Thursday, January 20, 2022

A different book.

In my previous post I mentioned that All My Sins Remembered, my latest novel from Five Star, is different from any other novel I have written. Different, as well, from any novel I have ever read. You may wonder what makes it different. Well, maybe not. But I wondered, so I gave it some thought. Here are seven things that make it unusual:

1. Almost the entire story takes place in one location.

2. Two of the most important characters are a dry well and a windmill.

3. Only three people continue from beginning to end, and one of them never speaks.

4. The story is narrated by the main character, who is completely repugnant.

5. We never know the name of any character in the book.

6. The story is suspenseful to the point of causing anxiety.

7. Brief scenes of sudden, graphic violence are at the core of the story.

Several months elapsed between completing All My Sins Remembered and proofreading the galleys prior to publication. I was as surprised as you will be with the story—that is to say, much of the language and many of the details surprised me. That, too, is unusual. It was almost as if someone else had written the book and I was reading it for the first time. Go figure. Go read.


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Coming soon.

Sometime in February, Five Star will release my latest novel, All My Sins Remembered. It is unlike any other novel I have written, and I am not even sure where it came from. But those who have read it seem to like it—if “like” is the right word for such a dark, suspenseful tale.

Loren D. Estleman is a member of the Western Writers Hall of Fame, winner of numerous Western Writers of America Spur Awards and Wrangler Awards from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and a best-selling author of both Western and private-eye novels. He says, “All My Sins Remembered is destined to join the ranks of the frontier classic. Here is suspense as taut as freshly strung barbed wire, rock-solid period detail, and an emotional roller-coaster ride set against a West that is both historically accurate and stunningly immediate. Rod Miller does what only a handful of writers have ever done: make you care about (and even perhaps root for) an astonishingly evil man.”

Another winner of the Wrangler Award and a Spur Award winner, Western novelist Michael Zimmer says, “One of the more powerfully haunting novels to come along in years, Miller’s All My Sins Remembered stands shoulder to shoulder with such literary classics as Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain. A brutal, beautifully rendered masterpiece, guaranteed to stay with you long after the last page is turned.”

Finally, Marc Cameron, New York Times Bestselling author of several Tom Clancy novels as well as the Jericho Quinn and Arlis Cutter political and law enforcement thrillers, says, “All My Sins Remembered is hypnotic and poetic and vivid.”

Watch for All My Sins Remembered. As I said, it is unlike anything I have written before. And, I suspect, unlike anything you have read before.

Monday, January 3, 2022

A healthy obsession.

For several years now, I have been obsessed with the Massacre at Bear River. I can’t say for sure when this obsession took hold, but I do remember why.

The history of the American West has always been of interest to me, and that interest has always included our growing nation’s history of eliminating any competition for the land and its resources. In other words, the systematic exclusion and eradication of the native tribes that occupied the land.

At some point in my education, after years of study, I learned about the Massacre at Bear River where, on 29 January 1863, the United States Army launched a dawn attack on a Shoshoni village and killed some 250 to 350 men, women, children, and babies. Most of the dead were noncombatants. And the annihilation included rape and torture, as well as the destruction of food, clothing, lodges, and the theft of the horse herds on which the people relied. It was the deadliest massacre of American Indians by the Army in all of Western history.

I was astounded—dumbfounded—that such a pivotal event had largely escaped notice in American history. Little had been written about it, and most of what had been published was incomplete at best, and inaccurate at worst.

Thus began my obsession. The result, to date, is represented above. I have written a lot about the Massacre at Bear River. Most recently, a novel. Before that, in no particular order, a nonfiction book and shorter pieces of nonfiction included in a book and for a magazine. Short fiction for an anthology, and published in my own collection of short stories. Poems in an anthology and a chapbook. And a poem that became a song.

There may well be more to come, as the Massacre at Bear River continues to haunt me.

When January 29 rolls around again, as it will in a few weeks, I hope to be at the site of the Massacre at Bear River to once again join the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation in honoring their departed ancestors, who have yet to claim their proper place in history.