August 20, 2015
Time for what seems to be a yearly update to this site. First off, I should say that I'm recently back from a trip to the very wonderful Semana Negra de Gijón, which I've written about here before, and that my article about a specific panel at the Semana Negra has just been published over at the Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog, so head over there to check out some interesting writers, and also for some of my thoughts about violence against women in genre fiction.
Writing the blog post (and hearing other authors speak) was interesting for me, since I've never particularly thought of the Tejada novels as being specifically about gendered violence, but realize that although women are indirectly victims in three of the four novels, they are officially acknowledged as a the subject of a murder inquiry in only one. I will say that when I started Death of a Nationalist I was planning on having no living female characters, in the finest traditions of noir fiction, and instantly got bored, and started introducing women with speaking parts. I've also noticed that The Watcher in the Pine seems to provoke violently angry reactions about how badly the main female protagonist is treated...but as far as I can tell from reviews and reader emails only from men. For example, I was actually really flattered by this review on Goodreads though of course I wish it wasn't a two-star review. For contrast, the site Women in World History gave the same book a very positive review, noting precisely the same issues in the book and coming to an opposite conclusion. I'm not sure what this means, except maybe that modern men of good will are scared to admit how much their deep beliefs about women's equality are purely culturally conditioned, and how much they might have taken advantage of their own power and privilege in another time and place. If you have any thoughts, do email me. If I get a few responses maybe I'll try to post them here, and get a discussion started.
Again, many thanks to those people who have written to me, or posted questions on Amazon about if and when there would be new books available, and whether I'm still writing. The answer is: I'm writing! The Summer Snow which remains the last book in the Tejada series (for reasons I've explained at a little more length in the FAQ section.) But I have a couple of manuscripts of historical novels sitting on the hard drive, and a couple of others that are close to starting to make the rounds to publishers.
Many thanks to all of you who have down-loaded, read, and written to me about What Happened When the War Was Over, the anthology of stories about the characters in Death of a Nationalist available as an e-book from at Smashwords.com. (They're also available directly at Barnes and Noble, and other retailers, for those of you who have Kindles, Nooks, or other dedicated e-book devices.)
Salud camaradas. Happy reading.