Sam Hawken Posts

Peach, by Larkin PoeMusic is an important part of my creative process.  Almost always when working on a book, I assemble a quasi-soundtrack which includes songs that either inspired scenes or characters, or exemplify elements I’ve already come up with.  There’s another entry talking about this (link), so I recommend checking that out if you want to see full examples of what I mean.

The artists who inspire my work on Camaro are many and varied, but there’s one band to which I return time and again: Larkin Poe (link).  You’ll forgive me if I plug them here, because I absolutely adore their work, including the fantastic covers they post frequently to YouTube.  There’s a version of “Black Betty” (link) — which they recorded in a shower stall — and is something you really need to hear.

My unofficial soundtrack for Walk Away (link) includes my single favorite Larkin Poe song, “Trouble in Mind” (link), and I absolutely recommend you listen to it, even if you listen to nothing else they’ve ever done.  You will be impressed, I guarantee.

Recently Larkin Poe went on tour with Bob Seger (link).  Unfortunately I was unable to make any one of those shows, which is going to be a regret I carry for a long while.

Be sure to get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, available for purchase at your favorite bookseller on August 7th. (link)

Be sure to get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, available for purchase at your favorite bookseller on August 7th. (link)Be sure to get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, available for purchase at your favorite bookseller on August 7th. (link)SaveSave

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Listening

Ernest HemingwayToday marks what would be the 119th birthday of the master wordsmith, and Nobel Prize-winner, Ernest Hemingway.  I am a longtime devotee of the man who asked his friends to call him “Papa,” though he has fallen distressingly out of favor in recent years.  Perhaps it’s a byproduct of the general decay of reading culture in the United States, or perhaps it’s what appears to be a lessening emphasis on foundational literature in the nation’s schools, but it is a tragedy whichever the cause.

Whatever you happen to be reading right now, I’d like to invite you to pick up something by Hemingway when it’s time to read the next thing. Whether you’ve read his work before, or not, it’s likely you’ll discover something worthwhile in his words.  Though I have read and reread Hemingway‘s writing many times over the decades, I still learn something every time I return to him.

I will leave you with the opening sentences of Hemingway’s most familiar classic, A Farewell to Arms (link).  I think you’ll find it enough to draw you into the larger work.

In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels. Troops went by the house and down the road and the dust they raised powdered the leaves of the trees. The trunks of the trees too were dusty and the leaves fell early that year and we saw the troops marching along the road and the dust rising and leaves, stirred by the breeze, falling and the soldiers marching and afterward the road bare and white except for the leaves.

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Reading

The Night Charter, by Sam HawkenOne of the things I feel it’s important to keep in mind when reading the Camaro Espinoza novels is that Camaro is not, and never has been, a covergirl.  I worry it’s an assumption made by readers and critics alike that Camaro is meant to be this sort of “karate hottie,” as Hollywood would likely make her.  She’s not unattractive, but she isn’t some model-pretty honey bouncing around an action thriller.  Camaro is a fighter — no, she’s a warrior — and she looks it.

This was addressed in The Night Charter (link), but overlooked by critics.  I do a more explicit job of it in Make Them Sorry (link).  Camaro is referred to as beautiful in a couple of The Night Charter‘s reviews, but bear in mind that the only time someone refers to her as being “hot,” is when Matt Clifford, the main antagonist of the book, says so.  This man is a murderer, extortionist, kidnapper, and possibly a child molester.  This is not somebody whose judgment can be relied upon.  Don’t put yourself in Matt‘s corner.  Please.

There’s too much emphasis placed on beauty in books, movies and television.  Beauty is considered an outward indicator of virtue, much like ugliness is a sign of villainy.  But Camaro is an athlete and a warfighter, and she should be held to those standards, not those of a pageant queen.

Be sure to get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, available for purchase at your favorite bookseller on August 7th. (link)

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Camaro