There’s been a lot going on this week, professionally and personally. Which is weird, because it was supposed to have been a vacation week, during which Marcy and I would have jetted to New York City, enjoyed a great dinner and a show, visiting bookstores and comic shops, and generally exploring the Big Apple. But life–and Covid–had other plans for us.
Despite unexpectedly staying home, I’ve had a difficulty finding time to write a post, so am trying to make up for it now, because there are a few things I want to bring to your attention. Let’s start with this: I’m June’s spotlight member on the website of the Sisters In Crime Grand Canyon Chapter. It’s an honor to be so celebrated. The page provides a good, quick overview of my life and career (albeit with some funky formatting and at least one incorrect fact–I was born in Park Forest, IL, not Parkhurst. I don’t know if there is a Parkhurst, IL, but I’m sure I’ve never been there). Anyway, you can see the page at the link above.
I’m also the subject of an interview on my favorite podcast–the only podcast I listen to regularly, so it had better be my favorite. It’s called Six-Gun Justice, it’s hosted by writer pals Rich Prosch and Paul Bishop, and it covers all things Western. The interview’s only about 25 minutes long, but covers lots of ground, so give a listen if you’re so inclined. You can find it here.
My forthcoming novella Tarzan and the Forest of Stone (June 21) was sent to some prominent Burroughs fans for review, and I’m delighted to say that, Sally Field style, they like it, they really like it. You can read the reviews for yourself on Goodreads, but here are some of my favorite bits:
“In Tarzan and the Forest of Stone, Mariotte proves himself to be every bit as worthy of following in Burroughs’ footsteps as such previous Greystoke scribes as Fritz Leiber, Philip José Farmer and Win Scott Eckert. Mariotte’s Tarzan is the Real Deal – the Lord of the Jungle as first imagined by his creator, as opposed to certain depictions by lesser writers that have attempted to recast the character as ‘Batman of the Apes.’
“Mariotte understands the real Tarzan – who and why he is the mythic figure so many readers fell in love with when the first adventure of the jungle hero was originally published in 1912 – and that understanding results in an authentically Burroughsian tale that is faithful to the existing canon, while at the same time manages to lend a feeling of freshness that was lacking in a few of Burroughs’ later novels in the series.”
“Suffice it to say that, with Mariotte, the jungle lord is in extremely good hands and I, for one, look forward to the possibility of future Tarzan adventures by this talented author.” –John Small
“The central premise of the book, besides what I just described, is about throwing Tarzan into an environment which is tremendously different from the jungles he normally lives in—in this case, the desert of the American Southwest. Tarzan finds that there are no trees to climb, no vines to swing from, no water-rich leaves by which he can quench his thirst. But Tarzan doesn’t waver for a second, instead using his powerful mind to overcome these new surroundings. It’s a simple but highly effective way of demonstrating both the physical and mental power of the character. The Tarzan films of the ’30s and ’40s portrayed Tarzan as a primarily physical character, with little extraordinary mental ability—but Burroughs’ Tarzan is a genius, and well as a great physical specimen, and Mariotte does a great job of portraying such.” — Atom Bezecny
“Did I like the story? Yes. Did I feel that this was a story about the real Tarzan, as depicted by Burroughs? Yes. And do I feel this adventure fits Burroughs timeline? Again, yes!” — Bill Wormstedt
Meanwhile, I’m charging forward on the third Major Crimes Squad: Phoenix book, The Castle. I’ve also turned in some short stories recently, so more about those as they come around. Thanks, as always, for being a reader!