PBS: “Murder of a President” on American Experience

When developing a historical novel, I try to get a sense of what’s going on in the wider world that surrounds my story’s setting. War is always there in the background: impending wars, current wars, wars still haunting the dreams of veterans. But what else happening? What’s scandalous? What’s amusing? What are people reading? What … Read more…

Okay, I know they’re actors, but…

… when a gentleman dressed as Doc Holliday or Wyatt Earp stops by to chat at my book table, it is a thrill. Yesterday, I spent seven hours in the bookstore and gift shop at the O.K. Corral, while hundreds of people shuffled through, buying souvenirs and tickets to the gunfight reenactment done 2-3 times … Read more…

Some pianos ARE too awful to play!

This morning, I drove into Tombstone early, hoping to beat the heat and the crowds. Spotted mining archeologist  Carey Granger and had a chance to ask him some additional questions, including, “Wait — they had two ice factories in Tombstone? How did they make ice?” He said they used ammonia and fire. “Did you ever … Read more…

Going west-ern

Since writing THE SPARROW, I’ve attended a number of science fiction conventions and enjoyed them hugely, but I’ve never been one to wear Spock ears or dress up as an Imperial Stormtrooper. This reluctance to live out fantasies in public could be a sign of dignity and reserve; more likely, it’s clear-eyed realism about how … Read more…