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April 13th, 2014

In My Neck of the Maine Woods …

Hey all,

A quick note on a gray morning in April. Spring is here but cold and gray. Tomorrow we’re promised 70 and sunny so no worries.

I’m finishing up revisions to ONCE BURNED, McMorrow No. 10. The new draft is due to my editor, Genevieve Morgan, at Islandport Press on April 16, Tuesday. I always make deadlines and work way better when I have one. I told Genevieve this and she came back with a whole list of deadlined tasks, from revision of ONCE BURNED, to new introductions to the McMorrow reissues, to outline and chapters of McMorrow No. 11, STRAW MAN. I love to check those babies off.

ONCE BURNED is scheduled to be published in the spring of 2015, about a year from now. That sounds like a long time but there are so many stages leading up to publication that 12 months can seem pretty tight. Cover design, line editing, copy editing, publicity and promotion plans (and Islandport has some good ones up their sleeve), and actual production. But rest assured the book is coming and I think it’s a good ‘un, as they say. The crime is arson but the parallel plot has to do with one of Roxanne’s old cases coming back to bite her in a serious way. When you deal in people’s lives, as Roxanne did as a child protective worker, the consequences can be serious. Here’s a taste, in the form of the page that was just on my screen. Much more to come so check back in here soon.

IMG 1399 1024x768 In My Neck of the Maine Woods ...


March 5th, 2014

Good news for McMorrow and Blake

Hey all,

Good news today that’s been cooking behind the scenes for some time. Islandport Press in Maine is going to publish the new McMorrow ONCE BURNED and reissue eight books from the  McMorrow backlist. All those early books–DEADLINE, BLOODLINE, LIFELINE…– will be back on the shelf and, for the first time out as e-books. I’ll also be writing some original stuff for their website and some true crime commentary (just my cup of tea). So all good, and the result of lots of talk, negotiation, back and forth, reviewing of proposals, contracts, etc.IMG 1337 250x187 Good news for McMorrow and Blake

So now the fun begins. I’m revising ONCE BURNED based on some great discussions with Islandport senior editor Genevieve Morgan, who I’m really going to enjoy working with. Then on to new introductions for DEADLINE and BLOODLINE, and work on the next McMorrow, STRAW MAN. And a new Brandon Blake. And a prequel to ONCE BURNED. And on it goes.

I’ll go back to work. Please check back here for details and more stuff. I’m going to be on the website way more often in coming days, weeks, and months.


January 2nd, 2014

The Big Chill

Hey all. Cold up here today in Jack McMorrow’s neck of the Maine woods. High today was minus 8. Tonight 15 below. Thirty mph winds tomorrow and high of 3 degrees. Nothing like a Maine winter to weed out the wimps.IMG 1220 250x186 The Big Chill

So happy New Year, 2014. We’re keeping the home fires burning and the pets in, except for Flossie the barn cat, who has decided that winter or no winter she now lives in the barn in the bow of the boat. I bought her a new cozy cat bed at Marden’s but so far she’s turning up her nose. You can lead a cat to water ….

So that’s the weather report. On the book front (finally, you say) I expect to have news tres soon about McMorrow in ONCE BURNED and Brandon Blake, both returning to entertain you on cold winter nights or haunt your dreams, or both. We’re in the throes of the business end of the process and the devil is in the details, as they say. I’d rather just write but hey. More in short order. Some good news coming.

Also on the book front, Dubliner Emily Westbrooks (fromchinavillage.com) and I are setting out to sell our Irish mystery, DEAD SAMARITAN, in the UK. I just reread SAMARITAN and I like it. A lot. And Emily and I can’t wait to get it out there. It’s a true page-turner. And a thriller. And a love story. And serves up some very serious bad guys. More to come …

So I’ll be in touch via Facebook (gerry boyle author), Twitter (gerryboyle), and mainecrimewriters.com. Or you can just shoot me an email (gerry@gerryboyle.com) and I’ll add you to the news list.

