Monday, February 22, 2010

A Writer And A Gentleman

My friend and mentor Craig McDonald has a new book out, with one of the best covers ever, and it's even more affecting when you start to read. Here, check it out:



Craig writes brilliantly. Everyone says so, including folks like Ken Bruen and James Sallis and Michael Connelly and Megan Abbott, the kind of people even I shut up and listen to.

But maybe that doesn't impress you. Maybe you see brilliant through a different lens. Maybe you don't share my writing heroes. That's cool and all, but there's one more thing you need to know about Craig: in this crazy publishing whirl, when half the players are crying doomsday and the other half are trying to clear the chips off the board and head for the hills, Craig remains, steadfastly, a gentleman.

That's right. You'll never catch him gladhanding or trashtalking or currying favor or casting aspersions or circling the spoils of another writer's crash-and-burn. Craig's in it for the words, the story; that's something rare enough to take note of, an example for the greenhorns.

Which, of course, I recently was. Craig was far more than kind to me when I was struggling. And every time I help a new author, read a manuscript, suggest changes to a query....I tip my hat to the heart of the midwest, where I know my friend Craig is hard at work on the next knock-em-dead book. Because he didn't just show me how to get the job done - he exemplifies how to get it done with class.

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