I might not be the most religious or spiritual guy on the planet, and chances are, on any given Sunday you won't find me occupying a church pew. Fact is you're more likely to find me tipping a cold one in some dark juke joint with friends after my writing day is over. But every now and then I meet someone who has an almost spiritual affect on me. A spiritual affect so profound that it can alter the course of my life. Noted noir author and critic, Heath Lowrance, is one of those special people. It also turns out, he's one of those buds I'd be tipping one with in the dark bar, if only we lived in within close proximity of one another. What did Hemingway once say? "I'm going to be read by the low brows and praised by the high brows!" Heath is one of the rare individuals who can go mano e mano with the highbrows and fit in comfortably with the lows. So am I, I should hope.
Little more than a year ago now, Heath came up with what I consider one of the most comprehensive lists of hard-boiled writers past, present, and future ever compiled on the globe. Now, he did not have to include me in the list, and his doing so was not based upon friendship or patting me on the back. It was solely based upon his knowledge as an educated noir critic and his uncanny ability to pick out the good seeds from the bad. However, I still can't help but thank him for my inclusion, because at that point in my career (which had turned dismal for a period of about 5 years), to see my name included amongst the likes of David Zeltserman, Robert Parker, Jim Crumley (in other words, amongst my heros...), really gave me the serious lift I needed to continue on with my writing with both fever and "negative capability," and more importantly, to put the shotgun back in the closet.
Heath's new novel THE BASTARD HAND is one of those debut novels that you want to save for a Sunday afternoon in which you plan on reading a book from front to back. It's that good and the sales thus far reflect it. He is a true gentleman, wears a lot of black, loves punk rock, has an awesome family, and I look forward to tipping a beer with him one day soon in his native Detroit or its sister city on the east coast, Albany.
Heath, it's time to rock n' roll:
Vin Zandri and I have never met face-to-face. All our conversations have been via e-mails and Facebook posts and the like. But you know what? I feel like I’ve known the guy for years. From the moment we started talking (about books and writing, obviously) we hit it off. That just happens sometimes. I suspect that, when we finally do meet face-to-face, it’ll be as if we’ve always hung out.
Maybe a lot of folks feel that way about Vin. Maybe it’s just his personality—down-to-earth, amiable, friendly, straight-shooting. The kind of fella you’d have a beer with, but also the kind of fella you could have an intelligent conversation with about politics, religion, philosophy… without tempers flaring.
The reason I even mention any of this is because, a little over a year ago, Vin Zandri took the time out of his busy schedule (and believe me, this is one busy motherfucker) to look at my work, offer honest evaluation, and go OUT OF HIS WAY to talk it up.
Since then, my first novel, THE BASTARD HAND, has been released, from New Pulp Press. A handful of new short stories have made the rounds of the inter-webbies. Some heavy-hitters in the field of noir fiction have said nice things about what I do.
But you know what? Vin was among the first. Before the book deal, before he had any reason to believe I’d make it this far. I feel that I owe him for that, big time.
This novel of mine, THE BASTARD HAND. Well, it’s actually selling. Nothing like Vincent Zandri numbers, mind you, but still… remarkably well. A great deal of that, I believe, has to do with the blurbs and positive reviews from people like Allan Guthrie, Megan Abbott, Dave Zeltserman, Paul Brazill… and of course, Vin.
So, thanks, brother. Couldn’t have done it without ya.Heath Lowrance lives somewhere near Detroit, MI. He blogs at www.psychonoir.blogspot.com The Bastard Hand, from New Pulp Press, is his first novel. Expect more. http://www.newpulppress.com/titles/bastard_hand/