I want to share a bit about a recent interview with author Michael McGarrity. Michael has very generously donated his time to many events in the Alamogordo area. He has authored 12 books, many of which are set in the Southwest and even the Tularosa Basin. I spoke with Michael a few months ago about his new book Hard Country (which was released today, May 10th!). As a result of that conversation, we scheduled an interview at a venue of his choosing - The New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, NM. The museum alone was worth the trip and if you've never been there, I suggest you make a trip with plenty of time to look around.
So back to Mr. McGarrity - Michael also had his publisher send me an advanced copy of the book. Being familiar with Michael's previous books, I was expecting something similar - a detective story set near the turn of the century...what I got was something very unexpected. Hard Country is a truly inspired work of historical fiction - a family saga that follows the ancestors of Kevin Kerney (McGarrity's famous detective) as they ranch their way from West Texas to the Tularosa Basin. I started reading and I just couldn't stop. The way that McGarrity weaves fiction and history is really quite brilliant. Famous characters from our area - Olive Lee, Eugene Manlove Rhodes, Albert Fountain - are integrated into this fictional saga seamlessly.
Without having any knowledge of the history of the Tularosa Basin, this novel is engaging, interesting and well-developed. The characters are easy to love, hate and relate to - it sucks you in like a vacuum cleaner. With some historical background - and its hard to live here without having at least a little - it's impossible to put down. I was there the whole time - observing every single situation as if it were happening right in front of me. I am an avid reader. Hard Country is one of the best pieces of modern literature I've had the pleasure to sink my teeth into.
Bottom line: buy it, you'll like it. :)
Here's the interview with Michael McGarrity. Hard Country was released today. He'll be in Alamogordo twice in May promoting the book: the first appearance is at a Lunch & Learn at First National Bank, Alamogordo on May 24th (reservations required) and the second is a book signing at Hastings on May 27th at 3pm.
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.