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.

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


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


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


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...


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.

Monday, August 15, 2016

An Appreciation of Michael McGarrity’s American West Trilogy and its concluding volume, The Last Ranch by Robert L. Patten

I’m delighted and honored to share with you a major review of my American West Trilogy, by Robert L. Patten,  distinguished scholar and  Senior Research Fellow at the University of London.

An Appreciation of Michael McGarrity’s American West Trilogy and its concluding volume,
The Last Ranch

By Robert L. Patten
Senior Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies,
School of Advanced Study, University of London

Michael McGarrity’s trilogy of the New American West tells the epic story of a large part of the US that never makes it into our national imaginary. Tied not to northern Europe but to the Iberian peninsula and through Mexico up the Rio Grande to the Sangre de Cristos, the southern eruption of the Rocky Mountains, this vast West comprising parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah came to be part of the United States by treaties between 1836 and 1848. McGarrity’s history begins at the close of the Civil War, when Yankees and Rebels, cowboys and Indians, traders and gunslingers, rode westward to scrape out livings on the hotly contested high deserts watered by the snows of the upper Rockies.
            John Kerney, veteran of the Civil and Indian wars, opens this series, scrabbling a living in West Texas, and thereafter in the Tularosa basin where the struggle for a sustainable living continues. Full circle, the end of the third volume sees John’s great grandson, Kevin, returning from Vietnam to face the new challenges of domestic life. In between the four generations of Kerney men and women interact with a hard, harsh, withholding, achingly beautiful and deadly, land, and its similarly diversified inhabitants--ranchers, outlaws, raiders, and settlers.
            The land anchors these stories; its vistas and bosky sanctuaries beautifully captured by the paper wrapper painting of the Kerney ranch by Peter de La Fuente, grandson of Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd, artists who themselves left the ground of Valley Forge Pennsylvania to settle in the shadow of the Sacramento Mountains. 
            The amazing thing about these novels is that they portray, in the lead figures, a persistent, tough, sometime amoral, goodness that is captivating. They try to survive without doing violence to others or the land; and their dying, while in a long view inevitable, is in the close-up of their difficult and courageous efforts to subsist, crushing. I quit the first volume twice, because I too much loved the strength and honesty of the characters to see them pass.
            This remote land is not exempt from global warfare. That’s another way in which McGarrity understands the paradox of Western settlement: Civil War, World Wars I and II, Vietnam, make men’s fortunes and take their lives with inescapable fatality. The railroad comes to transport food and provisions for troops, whether stationed in the old forts that dotted the frontier, or in the growing cities housing major bases. And after World War II, the largest and most toxic land grab of all is conducted with ruthless efficiency by the government. White Sands Proving Grounds takes up 3,200 square miles of southern New Mexico: turning towns into cities, ranches into missile ranges, and the clear air of the high desert into an atmosphere poisoned by the exhalations of the first atomic bomb.
            What, then, distinguishes McGarrity’s trilogy from other great works about this part of the world, such as Paul Horgan’s Pulitzer and Bancroft prize-winning biography of the Rio Grande and Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop? This trilogy captures sympathetically both the characters and sensations of the region Cather so sharply depicts and the clashes among Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo cultures that through often violent and fiercely tribal ways together shaped and exploited the riverine land. All who came to these lands believed they belonged to them—90% of the Mexicans living in the region when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in 1836 chose to become American citizens.
            All that scope, all that history, all that space, is encompassed in McGarrity’s narrative. But it is discovered, experienced, and wrestled with by characters distinctive in their style, passions, and outcomes. Perhaps most wrenching is Patrick Kerney (1875-1964), orphaned, lonely, bitter, determined, who makes and loses his beloved ranch and his family, and yet modulates in his later years into a nearly silent witness to a century’s transformations. He manages not to hang onto anything much, but those with whom he lives and works are as loving and heroic as, down deep, he is. No one is better drawn or more moving than his wife Emma; her efforts to survive, provide a home and education for her sons, and understand her dogged, absent husband elevate her to the pantheon of strong women who shaped the West as much, sometimes more, than their men.
            Patrick’s son Matthew dominates the second and third volumes. Injured in Sicily during World War II, he arrives home only to have his land seized, a crazed convict seek to kill him, a marriage go sour, and a young son materialize who somehow has to be nurtured and raised. He loses often, but never gives up. This third volume, The Last Ranch, is the most mellow and domestic of the trilogy, though it is set during the cruelest time the West has known, the atomic era. A lot of it is concerned with small-scale events: housing, small-time ranching, rodeos, education, growing up and growing old. That era is one I know firsthand. Every detail of McGarrity’s reconstruction of post-war life is perfectly on pitch. The muted gains and set-backs of the postwar decades are rendered in a precise, unadorned prose that resonates deeply with the feel of those times.
            Time after time, in the midst of this historical reconstruction, McGarrity shocks. Events slash the fabric of lives and dreams like lightning igniting forest fires. Time after time people have to rebuild their loves and lives, or lose one or both. Unlike fiction, history doesn’t always reward winners or punish the guilty. McGarrity knows this, writes this unconsoling truth. So the background of millennia of occupation and abandonment, and the foreground of individual journeys, merge in a comprehensive and hugely moving panorama of a great part of America.
            It’s a story that hasn’t been told enough, isn’t understood by its own denizens, much less those north and east of the Mississippi, and is utterly fundamental to any conversation we might have nationally about our heritage, our purple mountains’ majesty, the scarcity of fruited plains, and the resolute destructive and creative builders of a mestizo civilization comprising ranches, minerals, grand parks, the theft and redirection of water, Las Vegas NM and Las Vegas NV, Hollywood and Santa Fe.
            The McGarrity trilogy achieves an encompassing history real, heart-stopping, and harshly beautiful. For its achievement it should be a contender for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.    

