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Mother and Father Know Best

Y'know, I was talking to my mom and dad today, and they both said The Crack in the Lens is my best book so far. At first, I wasn't sure whether I should believe them -- like I said, they're my mom and dad, and what's more tomorrow is my birthday. Like they're going to break their baby boy's heart by saying, "In all honesty, son, we loved the first three books, but this one...? Meh."

But then I saw that good ol' Rich Prosch over at the Meridian Bridge blog agrees with my parents: I've topped myself. Thanks, Rich! Now I can take my mom and dad at their word on Crack. I suppose that means I should also believe them when they say I'm the nicest, funniest, handsomest man in the world. Woo-hoo!

Good ol' Marshal Zeringue doesn't weigh in on the "Best Book Yet...?" debate (nor does he endorse the nicest/funniest/handsomest thing), but he did give me the chance to gas on about The Joys of Crack on his Page 69 Test site. If you've never been there before, here's the set-up: Marshal asks writers how they think a reader would react if he or she randomly opened the author's newest book to page 69. Of course, I predict that any such reader tackling Crack would instantly conclude they're holding a classic, and what's more it must have been written by the nicest, funniest, handsomest man in the world.

And just because I'm anal and I think these kinds of "Look at me!" updates are best done in batches of three, here's a link to a Q&A I did for good ol' Shelf Awareness, an e-mail newsletter for in-the-know folks in the book trade. It went out to Shelf Awareness subscribers a while ago, but I'm only getting around to telling y'all about it now. Why? Well...even the nicest, funniest, handsomest man in the world screws up sometimes....

Steve Hockensmith
August 16, 2009



So... today is your birthday?
Happy birthday, Steve!! :D
Mine is tomorrow: two Leo sign!

Like I said in email, I'm agree with all the good reviews.
Nice game the "69 pages": so many books have horrible page 69 :D

Shanna Derringer

Happy Happy Birthday, Mr. Steve! I hope you have a wonderful day. You're a Leo, so no wonder you're so awesome!

Thank you for being such a fantastic writer and giving the world (read: me) magnificent literary works with which to water its otherwise arid and parched landscape.


Shanna Derringer

Also: LOVED the answers to the Q&A!

And the Page 69 test? Let me tell you something...that scene HAUNTS me! I had breakfast for dinner the other night, and I so badly wanted to start eating my husband's food, just so I could pull a Rucker!

That's the brilliant part about that scene, though: you don't mess with another man's food unless you're ready to start a fight!


Thanks for the birthday greetings, y'all! So far, it's been a dandy one. Which means I got to sleep in this morning. That's really all I want: eight hours of sleep. Guess as you get older, you get easier to please!



I have been in class and haven't read it yet, but I will get it soon and let ya know if I think it is the best yet....

Adam McFarlane

Happy belated birthday, Steve! The Crack In the Lens is great! I hope everyone reading this blog buys a copy!

I LOVE the cover for Crack. A silhouette shattering glass on a deep blue cover? That conveys a feeling both fun and dark. At the end of several sittings as I read Crack, I closed the book and stared at the cover for a few moments, while feeling a tragic mood that I often find in your stories but never so much in the foreground as in this latest novel.

You are incredible, Steve. Thank you for being such a strong inspiration. If you get thirsty at Bouchercon, then track me down; I totally owe you a drink or two.

Jonathan Turner

Regarding the cover ... did you notice that the bronco buster is waving a deerstalker Stetson?


Hey, guys! Glad to hear you dig the cover. I still have mixed feelings about it, to be honest, but so many people seem to like it I've decided not to worry about it. And yeah -- that deerstalker-instead-of-a-Stetson thing is a really cute touch.

Cool that you picked up on the tragedy, Adam. In my mind, there's an undertone of sadness in just about all these stories, but I think that gets obscured by all the laughs sometimes. Just in the last couple days, though, I received e-mails from three different readers who said the ending of CRACK left them in tears. To which I, being the evil manipulative writer I am, thought, [rubs hands, does best Mr. Burns voice] "Ex-cellent!"

Oh, and it's a done deal on that drink in Indy! I'll bring my beer hat and a powerful thirst....


John Schramm

Happy Birthday, Steve. Andd you passed the "Page 69" test with flying colors. I'm looking more forward to the whole book now.

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