Stay warm. Be well. And always be partway through a good book.








October 29th, 2013

Headed for the Big House

Hey all,

Starting to think about buttoning things up here in my neck of the Maine woods. Finish raking. Start to load firewood into the shed and the cellar. Fire up the woodstoves. Hunker down with a good book, or maybe even write one.

IMG 00391 250x186 Headed for the Big House

A recent autumn morning on the lake where I live.

Speaking of writing, I’m in the process of choosing a publisher for McMorrow No. 10, ONCE BURNED. A variety of factors go into this decision but I have a good feeling about where we’re headed. I’ll let you know as soon as we sign on the dotted line. I’m also working on McMorrow No. 11, working title STRAW MAN. It’s going well and I’m pretty excited about it (as well I should be). I’d tell you about the plotline but if I did that I’d have to kill you. Just kidding. I’m just superstitious about revealing anything about a book until it’s done. Suffice it to say this has made pitching book ideas to agents and editors a bit of a challenge. I can recall a couple of pitches that ended with, “It’s a great idea. Trust me.”

They did and onward we went.

Lastly, I’m going to do a book event Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. in Augusta. Haven’t been out and about much on the book talk front much of late so this should be fun. It’s at the Blaine House, the official residence of Gov. Paul LePage and his wife, Ann. The First Lady is the host for a 2 p.m. panel put on by the Friends of the Maine State Library. I’ll be on hand with fellow Maine mystery writers Paul Doiron and James Hayman. And if you’re not a Friend of the Maine State Library, you should be. You can become one in good standing by signing up at the door.

Paul and Jim are interesting writers and good speakers. It should be a good time. Hope to see you there.



October 6th, 2013

I’m Back!

Hey all,

Greetings on a beautiful October day in my neck of the Maine woods. Apologies for not checking in more often. I’ve been finishing THE DEAD SAMARITAN, a new crime novel written with my daughter Emily Westbrooks. The book is set in Ireland, where Emily lives with her husband Michael Westbrooks. Lots of nasty crime in the old sod and we tapped into a particularly rough patch.

SAMARITAN is set in Dublin, mostly, with forays to Limerick and Belfast. No shortage of nefarious characters in those lovely cities and we think we captured a few of them pretty well.P3290395 250x187 Im Back!

Hint: It’s not what you think.

Preview: Sean Deery is American, fresh out of college. Rejects his dad’s push for a business job, takes a $25,000 inheritance and sets out to write a travel blog.Sean is looking for the unexpected but gets more than he bargained for. In this very early scene he makes the acquaintance of Manny, an African newspaper seller on night in a very rough section of Dublin. They’re accosted by masked guys in a back alley. It unfolds like this:

The four were close now, the lead man halfway across the courtyard, the others trailing so they formed a wedge and he was the point. They turned as they approached and the wedge became a circle. Choreographed, like a marching band.

The first guy approached. Smiled maybe. A movement around his mouth under the mask.

“You lads got a cig, do ya?” he said, like it was normal, chatting with a guy in a mask.

Sean said, “Don’t smoke.” Manny flipped the phone shut, put it away. Stared.

The guy was five feet away, hands in his sweatshirt pockets. Bigger than Sean, slimmer than Manny. Shuffling in his Nike trainers, like a boxer waiting for the bell. The other three moved up, the noose tightening. Two were short and thick, one round-faced, one thin, black eyes close set. The third was slimmer, mouth that hung open in the mask hole like he was surprised.

P3290394 250x187 Im Back!“You’re a smart one, not smoking,” the leader said. “Filthy fucking habit.”

They were inching closer, the leader still talking, the voice muffled.

“Started when I was eleven, me da leaving ’em all around the flat. I’d go out on the street, thinking I was a tough guy, butt in me mouth.”

He looked to Manny, eyes like shiny wet spots in the fabric. The mask twitched. A grin. Like this was normal, talking to a guy in a mask.

