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This Weekend, Saturday, March 12 and Sunday March 13, I will be in the Oak Tree Press booth 119 at the Tucson Festival of Books, along with several other Oak Tree authors. This festival is the second largest such event in the US, with many differenct authors, publishers, celebrities, and programs. If you enjoy books this is the place to be. If you enjoy festivals with music and other entertainment, food booths, and arts and crafts, and other interesting things, it’s also the place to be. 9:30 to 5:30 both days; I plan to get down there when it starts and leave at closing both days. I would love to see friends there, so look me up.
Pueblo Grande Lecture
One week ago I presented a lecture accompanied by a slide show at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix. The Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park is located on a 1,500 year old archaeological site left by the Hohokam culture. It’s located just minutes from downtown Phoenix next to Sky Harbor International Airport. This National Historic Landmark and Phoenix Point of Pride has been a part of the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department since 1929, and is the largest preserved archaeological site (of many) within Phoenix.
Because my books incorporate elements of both modern, historic, and ancient American Indian cultures, I talked about how I create my Indian-related storyline, background setting, and characters. While my books are clearly fiction, I strive to accurately represent the natural and cultural history and personality of the people of the Southwest. My character Sergeant Al Victor of the San Carlos Apache Police is a composite of real people I have known, and his opinions and personality reflects much from those models.
The lecture was well received and I had several intelligent and interesting questions asked at the end. The audience which I estimate at about thirty people was composed mostly of members of the Museum Auxiliary and staff, with some of my family members, and a few people from the general public. The audience was generally well informed on the subject, and in fact there were several Native Americans from three or four different tribes in attendance. One man who had lived in Globe and was familiar with Salado in that area made some salient comments and posed some good questions. Another great contributor was a museum archaeologist. It was a fun and rewarding event.
After it was over I mingled a bit with the audience, but before I was able to meet everyone I was hurried to the signing table where I signed fifteen books. My son Chris told me that two of the ladies in the audience were from Toronto, where I lived for a while, but I was swept away before I reached them. The Museum store then had me sign some books to be carried for sale in the store. So if you’ve been wanting a signed copy, stop by the store.
I thank the Museum and Auxiliary for inviting me; and since I was invited back when my current work is published, I look forward to another appearance.
The Baleful Owl Now in iBook Format
I received word this week from Jeana, Promotions Manager for the Oak Tree Press, that The Baleful Owl is now available in the Apple iBooks Store, so it’s now available in the three most popular e-book formats, Kindle, Nook, and I Book. She also said that the book is available on Allromanceebooks.com.
I had an enjoyable signing at the Phoenix Metro Center Barnes & Noble. We sold about a dozen books and I distributed a lot of free bookmarks. About half the books I signed were to first time readers. I enjoyed visits (and signing) for some of my family and friends, and as he often does my brother Bill was there assisting me. Bill is good sized, fit, and retired military, so makes an impressive body guard. He helps me with all sorts of things, including visiting with people waiting for a signing. We also always have a few quite moments when we can visit with each other and we never run out of things to talk about. My thanks to Adrianna, the B&N Events Manager for her support.
I’m currently featured on fellow Oak Tree Press mystery writer Marilyn Meredith’s blog Marilyn’s Musings. Marilyn is an accomplished writer with many books to her credit, including her Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Like me she features an American Indian protagonist, Tempe Crabtree, in her series. You may have noticed that to honor me she named her character after the city of my abode. Quite an honor, especially since she was using the name long before she ever heard of me. You can check out her blog at: http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/2015/09/about-baleful-owl-by-virgil-alexander.html
Like most writers, I love reading for pleasure. However, between doing research, writing, events, and marketing stuff, I don’t get a lot of opportunity to enjoy reading. But in the last couple of weeks I read Mary Anna Evan’s Isolation, Charles Kelly’s Pay Here, and am currently reading Marilyn Meredith’s Violent Departures.
I always enjoy Mary Anna Evans' stories including Isolation, the latest in her Faye Longchamp mystery series, I gave it a five star review on both Amazon and B&N and highly recommend Isolation. http://www.maryannaevans.com/the-books/
Charles Kelly is a retired reporter for the Arizona Republic and is an excellent writer; however, Pay Here is not to my liking. It is well written and has all the elements of a good mystery, but it is set in the seamy underside of society and I do not enjoy noir mysteries. There may have only been one character in the book that resembled anything like a normal person; they were almost all mental messes. It also contains a lot of profanity and obscenity, I usually don’t read books with that content; I read this one because a friend of the author requested me to read it and let him know what I think. I do not recommend this book, because I didn’t enjoy it for the reasons stated.
I’ve only read a few chapters of Marilyn Meredith’s Violent Departures, and am enjoying that book. It is only the second of Marilyn’s books that I’ve read, but I like her writing and am looking forward to reading all her books. I recommend that you include her on your “to read” list.
In non-fiction I recently read the out-of-print History of Globe, Arizona by Bob Bigando, and a booklet by Bill Kishbaugh, Memoirs of Hayden, Arizona. Both of these have lots of period photos and are well researched and quite enjoyable. History of Globe is available used on Amazon, and Memoirs of Hayden is self-published and available by direct ordering from the author by sending $12 per copy to W.G. Kishbaugh 4793 S Longhorn Ln, Winkelman, Arizona 85192.
Of course if you are looking for a good Southwestern mystery involving artifact theft and murder along US-60, I highly recommend The Baleful Owl by me.
I recently had a book signing at the Pickle Barrel Trading Post in Globe, Arizona. If you’re familiar with me at all, you know that I love my native copper towns, Miami & Globe. They are two thousand feet higher in altitude than Phoenix, so have between six to ten degrees cooler temperatures. Maybe more important, the more rural environment does not create the artificial “heat island” that we get in the city; so when the sun sets it cools down quickly in the foothills of the Pinal Mountains.
Mystery writer, Southwestern Historian, researcher, husband, father, grandpa, with an opinion on everything.