Monday, January 11, 2016

"A Thousand Falling Crows"

Larry D. Sweazy's novels include Escape from Hangtown, See Also Murder: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery, Vengeance at Sundown, The Gila Wars, The Coyote Tracker, The Devil's Bones, The Cougar's Prey, The Badger's Revenge, The Scorpion Trail, and The Rattlesnake Season. He won the WWA (Western Writers of America) Spur award for Best Short Fiction in 2005 and for Best Paperback Original in 2013. He also won the 2011 and 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction for books the Josiah Wolfe series. He was nominated for a Derringer award in 2007 (for the short story "See Also Murder"), and was a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana literary competition in 2010. Sweazy was awarded the Best Books in Indiana in 2011 for The Scorpion Trail. And in 2013, he received the inaugural Elmer Kelton Fiction Book of the Year for The Coyote Tracker, presented by the AWA (Academy of Western Artists). Sweazy has published over sixty nonfiction articles and short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine; The Adventure of the Missing Detective: And 25 of the Year's Finest Crime and Mystery Stories!; Boys' Life; Hardboiled; Amazon Shorts, and several other publications and anthologies.

Sweazy applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, A Thousand Falling Crows, and reported the following:
Page 69 finds the reader at the very start of Chapter 10 and my main character, former Texas Ranger Sonny Burton, has found himself in a precarious situation. He has gone home from the hospital after having his right arm amputated with no one there to help him. He lives alone and has run out of food. After deciding that he wanted to continue living, he gets in his truck and drives to the closest grocery store, where he finds himself in the middle of robbery.

The scene demonstrates the change that has taken place in Sonny’s life and his struggle to deal with it. He has no badge, no currency any longer that comes from being a Texas Ranger. He is on his own, just like he was when he encountered Bonnie and Clyde. He came out of that encounter worse for the wear, suffering for the trouble. He has lost his confidence and his courage and his life will never the same.

I do think page shows the essence of Sonny’s struggle that he faces throughout the entire book: Can he be useful as a man, as a human being without his right arm? He has doubt and struggles that we can only imagine. He becomes angry when he can’t be what he once was. If anything, that’s what this book is about. How human beings face adversity and keep on living.
Learn more about the book and author at Larry D. Sweazy's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy & Brodi and Sunny (April 2011).

Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy & Brodi and Sunny (April 2013).

The Page 69 Test: The Badger’s Revenge.

The Page 69 Test: The Devil's Bones.

My Book, The Movie: The Devil’s Bones.

The Page 69 Test: The Coyote Tracker.

The Page 69 Test: The Gila Wars.

My Book, The Movie: Escape to Hangtown.

The Page 69 Test: Escape from Hangtown.

--Marshal Zeringue