“Got any reefer? You Africans, you like the ganja, right? Makes you feel like you’re back in the jungle playing the bongos, huh? Or maybe not the jungle. Maybe the slums of Nairobi. Must be in bleedin’ heaven, in Ballyer. Got da running water, mahn. Got da electric lights. Don’t have to shit in da gutter wid da pigs.”

The other three smiled, lips spreading in the mask holes. The leader looked to Sean, shook his head.

“Country going down the shitter. Immigrants, you know. Bad for the tourism. Americans come all the way to the old sod, they don’t want to be seeing bloody Africans.’”

Sean said, “I’m American,” as in, what would the IRA want with me?

“Oh, brilliant. The dude’s a Yank, lads. Makes him special.”

A snort from the others. A nod to Sean’s back.

“You got a laptop in there? I need to check my e-mail.”

Snorts all around now, wet mouths in the wooly holes.

“Can’t help you,” Sean said.

“Then I’ll help myself, like the Lord says. There now. Be a good Yank and hand it this way, and we’ll all have a nice night.”

“Let him be,” Manny said.

“Wait your turn, Nelson Mandela,” the guy said. “We’ll be getting to you.”

Sean took a step back along the wall, two of the guys moving past him, turning, cutting him off. He tensed. Felt it coming—P3290410 250x187 Im Back!

And away we go. Manny intervenes and gets the worst of it. Sean is thrust in a world blogs don’t explore: murders, beatings, beggars, and an Ireland that doesn’t make the travel blogs.

So when can you read it? Still early days. And that brings me to another question I’m mulling: How will we read in the very near future? Hardcover books for $26.95? Or e-books for $2.99? Keep checking in here and on Facebook (more news on my author FB page) I’ll let you know where SAMARITAN ends up.

Talk soon.

June 17th, 2013

A Writer’s Day Off? Doesn’t Happen

What am I doing when I’m not writing? Thinking about writing. Preparing to write.

A lot going on right now and I hope it soon will be in your hands. I wrote a post for the Maine Crime Writers blog last week about what I’m up to. It starts like this:

Hey all. Gerry Boyle here to tell you what you may already know. The writer’s day off? There isn’t one.

I say this having been in a holding pattern for some time with two completed books (ONCE BURNED, McMorrow No. 10, and THE DEAD SAMARITAN, a stand-alone crime novel written with Emily Westbrooks) as we try to figure out just where the publishing industry is going. Short answer: it’s like Maine weather. Wait a minute and it will change.IMG 05411 250x186 A Writers Day Off? Doesnt Happen

But that discussion is for another day. Today we talk about what writers do when they’re not actually writing. They  think about writing.

I’m headed into a new book, PORT CITY KILLSHOT, a Brandon Blake set in Portland and in a down-at-the-heels textile town a few miles to the south. I’m sketching. Plotting. Replotting and resketching. Next week or so I head down to do some location research. And then off we go.

There’s lots more so check it out. Also on that page is Paula Keeney’s shout-out  to Maine mystery authors, including moi. Paula is co-owner of Mainely Murders Bookstore in Kennebunk, Maine. Great store and Paula is very knowledgeable. If you’re in K’bunk, please drop in. If you say I sent you you get, well, I don’t know what you get but try it and find out for yourself.

I’ll be back here tomorrow with upcoming events, etc. Hope you can drop by.

March 31st, 2013

What I’m Working on. And How.

Hey all. Gerry Boyle here. A quick post this week because I’m headed for the finish line on THE DEAD SAMARITAN, a crime novel set in Ireland. This is the collaboration I’ve mentioned before. I’m here in America (most of the time). Freelance writer and blogger Emily Westbrooks (also my daughter), is on the ground in Dublin. It’s a good team. I think it’s a good book. Hope you all get to judge sometime soon.

