Monday, February 27, 2012
This is a crazy one. I pulled out all the stops on this one. I wrote it during the Colorado heat and sunshine of last summer, so I put it in the heat and sunshine...of southwestern Arizona/northwestern Sonora. You ever been there in the summer? If so, you haven't forgotten it. I lived in a Tucson apartment one summer that had only a swamp cooler, so to cool off I'd jump in the apartment complex's pool. At midnight. Sometime 2 in the morning. Weeping. Because the water was so warm it was like trying to cool off in a hot springs.
And I've set this in even lower country. Rocky country. Cacti country. Country populated with the nasty Mojave Apache.
This is a somewhat classic setup with several different factions--Rurales, outlaws, Lou Prophet and Louisa Bonaventure--coming together at a waterhole, in a cursed desert mountain town north of the Sea of Cortez. In the hot, dry, dusty summer. They come together for water and to escape the Apaches. Only the town they've sought refuge in--a ghost town--has its own faction...and its own nasty, deadly secrets. Not to mention a pit filled with dead lawmen and which Lou Prophet finds himself at the bottom of.
(All this and the heat and he doesn't even weep!)
To make it even more interesting, I have my beautiful, blond, sarsparilla-swilling Vengeance Queen, Louisa Bonaventure, succumb to the wiles of a beautiful, blond, blind--yes, BLIND--pistolera named Sugar Delphi.
It should be out around May 1. Hey, pre-order a copy, will you? Or maybe two. I'd really love to upgrade my beer. And I'm sure the people who sell it to me by the Ranger-loads would like me to too, so you'd be doing the right thing and helping out the economy.
Thanks and gidyup fer now, fellow Hellbenders.
Apache Pete His own Mean an' Nasty Self
Saturday, February 25, 2012
CNN can't even find him, and they've sent their best-lookin' reporters.
Anyway, I'm working on this slowly, at the end of each day--yeah, when I'm drinking beer. So we'll see what happens. But I'll tell you, by the way my ole ticker's pitter-pattering and I'm grinning and chuckling and snarling as I write it, it's gonna be good. Damn good. Hell, while I'm hammering away, my dogs even lift their heads and howl.
The yarn's about the biggest, meanest, brawlingest sonofabtich cavalry sergeant you've ever read about or watched on the big screen--Charlie "Satan" Sutton. He's stationed in Dakota/Montana Territories. All the officers hate him so bad they try to kill him but when they can't, they assign him and his small group of worthless but deadly sonso'bitches to all the worst assignments in Indian Country.
I hope to have it out later this summer. I'll publish bits and pieces as I write it so, if you think you can hold your water and not whiz down your leg while reading it, check back for a tidbit now and then.
Till then, my dogs is howlin' here in Outlaw Canyon.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
My mom, Yvonne, and I were a lot alike--in good and bad ways. (I'll save the bad for the memoir.) I must have gotten my story-telling ability from her, cause she loved nothing better than to tell stories over cups of black coffee or, later, whiskey and water. Her yarns were all true--at least, as far as I know--and she colored them with word-pictures so lens-clear that you could see exactly what she was talking about. I mean, when she told of those two boys in her little hometown of Noonan killed in a car wreck and left in the back of a pickup truck, battered and bloody, while the family gathered--that was vivid.
She died from complications of a heart attack and surgery in 1999, months before my first book came out. She was 62. She was a walking good time, that woman. I miss the hell out of her.
Below is my sister, Stacey, born three years later than I--in 1966. This was taken in front of our grandmother's house in Bottineau, ND probably around '68. As you can see, she didn't feel very safe in the hands of her big brother. Oddly, she's still cautious...
Monday, February 20, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Sophia Coppola is just jealous.
How can you not love Cameron Diaz, fer chissakes?
Great comedy with a nihilistic edge but a warm heart. A former teacher must have written it. It got a lot of bad reviews, and Cameron does look old in it, but that's part of the charm.
