Sunday, June 7, 2015

Larry D. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy (pronounced: Swayzee) is the author of ten novels, 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. He lives in the Midwest with his wife, Rose.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Sweazy's reply:
I’m currently reading H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. I’ve long been interested in birds, especially raptors, birding, and nature writing in general to help feed my own sense of place, so it wasn’t a surprise that this book caught my attention. Highly acclaimed and a number one bestseller in the UK (United Kingdom), H is for Hawk is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read in a long time. The author has a wonderful eye for landscape, an impeccable sense of timing, and a poetic use of language that pulls the reader into her world effortlessly. But make no mistake, this is no easy read. It is a memoir that concerns the death of her father, her recovery through grief by training a goshawk to trust her, a treatise on falconry, and an in-depth look at the difficult and troubled life of the writer, T. H. White. The Economist called it, “One part memoir, one part gorgeous evocation of the natural world, and one part literary meditation.” I think that quote sums this book up perfectly and I believe it deserves all the praise it has received.

Consider this passage: “When the rain stopped the heat began. Dogs panted flat in the black shade under the limes, and the lawns in front of the house paled and burned to hay. A damp, hot wind pushed leaves about but failed to cool anything; it was a wind that made things worse, like stirring a hot bath with your hand.”

Reading this book is like eating a fine meal, one that I wish not to end. I’m sure that I will read H is for Hawk more than once.
Visit Larry D. Sweazy's website and blog.

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.

--Marshal Zeringue