Monday, August 1, 2016

Book Signing & Talk Video

For those of you over the years who haven't been able to attend one of my book signings and talks, here's your chance to see me in action. And for those of you who may have attended one of my past book signings but have yet to hear me speak about THE LAST RANCH and my American West trilogy, here's your chance.

The event was hosted by my dear friends, John Walcott and his wife the writer Jann Arrington-Walcott, on Sunday evening, July 10 in the community center at Aldea of Santa Fe. It was a full house and the audience seemed to enjoy it.

 I hope you do also.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Has Book Reviewing Changed For Better or For Worse?

Just prior to the release of "The Last Ranch" in May, a very positive review of the book was posted online at "Tonstant Weader Reviews" with a note that a review copy had been provided by my publisher. It got me to thinking about how much the world of book reviewing has changed since my debut novel, "Tularosa" was published in 1996.

Twenty years ago, most newspapers, including my hometown paper the Santa Fe New Mexican, had journalists who served as book editors and who routinely got advanced reading copies of books from publishers asking for review consideration. Because of that a whole lot more authors had their books reviewed and a whole lot more readers were drawn to books they might not have otherwise discovered.

For the writer, if the print reviews were positive -- and even better yet plentiful as well -- chances for strong sales could skyrocket. It was always a happy occasion when good print reviews came in from Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, New York or another major market. That doesn't happen anymore for most writers.

Nowadays with the growth of the Internet and increasing popularity of reader reviews on websites,  book editors at newspapers have become all but extinct and a writer's chance of having a book featured and reviewed in a major print market is almost nil.

While I can understand how economics can make publishers decide not to run a weekly book page, I'm not so sure that's a good thing. Doesn't their livelihood depend on readers reading? Wouldn't they want to encourage that by recommending worthwhile books? I know booksellers would love it.

Fortunately the Santa Fe New Mexican continues to review books and I truly appreciate that. But with social media, author websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. now dominating, do newspaper reviews even matter in the digital age?

I think so, but what do you think?

"The Last Ranch" reviewed at Tonstantweaderreviews.com

Tonstant Weader has reviewed "The Last Ranch". Read the review here...


Monday, July 18, 2016

"The Last Ranch" reviewed in the Florida Times-Union

I’d like to share the July 8th review of “The Last Ranch” in the Florida Times-Union newspaper. It’s nice to know the book continues to receive print media praise.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Going to a Booksigning? Buy a Book.

