Monday, April 26, 2010

Hampton Sides: Background Check

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM

"I was still trying to figure out what the hell I was gonna do," author Hampton Sides said when we talked recently.

It was three years ago when we last talked, and back then, Sides was about to embark on the research for his next book.

"I was having to ask: How am I to make a dent in the literature that exists on this subject?"

The subject is the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The site of that killing was Sides' hometown, Memphis. And three years ago, Sides was just starting on his reconstruction of the events leading up to and following April 4, 1968. This week, that book finally hits stores. It's called Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin (Doubleday).

Sides continued:

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Ace Atkins Captures "Machine Gun" Kelly

Posted By on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 6:47 AM

Ace Atkins — crime writer — takes on true crime in Infamous (Putnam), a novel about George "Machine Gun" Kelly, his conniving wife Kathryn, gangsters, G-men, and a front-page story from 1933: the Kellys' kidnapping of an Oklahoma oilman and the couple's cross-country efforts to escape the law.

The story, in Atkins' words, is a comedy of errors. But it's also a novel steeped in period detail and characterization. And it ends where Kelly and Kathryn ended up: Kelly's hometown, Memphis. That's where Kelly and Kathryn were captured. And it's where this story began: with Atkins inside the Shelby County Archives.

Before Atkins' booksigning in Memphis at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on April 26th, I had a chance to talk to the author, who lives outside Oxford, Mississippi. It was a chance for him to talk about Infamous, before Atkins himself hits the road on a book tour, a topic we get to right off.

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