Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Return of a Northwest Wordsmith

As I explained yesterday in The Rap Sheet, “Richard Hoyt holds the distinction of being the crime/thriller writer I have known longer than any other.” I met him in the late 1970s, when he was a journalism professor at the college I attended in Portland, Oregon. In 1980, he witnessed the publication of his first work of fiction, Decoys, a private-eye novel featuring offbeat, “soft-boiled” Seattle gumshoe John Denson. For the next two decades, Hoyt enjoyed a successful fiction-writing career, turning out not only more Denson novels, but also a succession of espionage works and several standalones.

Hoyt’s wild run of good fortune, though, didn’t last. After peddling 21 novels in 20 years, since 2001 he’s found publishers for only five more. Two of those starred John Denson, but his latest, Crow’s Mind, welcomes a new shamus into the club: Jake Hipp.

Until recently, I hadn’t communicated with my old professor for almost two decades. However, the publication of Crow’s Mind, coupled with Hoyt’s recent return to the States (after years of living in the Philippines), made me want to reconnect with him. The result was a rather long e-mail interview. Part I of our exchange was posted on Tuesday in Kirkus Reviews, while the bigger Part II found a home in The Rap Sheet. I hope you have a chance to read both.

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