The title pretty well says it all. This book contains short pieces about weird people I’ve run into, dumb stunts I pulled that almost got me killed, and so on. For example, the night I crossed the Rio Grande in the dark, alone, headed to gringo land. That sort of made sense—I was writing a novel about drug smugglers—but what about the time I rode the pit slide at the uranium mine? That was just plain reckless and it’s not an isolated instance.
Of course not all the close calls I’ve survived were my own fault. I didn’t do anything to provoke the tornado that totaled my pickup with me in it and the armed robber who stuck a gun to my head did not have a problem with me personally. The grizzly with cubs who stood up to her nine foot height, bristled the fur on her shoulder and made that weird chuffing sound could have been mainly irritated with my co-worker. I don’t think I brought that on myself.
There are also accounts in here of weird people I’ve met. Some of them were strangers, who for some reason appeared, told me their story and then disappeared. Others, just as weird, happen to be close relatives. Most of them are gone now. Some didn’t go soon enough. A friend suggested that I may be a weirdo magnet and he could be right. To balance things out I’ve included portraits of a few good people I miss.
These are the kind of stories I might tell a friend after a drink or two. If somebody says, “You should write that down,” I think about it. If I tell the same story to somebody else ten years later and they say, “You should write that down,” then I figure I probably ought to, but I usually don’t. I finally started doing so because my wife, in her polite way, kept insisting. She thinks these stories are better than my novels or poems. I find it hard to agree with that, but she has good taste, so here they are.
FREE! This special edition of my short stories, “Close Calls & Weirdos” also contains fifty page samples of two of my novels and my complete poems. Enter the strange and dangerous world of Edmund Pickett for no charge. Just click on the link and I’ll send it all to you.
BORDERLINE CASE — Drug smugglers in Texas & Mexico. Hot babes, gunplay, explosions, stone cold killers and true love (maybe). Included: first ten chapters.
BURNING INFIDELS — Islamic terrorists, a very introverted FBI agent and a fugitive Saudi princess. Also with gunplay and explosions, but no car chases. Sorry. Included: first twelve chapters.
POEMS — I know, it doesn’t make sense for a hard core crime novelist to be writing poems. In my defense, I don’t write free verse. My poems have rhyme and meter, but I should make clear that they are not the kind of thing you find on greeting cards. If you read a few and aren’t impressed, well it didn’t cost you anything, right?