were in attendance. The novelist Ausma Zehanat Khan and the photographer John Fielder, both Denver residents, appeared with me.
The evening marked the 27th year of the fundraising effort and I was honored and delighted to be asked to participate and lend my support to these worthy causes. I had a great time and met many interesting, generous people who made my overnight trip to Denver a perfectly comfortable, enjoyable, and pleasant experience. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Today, Mimi and I met Tonia Harris for lunch. (In the photo, she's the gal on the right.)The widow of Sgt. Joe Harris, she was traveling through Santa Fe on her way home to Colorado after visiting her parents in Rio Rancho. Seeing Tonia is always a treat. Smart, attractive, and vibrant, she has come through the ordeal of her husband's murder over seven years ago with remarkable strength and fortitude. So has her lovely, whip-smart, seventeen-year-old daughter, Ally.
Joe, a sergeant with the Sandoval County Sheriff's Department and a 26 year law enforcement veteran, was on a stakeout with his partner when he was killed. He sacrificed his life to save his partner and managed to gun down the scumbag who shot him before dying from his wound.

Joe was a hero, and that's not a word police officers use lightly about each other.

Joe was also my friend. We shared the bond of brotherhood that exists between those who swear to protect and serve. He also liked my crime novels because he knew I got it right when writing about what cops do on the job. His death was tragic because it was totally unnecessary. Had he been fully informed and briefed by his higher-ups, he'd be alive today to see what a beautiful young woman his daughter has become.

Joe was a total professional devoted to his career. He loved the job. He also loved his wife and daughter with the that same devotion and commitment. It was with Tonia that he found a way to have the richly fulfilling family life he'd not had before.

A bear of a man with a zest for life, he was approachable and had a great sense of humor. He was the kind of officer you wanted at your side on those tough calls. He'd always have your back.

My photo with Joe was taken when he asked me to speak at the graduation ceremony for the Citizens  Police Academy he'd started with the sheriff's department to educate interested civilians about the  workings and basic functions of law enforcement. To this day, folks who went through the training Joe provided still revere his memory.

I know, because they tell me so.

So here's to the memory of Sergeant Joe Harris. I've told you about him because I want you to know what the best of police work is all about, and to remember the vast majority of men and women who wear the uniform do so to uphold the core values that bind us together as a civilization.

And here's to Tonia and Ally, because they are heroes in their own right for all they've had to endure and painfully recover from since that early morning of July 16, 2009 when Joe was murdered.

When you think of them, remember the sacrifices families make for loved ones who choose to protect and serve.