During the last twenty years, I've had the good fortune to travel across the country from coast to coast, signing and talking about my books in bookstores large and small. I continue to enjoy
meeting readers who appreciate my novels enough to take time out of their busy lives to attend those events and expresses their enthusiasm for what I've written. It also gives me an opportunity to thank them and show my gratitude to the booksellers who have helped build my career as a successful writer.

Very often, these booksellers are book lovers and small independent proprietors filling a vital role in the cultural well-being of their communities, and doing it all on a very slim profit margin while competing against the Internet giants that drastically undercut prices. I sometimes silently wince when a reader at an independent bookstore event asks me to a sign a copy of my book purchased online at a deeply discounted price. It just isn't fair to the booksellers, and I watch as they grin and bear it.

With that said, I'd like to suggest a new bit of book-buying behavior the next time you go to your local independent bookstore and attend an author event: Always buy a book. Any book.

Buy a copy of the book by the presenting author for yourself, or if you already have a copy get one for a friend. Buy a book for a child or grandchild, husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. Buy a book by another writer you admire, a book in a different genre you haven't yet explored. If money's tight, buy a bargain book that looks interesting. And if you can afford it, leave with an armful of books and the pleasant anticipation of the enjoyment of what lies ahead once you open that first new  book to page one.

Book signings are hard work for booksellers. Books must be ordered, arrangements for scheduling must be made, publicity and marketing has to be readied, displays put up, books unpacked, chairs and tables put up and then put away, book repacked, and everything tidied up. And don't forget the author, who may need an introduction, a lectern, a microphone, or have other special requests. All  done by the bookseller for very little profit.

With this in mind, please don't treat the author talks and signings you attend as evenings of free entertainment. At the end of the event walk out of the store with books you've purchased. Any books. The independent booksellers will love you for it.
With a tip of the hat to Dorothy Massey, owner of The Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The hardest-working bookseller I know, and truly a great lady.

Friday, July 1, 2016

"The Last Ranch" reviewed in Pasatiempo Magazine

Reading the Friday morning paper over coffee this morning brought a very welcome and unexpected surprise. There was a great review of “The Last Ranch” by Robin Martin in the Santa Fe New Mexican’s Pasatiempo Magazine that is really a wonderful critique of my now complete American West trilogy. She writes that, “In addition to being full of adventure, each book is a true historical novel, an accurate picture of the American West. McGarrity’s writing is as clear as the desert air … and he has a talent for telling good stories. (His) trilogy of the Kerney family ranch is the story of most ranches in New Mexico. Anyone who is a fan of the author’s popular Kevin Kerney novels should read this authentic Western trilogy….”

It doesn’t get any better than this. Clink on link to enjoy the entire review.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

On the Air with Report from Santa Fe

This weekend my interview with Lorene Mills on “Report from Santa Fe” will air all around New Mexico on public television and radio. Here are the times:

Saturday night, June 25, 2016, 6:00 p.m. for the entire east side of the state, on Channel 3, KENW-TV, the PBS station in Portales.

STATEWIDE the DISH-TV network also airs it on Channel 3 at this time.

Sunday morning, June 26, 8:00 a.m. for Las Cruces and the Southern part of the State, on KRWG-TV, the PBS station in Las Cruces, Channel 22.

Sunday morning, June 26, 8:00 a.m. for Albuquerque and Santa Fe and all of Northern New Mexico, on Channel 5, KNME-TV, the PBS station in Albuquerque.

Sunday evening, June 26, 5:30 p.m. STATEWIDE on DirecTV, tune in to Channel 3.

For radio listeners, Monday morning June 27, 9:30 a.m. KANW-FM, 89.1 on your radio dial.

After the program airs statewide, a video link will be posted on Lorne Mills’ web site www.reportfromsantafe.com

With Lorene Mills, taken at the New Mexico
Roundhouse after videotaping "Report From Santa Fe" interview.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Faraway Friend

Dianna Bingham, my faraway friend, has retired. Not from her eight-to-five job working for a firm of solicitors in Brisbane, Australia - she did that several years ago - but as webmistress for my website, which she created and managed for the last fifteen years, voluntarily.

