SPARROW news, and a request

I had very modest expectations when I began writing The Sparrow back in 1992. I never meant it to be a novel. I thought I was trying a short story. It was an experiment. I wanted to see what it was like to create characters, to write dialog, and set a scene. I honestly expected to crap out after eleven pages, but those characters, and the situation I dropped them into, and their relationships kept pulling me along. An obsessive year later, I had a completed manuscript about Jesuits in space. Even I thought "Jesuits in space" sounded stupid and by ...
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Teeth from Waterloo

A lot of readers have asked me about the reference in Doc to the use of teeth from dead soldiers in dental bridges and plates. Here's a link! ...
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Take me now, Lord!

Had to share this review of Epitaph for the Dallas Morning News by Allen Barra, the respected author of Inventing Wyatt Earp: his life and many legends. I may have the last sentence tattooed on my arm. Just kidding. I hate tattoos. But... Wow ...
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The end of the endless weekend

When young writers ask my advice, I always tell them, "Marry an engineer. They're not only funny, creative, rational people, they get benefits at work and there's been been a good job market for them since the Renaissance." I'm not kidding about that. My husband is a software engineer. Don has not been unemployed for a single day since the Nixon Administration. If you've enjoyed my novels, thank him. For the past 45 years, he has made it possible for me to do financially stupid things like get a Ph.D. in anthropology, and teach anatomy for a lousy $11 grand a year, ...
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Back in the saddle again!

After five weeks of dealing with pertussis, I have advice: if you're over 50, get a tetenus-diptheria-pertussis booster. Immunity from childhood vaccines evidently wears off after a few decades and the disease is making a big come-back. However, I am well now and we've rescheduled the canceled Epitaph tour events on the west coast. For the new dates and venues, click EVENTS! In the meantime, here's a link to a fun interview about Epitaph at the Jesuit magazine America.   ...
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A personal favor?

If you were planning on coming to one of my tour events, please go to the store anyway and buy a copy of Epitaph from them. I am so distressed by having to cancel on these great stores. Please support them! Loganberry Books, 13015 Larchemere Blvd., Shaker Heights OH Powell's Books, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton OR University Bookstore @ UWashington Club, 4020 W. Stevens Way NE Seattle WA Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA Books Inc., 855 El Camino Real #74, Palo Alto CA Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco CA Copperfield's Books, 775 Village Ct., Santa Rosa, CA 95405   ...
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Epitaph tour events canceled, March 23-28

If you've followed the Epitaph tour on Facebook, you'll know that I've been traveling sick and getting sicker by the day. I joked about having the Doc Holliday Memorial Cough, but by the time I got to Denver, it was clear that I couldn't keep going. The diagnosis is pertussis, a serious respiratory illness that can last many weeks. The cough is exhausting and painful -- so bad, my doctor did in fact consider it necessary to rule out TB as well. I've been forced to cancel next week's events in Beaverton, Seattle, Pasadena, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Santa Rosa ...
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Apology and tour update

My web guru is trying to consolidate two lists of blog subscribers. The effort seems to be generating random re-sends of earlier blogs. Sorry about that. We'll get the issue sorted out soon. The Epitaph tour is half-completed. I'm now home for a week. Here's a link to the upcoming events ...
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Epitaph Book Tour

Take a look at this schedule!  It's going to be a marathon, but it's a privilege and an honor when a publisher sends an author out on tour. HarperCollins/Ecco is putting some muscle behind Epitaph and I am eager to visit as many stores and book festivals as possible. If your city isn't on the schedule, you can still order signed and personalized copies of all my books from Mac's Backs. If you've ordered Epitaph already, the book will ship on Monday, March 2. Owner Suzanne DeGaetano will continue to take orders for Epitaph while I'm away. I'll get them signed ...
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New book, new look, new content!

March 3 is the official publication date for Epitaph and that was an excuse to reorganize and redesign this website. I wanted something simplified, clean-looking, and easy to navigate. My web designer, Etsuko Dunham, delivered the organization; her artist, Jessica Sandy, came up with quirky, fun graphics. Many thanks to both of them! The book tour for Epitaph begins on March 3, 2015. All the venues and dates are listed on the Events page. The Novels page divides neatly into 19th Century, 20th Century, and 21st Century, with two books each. We have galleries of Historical Figures for all of the overtly ...
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