Archive for August, 2013

TWO WRITERS OF ‘PLACE’, JAMES LEE BURKE AND CORMAC McCARTHY

I would like to take this opportunity to discuss two of my favorite authors, James Lee Burke and Cormac McCarthy.  I refer to these writers as ‘writers of place’ because of their similar styles, their ability to immerse you not only in excellent stories but also in the rich atmosphere, the fullness of the story’s location.

James Lee Burke’s novels are primarily crime novels with two recurring characters both of whom are sheriffs.  One, Dave Robicheaux, is sheriff of New Iberia, Louisiana.  Read this series and you become immersed in life in the Louisiana bayous.  You can feel the humidity and smell the smells of the region when you read these stories.  His most recently published novel, Light of the World, features Robicheaux but with a change of location to Missoula, Montana.

Hackberry Holland is the principle character in another of Burke’s series.  He is a sheriff in southwest Texas.  With Holland you experience the grit and desolation of the west.  Reading Burke’s novels is like buying a ticket to the region where they take place.

My second ‘writer of place’ is Cormac McCarthy.  His work is not for the faint of heart.  Two of his novels, No Country for Old Men and The Road, have recently been made into movies.  No Country for Old Men is an especially violent movie, closely following the book.  It is the rare novel where the ‘bad guy’ comes out on top in the end.

McCarthy is also known for his trilogy taking place in the early 1900’s in Texas and Mexico.  All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing and Cities of the Plains immerse you in the changing west and the end of the cowboy way of life.  All are rich in the texture of their locals and excellent reads.

I highly recommend the works of Burke and McCarthy, novels rich in atmosphere and memorable characters.

August 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

LIFE AS A FULL-TIME WRITER

I’ve lived life as a fulltime writer for some years now and have made some interesting observations.
I now accomplish less writing than when I was writing and holding a fulltime job. Hopefully, I’m about to change that situation.
It is not for lack of ideas. If anything I have too many irons in the fire. A host of short stories have begun their lives on legal pads and await completion. Two completed novels await editing and ideas for novels fill notebooks. But what I have now that stands in my way is time.
Let me explain.
When I had a fulltime job, I would spend every stolen moment writing. I write my first drafts in longhand so I could write anywhere. My backpack was always full of my works in progress. Now that I have all the time in the world, there is always tomorrow to work on what awaits in my study. But health issues and advancing age has brought a new light to my eyes. How many tomorrows are left?
I hope this insight brings my writing career new benefits.
Stay tuned. I’ll keep you informed.

August 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm Leave a comment


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