Thursday, November 24, 2016

A THANKSGIVING SURPRISE

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

KAPPA BOOK & AUTHOR EVENING IN DENVER


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

REMEMBERING SGT. JOE HARRIS


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.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Kappa Book & Author Evening: a benefit for the Craig Hospital Scholarship Fund and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation Scholarships.

The Denver Kappa Friendship Fund, Inc. & The Denver Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma are pleased to present the 27th Kappa Book & Author Evening: a benefit for the Craig Hospital Scholarship Fund and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation Scholarships.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Palazzo Verdi: 6363 South Fiddlers Green Circle, Greenwood Village, CO 80111

5:30 p.m. Social/Dinner

Enjoy the MADDEN Museum of Art while socializing and enjoying small plates and drinks.

7 p.m. Program

Hear from the featured authors while having dessert and coffee.


Featured Authors

Michael McGarrity

John Fielder

Ausma Zehanat Khan



Buy tickets and leran more about The Denver Kappa Friendship Fund at www.dkff.weebly.com/upcoming-events

The Denver Kappa Friendship Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization 46-0917517. If tickets are purchased as a part of this contribution, $64 per person for the event is considered the value of the goods and services received; the remainder is tax deductible.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A NEW ERA AND WELCOME HOME!


In January after twenty years, I parted company with my old literary agent and found new representation with Marcy Posner at Folio Literary Management in New York City. Marcy is one of the most experienced, highly respected, and well-liked agents in the business. She has always been a fan of my work and I am delighted to have her in my corner.
It has been at her urging that over the last several months I've established a social media presence via Facebook, this Blog, and on the Goodreads and Amazon authors pages. Soon, I'll have an author page on LibraryThing as well. Who knows what's next?
For me it has truly become a new era in my career as a writer and it's not over yet. Just last week, W.W. Norton & Company, a major New York publishing firm, made an offer for my next Kevin Kerney novel, which we have verbally accepted. When I stopped in at the corporate offices to meet with my new editor, Amy Cherry, Vice President & Senior Editor, the first thing she said to me was "welcome home," for it was over twenty years ago in April 1996, that Norton released my debut novel, Tularosa, followed by Mexican Hat in 1997.
It was a happy homecoming for me and for my Kevin Kerney crime series, with Amy's warm 
welcome soon enthusiastically echoed by William Rusin, Vice President & Director of Sales and Marketing. I couldn't be more pleased. Sometimes you can go home again. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Best Little Library in New Mexico

On my way to speak at the Ruidoso Library on August 27, I stopped in at the Capitan Library to see my old friend Debbie Myers, Assistant Director. She's a volunteer at the library as is everyone else who works there. I also had the opportunity to meet the director, Pat Garrett, several other volunteers, and take a tour the facility.
Inside and out, the library shows the love and commitment of the dozens of citizens who give their time and talent to the small ranching village of some1,400 people located in a lovely valley between the Sacramento and Capitan Mountains in beautiful Lincoln County. The building sits within shouting distance of the town hall where, as the story goes, the trustees turned down the chance to acquire the library for one dollar from the non-profit organization that runs the outfit.
Nobody could tell me why those elected village leaders where unwilling to take stewardship of such a worthy and valuable resource to the community.The only thing I could come up with is that somebody slipped stupid pills into the water pitcher on the evening the trustees voted down the offer. 
Even a bunch of half-drunk yahoos could have surely seen the civic value as well as the personal bragging rights for claiming such a valuable prize.The Capitan Chamber of Commerce should have been outraged.
But never mind that--back to the library. It's a charming place with neatly organized stacks, a children's area, a bank of Internet-connected computers, a serene outdoor space suitable for quiet reading or contemplation, comfortable seating, a pleasant checkout and reference counter, an office for staff use, and an unique resale shop, "Not 2 Shabby," where donated items are sold to help fund the operation. Like most libraries, it also sells donated books to raise money, and on the first Saturday of every month you can buy a bag of books for five bucks. Its website puts the Capitan Village website to shame, and they even run a blog. It has a cheery, bright, welcoming feel to it, and operates under abbreviated hours five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday.  
The library offers workshops, special reading programs for children, an "Adult Reading Group," and is a community center for literary and cultural events. It is the only true public resource for books in an area that stretches along highway US380  from Carrizozo to Hondo, a distance of over forty miles.
I was so impressed, I sent them a box of books, including a hardback copy of "Death Song" the eleventh book in my Kevin Kerney series which opens in Lincoln County and Capitan.
Would you writers and book lovers out there like to join in? If so, your send books to my friend Debbie Myers, Assistant Director, Capitan Public Library, P.O. Box 1169, Capitan, NM 88316. She would most definitely love to get some more audio books for the collection. Help support the Best Little Library in New Mexico. Thanks.

