10 Books You Should Read This April

CrimeReads came out with its “Top 10 Books You Should Read This April” list and selected The Faking of the President as one of them. On top of that, they singled out my story, along with Angel Luis Colon, as stand-outs. Woot!

My story “In Mother We Trust” is set in the near future during the 2024 election with Mike Pence running as the Republican candidate. It’s told from Karen Pence’s POV and she will do anything to ensure her husband’s rightful place as president. This resolve is tested when Trump refuses to leave office. Throw in Governor Elon Musk of California and the looming possibility of Calexit and you have a noir thriller that one reviewer wrote “reads something like a prequel to Handmaid’s Tale.”

The Faking of the President is out April 21, 2020 with Three Rooms Press but you can preorder it now!

International Thriller Writers interview

Ed and I are up today over at The Big Thrill where we chat with Basil Sands about our novel-in-stories The Swamp Killers.

Check out the interview by clicking on the cover below!

Jungle Red Writers Interview

Art Taylor interviews Ed and I about truth in fiction and how it shaped our novel-in-stories The Swamp Killers. It’s up today at Jungle Red Writers.

FYI: Art has a story in the anthology, “A Close Shave,” that Ed and I both agree is fantastic and wraps everything up perfectly.

A big thank you to Jungle Red Writers and Hank Phillippi Ryan for hosting us and to Art for the thoughtful discussion!

If you read and comment, you can enter to win a copy of The Swamp Killers!

Authors on the Air Podcast

I’ll be on a podcast! Marietta Miles is partnering with Pam Stack and Do Some Damage to celebrate Women’s History Month.

It’s 4pm PST, March 25, 2020 and I’ll be talking about women who inspire me.

Listen on your favorite app or on http://www.soundcloud.com/authorsontheair

Here’s the info and link:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Authors on the Air podcast 4:00pm PST

Authors on the Air host Pam Stack is proud to partner with author Marietta Miles and DO SOME DAMAGE for a celebration of women writers for Women’s HerStory Month.

Marietta will introduce you to these beautiful, brilliant and bodacious women:

Ann Abel  aka Allison Davis

Dharma Kelleher

Holly West

Mia Manansala (with her look alike Wonder Woman)

Sarah M. Chen

Cindy Rosmus

Sandra Ruttan

Cut to the Chase!

My friend and co-editor, E.A. Aymar, writes a column for the Washington Independent Review of Books. His latest features short stories and he asked two very talented short story writers, Art Taylor and Tara Laskowski (who by the way are also in The Swamp Killers!) to name their favorites. Oh, and he also asked me.

So if you want an escape from all this craziness but still find it difficult to break away too long from the endless updates, then a short story is your answer!

Read the column for some excellent recommendations. I don’t really have a favorite short story but I do have a favorite short story writer. Read on to find out who!

The Swamp Killers is out!

So I know there’s a pandemic and scary virus going around that will keep us indoors for a while. I know this is a strange, uncertain time. And I know that promoting a book right now is pretty laughable. BUT I’m going to still do it because if you’re like me, YOU’VE BEEN PREPARING FOR A QUARANTINE YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

This is not my TBR pile but I love this image because there’s an Elmore Leonard book in Swedish. Photo by: imadc/depositphotos

So let me add to your TBR pile by tempting you with The Swamp Killers: A Novel-in-Stories. Ed Aymar and I edited it and it’s sort of our follow up to The Night of the Flood but not really. We’ve got a few of the same authors and some awesome new ones.

Book description:

Here’s what we know is true.

Timmy Milici, a low-level hitter with the infamous Atlanta-based Duplass crime family, ran off with Melody Duplass to Jacksonville, Florida. Olivia Duplass, her mother and head of the Duplass family, was incensed, and put a price on Timmy—a hundred thousand for his corpse, but with explicit instructions that her daughter not be harmed.

We know that’s true.

Or, at least, we think we do.

Sixteen writers tell their versions of what happened those fateful days in this gripping novel-in-stories, brought to you from the team behind The Night of the Flood.

Contributors: E.A. Aymar, Sarah M. Chen, Hilary Davidson, Alex Dolan, Rebecca Drake, Gwen Florio, Elizabeth Heiter, J.J. Hensley, Susi Holliday, Shannon Kirk, Tara Laskowski, Jenny Milchman, Alan Orloff, Tom Sweterlitsch, Art Taylor, and Wendy Tyson.

Buy it on Amazon, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, or the Down & Out website!

Three Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Wrote a Book

Today my post is up over at The Thrill Begins as part of our Spring series: Three Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Wrote a Book. Mine is less practical advice and more about your mindset when writing.

I know there’s a lot of craziness and panic going on around all of us right now with COVID-19. It’s a very scary time and we all are unsure what’s going to happen next.

I’ve canceled Left Coast Crime which I was greatly looking forward to. It’s so unfortunate that many writers had to do the same. I know it takes a lot of work to put on a conference. Many book / literary festivals and conferences are canceling as well.

Meanwhile, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy and watch the news 24/7. But it’s important to remember to check out now and then. Turn off the TV and don’t look at social media. Regroup, refresh, and revive.

Which is how I came up with my column today over at The Thrill Begins.

Three Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Wrote a Book: Writer Intentions

Thrill Seekers with Alex Dolan podcast

Ed Aymar and I were on the Thrill Seekers podcast hosted by Alex Dolan! You can check it out on Soundcloud. We discuss our upcoming novel-in-stories The Swamp Killers which releases March 16, 2020. Alex also has a story in the anthology called “Gunfight at the Tooth and Alewhich many of the other Swamp authors referenced.

Meet THE FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT Authors

The Faking of the President comes out April 21, 2020 but if you’re curious who is in this anthology (besides me!), check out this fun Q&A. Three Rooms Press asked us TFOP “cabinet members” why we chose our specific president to write about and who our favorite president is. Find out the answers by clicking on the cover below!

Growing Up Different

My mother and me – circa 1972

Today’s publication announcement isn’t my usual crime fiction-related post. I wrote an essay about growing up biracial in conservative Orange County, California in the 70s and 80s. The Hapa Mag accepted it and it’s in Issue 10 which is out today!

It’s my first attempt at writing about how ashamed I was of my Chinese background. I wish I could go back in time and change how I thought of my dad and our heritage but I can’t. I wish I could have embraced my Chinese culture but I didn’t.

But I’m grateful that I am finally able to celebrate it. I want to learn about my Chinese roots as much as I can, while I can. My dad and I have become much closer over the years and I’m extremely blessed that our relationship has strengthened and grown.

In Taiwan circa mid-70s