This is sort of like COACH with Kathy Lee Crosby, which I saw from my folks' backyard at the Starlight Drive-Inn Theater back in Grand Forks, North Dakota, circa 1978, because it was the Big Bad !'R'!--but this is wiser and funnier in a darker, wiser way.
How can you go wrong with an aging teacher trying to be the best she can be so she can afford a new set of hooters?
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The Bells of El Diablo is the first book in a new series about Confederate treasure-hunters in the American Southwest. The main characters are young Lieutenant James Dunn and his side-kick, Crosseye Reeves. It will be on the stands in July. I have a follow-up yarn in the works.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The critics are already weighing in:
"Blood Mountain is so good, when I look at my own work, I wanna jump off the nearest cliff and into the deep, dark void!" Albert Camus, author of THE STRANGER.
"Blood Mountain is so good I want to hit it with a hammer!" James M. Caine, author of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE.
"The kid's a philosopher!" Plato, author of a bunch of philosophical stuff.
And finally, this just in from the lofty heights...
"Blood Mountain is so good it makes my work look like something Jackie Suzanne dashed off while getting her nails done."--God, author of THE BIBLE and Kate Upton.
Throw my dogs a bone and buy your copy today!
More are coming soon...
(The pic below is just in case you don't know who Kate Upton is...) Gidyup!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
This isn't my favorite of Sergio Corbucci's movies, but it's a close second and only because Numero Uno is so damn good. That would be, of course, THE GREAT SILENCE.
This opens with Franco Nero riding into the muddiest town in the West or elsewhere (Corbucci loves mud!) pulling a coffin, and 90 minutes later, after a classic shootout in a Gothic-style boneyard, he's piled the bodies up like cordwood at a sweat lodge festival.
I hear Quentin Tarantino is remaking this, and it should be good, as all his movies are. But his films are always extremely self-conscious and a little too theatrical--like Tim Burton's--so you're always made to be aware that you're watching a movie. Whereas this one will suck you right into the mud and damn near drown you in it.
There's a Corbucci fest soon in LA, and Nero's going to be there. I wish I could be there to see DJANGO on the big screen. Unfortunately, I'll be festooned deep inside the murky bear den hidden away here in Outlaw Canyon, two steps ahead of the star-packers, snorting and snarling and grunting like Quasimodo in his bell tower, as I peck away at my keyboard.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Anyway, my own personal publishing house, Mean Pete Press, will publish it soon on Amazon for Kindle, and it will sell for $2.99--less than you can buy a coffee for these days unless you brew it yourself.
Livia Reasoner made the cover, and I really like it a lot. It captures the mountains that are in the novel as well as the gritty, sort of desperate atmosphere. She's working on one for me for the next book I intend to republish, my very first one--ONCE A MARSHAL.
I'll let you know when this one hits the cyber stands, and post an excerpt. Till then, keep a finger on your trigger and one eye on your backtrail!
Poudre River Pete Brandvold, his own mean an' nasty self
Friday, February 3, 2012
This is the world I woke up to this morning.
Thor's not all that impressed.
But, hell, I was born in this shit--I love it!!
Except now I gotta shovel the driveway that's a little shorter than a football field...and it's uphill....
Miss Stella may have the right idea.
Now with sunrise it's comin' down again...
Thank God the larder's stocked!
And I have a coupla movies to watch.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
So seldom do I get to say this: He was right. In spades.
I was right there at the edge of my seat, heart pitter-pattering just like it did when I was a kid and fully involved in the great spaghetti westerns like my favorite at the time--Sabata. But this is no western. It's a contemporary survival thriller that you could imagine--if you've got a great imagination--being penned by Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa, together, drunk, on Bergman's misty private island off the coast of Sweden in January.
If you liked RUNAWAY TRAIN and THE EDGE, you'll love this. But it ain't for wussies. If you're squeamish, be prepared to switch theaters fast. Or stop off at the doc's on the way home for anti-depressants. This existentialism ramped up to a blistering, beautiful degree.