Sam Hawken Posts

Make Them Sorry, by Sam HawkenToday is my birthday.  I am the grand, old age of forty-eight, and I must say there are days when I feel that down to the ache in my hips.  Don’t get old, is what I’m telling you.  Being young is better.

About the only thing that improves with age — aside from being able to buy your own beer, of course — is perspective.  It’s more important to be comfortable than daring.  Drinking a little beer once you’ve bought it is more pleasant than drinking a whole bunch.  Success is about more than a corner office (see: comfort).  Family is foremost.  Time is valuable.

Birthdays are a reminder of all that stuff.  They needn’t be a time to mourn, but an opportunity to celebrate everything you’ve managed to learn.  I may not be able to climb ten flights of stairs without having to slow down anymore, but I also know that I’ll get where I’m going eventually.

Oh, and birthdays have one other bonus: presents!  Who gets tired of presents?

For this birthday, I’ll spare you a link to my wish list, and instead ask for only one thing: buy a copy of Make Them Sorry (link).  For my money, Make Them Sorry is the best book I’ve ever written, and that includes all those borderland noir things.  Make Them Sorry has good guys and bad guys and bad guys who are good guys and… well, you’ll have to see for yourself.

Thank you to anyone who decides to celebrate my birthday with a solid read.  And if you already bought that particular present, I thank you, too.  I couldn’t do this without your help.

Get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, from your favorite bookseller. (link)


Nahuel HuapiOne of the things for which I was lauded when I wrote the Borderland Trilogy (link) was the authentic flavor of the cities in which the books take place: Ciudad Juárez for The Dead Women of Juárez (link) and Tequila Sunset (link), and Nuevo Laredo for Missing (link).  This is due largely to the fact that I’ve been to these places multiple times, and know the areas well.  Granted, my knowledge of these things is some twenty years out of date, as I don’t recommend anyone go there while the drug war rages, but the fundamental nature of cities and towns generally does not change in a single generation.

Since the Borderland Trilogy, I’ve had to rely on less extensive experience for locations and, in at least one case, I have no firsthand history with the place at all.  See if you can spot which one of the Camaro books (link) features that locale.

As I move ahead with new books in new places, I’ve taken to travel.  Early next year I’m headed off to Montana.  Later in 2019 I’m going to Argentina.  In both cases I’m going to take the opportunity to work in solitude for a week or more — I’m thinking about a whole month in Argentina, given the low cost involved — but the positive secondary effect is taking lots of time to walk/drive around and see people, places and things I can incorporate into my books.

If you can travel as a writer, absolutely do it.  Depending on your genre, you can go to the exact spots, or you can visit some close facsimile.  And even if you don’t do any direct research in your travels, simply pay attention to what makes a location unique.  You’ll find a use for this experience someday, I guarantee it.


Make Them Sorry (UK)Over the years, The Sunday Times has been good to my books, and while some other papers don’t find Camaro Espinoza (link) highbrow enough to earn their praise, I’m glad to say over at the Times, they get it.  Sometimes books are good when they’re grim and unrelenting.  Sometimes books are good when they’re action-packed and full of twists.  Books don’t have to be one or the other.

With that in mind, it was nice to see Crime Club at the Sunday Times say complimentary things about Make Them Sorry (link):

She can take anyone on for a shots-drinking contest, a bout of cage-fighting or anything else that demands strength, courage and a touch of crazy. Camaro is the kind of gal that trouble seems to find, but she’ll hang on and not let go if it looks like the bad guys are going to get away with it. Fast, furious, funny.

Readers in the UK were the first to warm to my writing, and I will forever be grateful to them for making me so much one of their own that I was repeatedly nominated for the Crime Writers’ Association Daggers.  While the nominations are international, membership in the CWA is for the UK only.  I’m thankful for the recognition, even if I am a filthy Yank.

If you’re still on the fence about Make Them Sorry, maybe the Crime Club has given you the nudge you need?

Be sure to get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, available right now from your favorite bookseller. (link)