Re: RARA-AVIS: Bubba Ho-Tep (and Big Al)

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 28 May 2004

----- Original Message ----- From: "Terrill Lankford" <>
> I promised a report on Al Guthrie's TWO-WAY SPLIT when I returned from
> my tour, but unfortunately the distractions of the road proved too
> great and I only just started the book yesterday. I'm about halfway
> through and find it mesmerizing. Al has found a way to blend the old
> with the new and make it all seem very fresh. It's a complex character
> study (of a number of interesting characters) punctuated by startling
> moments of violence. It's hard to believe this is a first novel, if, in
> fact, it is.
> Is it, Al?

Thanks for the kind words, Terrill. Hope you find the second half as entertaining as the first! As to whether TWO-WAY SPLIT is a first novel... I'm trying to count them. I wrote my first when I was nine, then another when I was at secondary school, a third the year I left school, and then I gave up for a long time because my previous efforts were all absolute crap. Then a few years ago, I tried again. First attempt was BIG DUNC'S HAMMER and the title was the best thing about it. Unperturbed, I battled on and wrote a long-winded thrillery-type thing called EXPURGATION, which got a bit closer but still no cigar. Fortunately at some point during the proceedings I decided that it might be worthwhile learning how to write, and I went at that particular learning exercise in a big way. First thing I wrote afterwards was BLITHE PSYCHOPATHS, the original title of TWS, which was recognised by being shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger award, which indicated to me (rightly or wrongly) that I was at least on the right track. So, strictly speaking, TWS would be my sixth novel, but it's the first I wrote with any kind of idea of what the hell I was doing, or with any real intent of getting published.

Thanks for asking.


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