More on the details when it’s done (I’m superstitious about talking too much about works in progress). Today’s post is about process and this one is coming together differently than any of my other mystery novels.

Every book is different, of course. I’ve written novels in one draft, one shot, no revision at all (DAMAGED GOODS). I’ve written novels where I’ve changed villains in the rewrite (DEADLINE). I’ve written novels where a third of the original ms. has been left on the cutting room floor (BORDERLINE).

But I’ve never done one like this one, which is being written in layers. I’ve been doing some video work in my magazine job, some voice over, script writing. I’ve also been watching the video editor work his magic, weaving sound and video, splicing and dicing. It’s fascinating and fun.

photo1 e1364548697432 225x300 What Im Working on. And How.I’ve also been reading about painters and their process, layering on of paint, a final addition of light and color bringing the work to life.

And maybe some of that rubbed off because SAMARITAN is being written in a long burst of dialogue. Very little expository anything. Always moving. The dialogue and action driving the book along.

That’s layer one. Then comes blog posts and text messages (key to this one). Then some more Irish-izing of the dialogue (lots of Irish friends ready to help out there. Hello, Dublin northsiders!). Then some fleshing out of the landscape.

And voila. The complete story, hopefully seamless and smooth.

Will I write the next one like this? Apply this process to the next Jack McMorrow or Brandon Blake? Probably not. But we aren’t stamping out cookies here folks. And has this one been fun? It’s been grand.

January 1st, 2013

Another Year Begins

Hey all,

Happy 2013. The world didn’t end, you’re still reading, and I’m still writing. In fact, I’m in the study right now, 16,000 words into a new stand-alone mystery novel. More on that soon. I’m also looking forward to publication of ONCE BURNED, the new McMorrow. More on that soon, too. Sorry to be so vague but there’s lots happening behind the scenes. Stay tuned.

photo 250x187 Another Year Begins

The view from the study window, aka what I see when I'm procrastinating!

In the meantime, if you want to chat face to face, I’ll be at the Scarborough (Maine) Public Library Sunday, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. This is part of the Friends of the Scarborough Library Literature Series called “Murders They Wrote. I’ll be catching people up on my doings, writings, Jack McMorrow and Brandon Blake, and whatever else comes up in the conversation. Hope to see you there.

October 30th, 2012

Life on the Edge

IMG 00391 1024x764 Life on the Edge

October Morning on the Lake

HThanks for stopping by. And if you’re wondering where I’ve been, I can tell you I’ve been painting the house. This involves Hey all:

Thanks for stopping by. What have you been up to? In addition to writing, I’ve been spending much of my time standing atop very tall ladders. So you may say, why don’t you hire somebody to do that? What if you fall and break your wrists and can’t write? Well, that would be a bad day. For me, especially. But sometimes a crime novelist has to live on the edge. Right now that adrenalin rush is coming from standing near the top of a 40-foot extension ladder. And hoping a bat doesn’t explode out from behind that shutter.

Anyway, I’m working on a few things. Both continuing series and something entirely new. More news on that to come shortly. I’ll post it here and on my Facebook page, which I hope you’ll visit and “like.” Also, a couple of appearances this fall (ah, I can’t say no). I was unable to make the Bangor Book Festival. Sorry about that. I will be at Rockport Public Library, Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m. I hope to see you there.

I’ll leave you with these

images from autumn in Maine. Today I saw sumac waving from the roadsides like red-orange cheerleaders;  a garter snake that tried to cross a road and didn’t make it; a painted turtle that did; two turkey vultures feeding on a large but unidentifiable carcass  in a field.

October 9th, 2012

The lineup! Lithgow Library, Augusta, Maine

LITHGOW POSTER 10 122 The lineup! Lithgow Library, Augusta, MaineHey all. A few of us Maine crime writers are making our way to the Lithgow Library in Augusta this month. As you can see in the library’s great poster (they go all out at this place), I’m Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. Come and join us for a good chat, unveiling of some new work, a general fun time.