Yep, that's right; Di Bingham created, managed, and maintained www.michaelmcgarrity.com because she liked my Kevin Kerney novels, thought I needed a website, and volunteered to build one for me just for the fun of it.

Being the savvy guy I am, I took her up on the offer and in the process made a friend I've come to respect, admire, and hold dear. Not because she built my website and never asked for a dime, but because of what I know about the life she built for herself, the hardships and tragedies she endured, the obstacles she overcame, and her fierce determinate to survive.

I can't tell you Di's story, that's hers alone to tell. But if I could, trust me, you'd find it courageous and gripping. It would be a story that would make you laugh. cry, break your heart, and leave you shaking your head in wonderment. She is one remarkable lady and although we've never met in person, I am honored have her as my dearest, faraway friend.

With Di's retirement the website will be dormant for a time, and all of you on the update mailing list will no longer get one of Di's famous announcements that I had something new to say on the site. (I sometimes think folks liked her reports from down under more than my ramblings.) 

I don't know of any other established writer having someone volunteer to create and maintain a website for them for fifteen years, so what Di Bingham did for me was very, very special. And while you'll no longer hear from her through my website, be assured that I'll stay in touch with her, for the gods only give us a limited number of friends like Di.

Please join with me to wish her a happy retirement from my website. For now, you can stay in touch with me though this Blog or my Facebook page. And Di, my faraway friend, I'll talk to you soon, promise.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016


In this, my inaugural blog, I'd planned to talk about my newest novel, THE LAST RANCH and my writing, but the Orlando massacre changed all that. Actually, it's the aftershock that got me thinking that we are on the verge once again of becoming a nation divided.  And if we are living in a broken society snarling and tearing at itself, we cannot be healed by lofty rhetoric, partisan demagoguery, impassioned eulogies, heartfelt prayers, finger-pointing, or outpourings of sympathy. We will only begin to heal when we demand from those we elect to serve that they adhere to a higher standard and put the safety, well-being, and welfare of all citizens first above all else, including their own self interests. We deserve no less.

Can we do it? I think so, but let's start small. From this day forward, let us agree to vote out of office any incumbent, and refuse to elect any candidate, whether they be local, state, or federal, who refuses to actively support a total and immediate ban on assault rifles.

It's time to tell the politicians that they get a one way ticket home if they fail to act in the best interest of the people of this great nation. So let's start small by asking every candidate for office one simple, direct question: Would you actively support and vote for a local, state, and national ban on civilian ownership of assault weapons?

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Monday, May 23, 2016

The Last Ranch 2016 Tour Schedule

Monday, May 23rd, 7 PM Tattered Cover Bookstore 2526 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO, 303-322-7727

Tuesday, May 24th, 7 PM Poisoned Pen Bookstore 4014 N. Goldwater Blvd. Scottsdale, AZ 480-947-2974

Wednesday, May 26th, 7 PM Clues Unlimited 3146 E. Fort Lowell Road Tucson, AZ 520-326-853

Saturday, May 28th, 12 Noon COAS Bookstore 317 N. Main Street Las Cruces, NM 575-524-8471

Saturday, May 28th, 4 PM Thomas Branigan Memorial Library 200 E. Picacho Ave. Las Cruces 575-528-4001

Sunday, May 29th, 1 PM Hastings Books & Music 805 N. White Sands Blvd. Alamogordo, NM 575-437-9776

Sunday, May 29th, 4:30 PM Books Etc. 2340 Sudderth Drive Ruidoso, NM 575-257-1594

Friday, June 3rd, 7PM Barnes & Noble 6600 Menaul Blvd. Albuquerque 505-883-8200

Saturday, June 4th, 3 PM Tome on the Range 158 Bridge Street Las Vegas, NM 505-454-9944

Saturday, June 11th, 1-2 PM Op. Cit. Books DeVargas Mall 157 Paseo de Peralta Santa Fe. NM 505-428-032

Sunday, June 12th, 1 PM Bookworks 4022 Rio Grande Blvd. NW Albuquerque 505-344-8139