Monday, April 13, 2009

Two Writers

There are two writers I'm currently having multiple wordgasms with. One published, one not.
Charlie Huston has just released the fourth volume of his Joe Pitt series, called Every Last Drop.
He writes about vampires, but not in any way you're used to. These suckers are a bit different. They have a vyrus, and not all of them are happy about it. It's a disease that sets them apart from the 'normal' world, and they hate that. These guys and gals wish they were 'normal', but there are politics involved.
For a new take on noir, with added blood issues, you'd do a hell of a lot worse than checking out these books. They're published by Orbit. Read them, that's an order. Imagine Raymond Chandler without the ... actually, just imagine Raymond Chandler, James M Cain or Dashiell Hammett, with a twist.
From a writing point of view (sorry, POV), Huston does something that I'm entirely in awe of - he creates characters, a world and a history through very little more than dialogue and action. The exposition is in there, but you'll have to be very clever to spot it as you read. You get it later, but not at the time.
Any fans of sparse writing, read his books. They're a masterclass.

Which brings me to the second of the two writers I'm in awe of at the moment.

JW. Hicks.

Jesus, that lady can write.
If you're fortunate enough to know her work, I know you know exactly what I mean.
This woman can say more in a couple of words of dialogue than I could ever say in four paragraphs of prose.
When I was pretendng to be a guitarist in my youth I found my 'heaven' when I discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was a heaven I knew I would never attain, but I had something to aim for. It made me more determined to try harder, even if I had to copy him first, before I found my own 'sound'.
That's how I feel about JW Hicks writing. I'm going to try to copy it, because it's just that fucking good, and I hope that by apeing it I might find a voice half as good for myself.

I'm not normally one for having 'heroes'. Turns out I have two, today.


  1. I am fortunate enough to have read some of JW Hicks' work. She. Is. Fabulous.