Friday, September 9, 2016

WE ALL LOSE WHEN A BOOKSTORE CLOSES


Hastings Books & Music, a regional retail chain headquartered in Amarillo, Texas, is bankrupt and shutting down. Unlike the dissolution of Borders, a national bookstore chain, the news of the demise of Hastings has caused hardly a ripple of broadcast or print media attention, except in those small markets where it was the only bookstore in town.

Over twenty years ago, in April, 1996, when my publisher at the time, W.W. Norton, sent me on a book tour for my debut novel, Tularosa, one of my first signings was at the old Hastings store in a strip mall on 10th Street in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Because my novel was set mostly on the nearby White Sands Missile Range, my editor at the time, Hilary Hinzmann, figured it would be a sure-fire hit in that small city. Indeed he was right, and I've been back to Alamogordo to sign every one of my books since. 

The citizens of Alamogordo have embraced me over the years, turning out in droves for each new novel, to the point that I like to brag that I'm the best-selling writer in that city of some 30,000. The folks I personally know down there don't disagree, especially after the publication of my American West historical trilogy, set squarely on their turf, which had them singing my praises.

Several years ago, the company moved to a brand new store on the main drag through town, White Sands Boulevard, and it was by far one of the nicest, neatest, best organized Hastings Store I'd ever been in, unlike the dingy, messy Santa Fe store that I always left feeling an urgent need to wash my hands. (My guess is the Alamogordo store stood out because a number of the employees were military dependents from nearby Holloman Air Force Base, and nobody does "neat and tidy" better than the armed services.)

I was there this last May, for the release of the final book in my trilogy, The Last Ranch, and the line stretched almost out the door with over a hundred smiling, eager people wanting to say hello and have me sign their books. It's the kind of event every writer dreams about. 

Now, their only bookstore is about to close. So what's the big deal, you may ask. There's always the Internet. Or if they really need to go to an actual bookstore, they can travel up to Becky Ewings' Books Etcetera in Ruidoso, or Mike Beckett's COAS Bookstore in Las Cruces, or Ed Woten's Imaginary Books in Cloudcroft, all no more than an hour drive away.

Well, the big deal is that when a town loses its only bookstore, it also forfeits a significant amount of cultural enrichment. No longer will parents be able to take their young children to find the perfect, new bedtime story. No longer will students be able to browse for that special book they need to finish a term paper or school report. No longer will readers be able to dive into the mystery, romance, or science fiction section looking to discover a new author or to grab the latest release of a favorite writer.

Some modern classics that are unavailable at the public library won't be stacked on those empty shelves. The enjoyable pastime of randomly looking for an interesting title will have ended. That wonderful dialogue between book lovers and book sellers who love books, will have fallen silent. Finally, all the writers who appeared at the store to talk about and sign their latest book, will be there no more. The excitement in the community about books and reading, literacy and learning -- perceived or not --will have waned.

That is how we all lose. Every town that sees their last bookstore close, ripples like a wave that diminishes us all. For one, I am personally sad for Alamogordo, New Mexico.   


   

Monday, August 29, 2016

IT WAS STANDING ROOM ONLY AT THE RUIDOSO LIBRARY

Well almost, but over 70 people turned out to hear me talk about the American West trilogy, which flabbergasted the lady from the library friends who introduced me on Saturday morning and later commented that she'd never seen more than 15 folks show up for an author event before.

After my talk, Peter De La Fuente and I both signed copies of the final book in the trilogy,THE LAST RANCH, before repairing to Longcoat Gallery where we signed copies of the limited edition print "White Sands Hideaway" -- which as the Ruidoso News said in a Friday feature article "graces the cover" of THE LAST RANCH. (As indeed it does.)

Did you know that "White Sands Hideaway" twenty years ago also graced the cover of my debut novel, TULAROSA?" How's that for some cocktail party small talk?

It was a grand day in Ruidoso. Thanks to the friends of the library, Corey Bard, the director, Becky from Books Etc., who handled the sales, and Dave and Judy at the gallery. And a special thanks to my friend, artist Peter De La Fuente.
Read what the Ruidoso News had to say about it here...

 http://www.ruidosonews.com/story/entertainment/books/2016/08/24/mcgarrity-and-de-la-fuente-sign-last-ranch/89257570/

Sunday, August 21, 2016

RIP Di Bingham

It is with great sadness that I must inform you of the passing of Ms. Dianna Bingham, who died peacefully at her home in Brisbane, Australia, late last week.

As many of you know until recently Di created and ran my website as a volunteer for almost sixteen years.  Over time she became a dear friend, trusted advisor, and my biggest and best Aussie fan. Almost everyone on my website mailing list (including me) always looked forward to her little personal messages from "down under" that accompanied my monthly updates.

I'll miss my faraway friend. Her strength, courage, generosity, and loyal friendship were unmatched.