July 17th, 2012

This being July 17 Poke Rafferty #5, THE FEAR ARTIST, has burst upon the word, bringing traffic to a stop in many major metropolitan areas.

Or not.  But it’s very nice to see it up and to see eight reviews spring instantly into existence (on Amazon) and to have seven of those eight be five-star reviews.  And they’re NOT all by people I know.

Had a fascinating three days on the road (Phoenix, Houston, Austin) with Martin Limon, the author of the prodigious Sueno and Bascom series set in 1970s Korea, books I’ve read avidly since the first one appeared in, I think, 1990.  We visited three great stores–Poisoned Pen in Phoenix, Murder By the Book in Houston, and BookPeople in Austin–and I’m afraid I talked Martin’s ear off.  What could be worse than being trapped for three days in a very small car with a jacked-up, coffee-guzzling fanboy?  Martin handled it well.

Now I can put Murphy and Treasure and all the rest of it behind me and move wholeheartedly into the next one, which is coming nicely, I believe.  And MAKING STORY: TWENTY-ONE WRITERS ON HOW THEY PLOT is just around the bend in that there river.  And it looks like there may be a TWENTY-ONE WRITERS series, each dealing with a different component of the novel-writing mystery, or, rather, process.

Life is so interesting.


  1. EverettK Says:

    The UPS truck just pulled away, leaving my newly minted copy warm in my hands! Too bad I’ve already read it, but now I get to read it again. 🙂 I’ve also just posted my review on Amazon.

    Haven’t had enough of the 21-writers adventure, hmm? 🙂 I do remember you mentioning at several points that “there’s material for another book.” I think it’s a great idea to do more books in that line, as each time you mentioned those, I was eager to read about those subjects as well!

  2. Julie Evelsizer Says:

    On my way to download my copy from Amazon now – just dropped by to see what you had to say about it first!!

  3. philip Says:

    Pleasant surprise to find it in my Kindle this morning. Up to chapter 3. It’s good.

  4. Gary Says:

    Wondered why your blog’s been so quiet lately. Congrats and best wishes!

  5. Ruth Says:

    Hurrah!! So exciting to have Amazon bombard me with Hallinan (they cater to preferences if I’m understanding how getting e-mails works?). Now re-reading The Fear Artist for subtleties–and there are many. Thanks for your on-going ingenuity from your fan Ruth

  6. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, everyone, and thanks for coming by.

    Everett, hope you like the hardcover edition. I think it’s a really handsome package. And the plotting book has morphed into THE 21 WRITERS PROJECT, with its own dedicated website (soon) and at least three more books–and, possibly, writing workshops and conferences. The first book is THAT good.

    Julie, thanks for the download, and PLEASE let me know how you like it!

    philip, what’s with the ee cummings style? Glad to know you like the opening of the book, and hope it holds up for you.

    Gary, great to hear from you. How’s my/your apartment doing? Any vacancies? If so, and if furnished, I might take one of them a little later this year.

    Ruth, Amazon has been working the book very nicely, although they didn’t make it a pick of the month, boo hoo. But sales are very respectable now, and we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks. Keep looking for those subtleties, and tell me about them when you find them.

  7. Gary Says:

    We’ll move to the living room in your honor, and sleep on the floor. After all, it’s not everyone who can have a famous author as a house guest.

    Seriously, it would be lovely to meet again. Are you planning a flying visit, or should I be looking for an apartment for you?

  8. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    I was so excited that I read all your visiting posts, and didn’t check. My review went up on Amazon the day of, and I still believe you wrote a superior book. The story of the encroaching flood, and the power of government grows more chilling as I think about. Have fun, Tim, and I’m hoping you well.

  9. Julie Evelsizer Says:

    I finished reading it – it’s really a page-clicker (on a Kindle) and I liked it very well. I’ve got to go back, like Ruth, and reread it for the subtleties. I’m afraid that when I get ahold of a fast-paced thriller like this, I just gobble it up to see where the story is going and don’t savor the words, and I more than likely miss something important. Whoops, I was writing more but I don’t want to give anything at all away. The story is as darkly tangled as the war on terror itself, I’ll leave it at that.

  10. philip Says:

    Thanks Lil for the heads-up about the flood as a metaphor – I hadn’t noticed, but you’re right, and it’s a touch that puts Mr Halligan right up there.

    Treasure is scary.

  11. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    I can’t take credit for that, Philip. I read it in an interview with Tim and it made all kinds of sense. Very powerful book. And sobering.

  12. Sharai Says:

    Amazon has informed me that my copy is on it’s way!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks to all the above comments for making me salivate, although I’ve misplaced my drool bucket.

  13. Jeff Pruett Says:

    Just finished your latest and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. I’ve been to Thailand three times now and hope to live there when I retire. Your books had something to do with my going the first time.Poke and his family and friends are a joy to know. Thanks. P.S. This is my first fan letter!

  14. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    This is a great reaction and I’m grateful to you all. I’ve never written a more difficult book, so knowing that people like it has been amazing. Philip has been sending me a sort of reader’s journal – thoughts about the book every 100 pages or so — and I’ve LOVED getting it. Anyone else who wants to do that? I might splice them together into a piece of some kind, cutting out spoilers, of course. It’s killer to read reactions by someone who’s actually experiencing the book and doesn’t know yet where it’s going (although some of his guesses have been really on target).

    Anyway, thanks to all and would love to get those if anyone feels like developing it.

  15. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Oh, and Sharai, I’m using your drool bucket as a watering can. I can’t believe how much it holds.

  16. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Jeff — wow — my books helped take you to Thailand?? Amazing. That makes me really happy, especially since you obviously love it as much as I do. Maybe we’ll meet up there sometime.

  17. munyin Says:

    Congrats, Tim on all these wonderful responses. Someone called you Mr. Haligan. Is that a new name?

    Also, hi to Ruth and Joe! I still reminisce about the wonderful time we had last December in Fort Bragg and Mendocino. Magical spot, extraordinary hospitality. Love to you two!!!!!!

  18. Helen Simonson Says:

    Congratulations Tim. I’m off to Amazon right now to buy my hard copy! And no surprise – I am deep into my second novel and stopping by your site because that’s what I do when I need to be reminded to stick my face to the computer screen and keep making pages! Best wishes, Helen S.

  19. India Says:

    Just so you know…..as of a few days ago my Kindle “Home” page has nothing but Tim Hallinan books on the first page and part of the second.

    Started with Jr. Bender, then Simeon Grist but, at some point, after reading a review of one of the Poke Rafferty books I began with …..can’t remember. I am hooked. On Poke, Arthit, Rose and Maiow as well as so many of the other characters. But…..the description of Treasure, the feral child was both riveting and heart-rending and I’m encouraged to note that there was only one body found after the fire.

    Last comment, for now, although this may seem bizarre, from the first description of that malevolent loon “Murphy” I visualized Philip Seymour Hoffman and could not lose it. An amazing book, on so many levels.

    Thanks, so much for wonderful evenings of thoughtful and touching storytelling.


  20. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Thanks, India, and thanks again for your wonderful email.

    Treasure came out of nowhere. Murphy was in the back of that car, bring taken home from the airport, when Treasure came into his mind. I had no idea she was coming, had not planned for the character, and when I’d written her first scene I freaked out; what in the world was I going to do with her? As it turned out, she was worth the time it took to let her into the book and the space she took up, and I think the scene between her and Poke is one of the best in the book.

    Philip Seymour Hoffman is GREAT casting, although he’d have to play it older than he is.


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