Benjamin Whitmer's Blog

2011 Spinetingler Awards

Spinetingler Magazine has announced the nominees for the 2011 Spinetingler Awards and Pike is in the running for Best Novel: New Voice. The competition is incredibly steep, but if you want to, you can vote here. PM Press, which was the only press that would even consider publishing a book like Pike, is also up for best Best Mystery/Crime Fiction Press, Publisher or Imprint, and they’re worth your consideration too. They deserve the hell out of it.

I’ll admit to being a little uncomfortable about being included in these “best of” things. One the one hand, writing ain’t a competitive sport. I’m real proud of Pike, but I’d never say it was better or worse than any of the others up there. Just that it was the best book I could write at the time.

On the other hand, I’ve done it, and I really appreciate the attention it brings to books that otherwise don’t get noticed. Brian Lindenmuth of Spinetingler Magazine reads more and better than most anybody I’ve met, and I’ve already got a notebook half-full of his recommendations. I’ll be adding what’s on here to it.

Some of the other books up for awards that you might want to check out include Charlie Stella’s Johnny Porno, Lynn Kostoff’s Late Rain (and, yeah, I know it’s competing with Pike – I’m not sure which one I’ll vote for yet), and Jonathan Woods’ short story collection, Bad Juju. The rest of them are probably just as good, given who compiled the list, but those are three that I really, really liked from last year.

I also thought the David Thompson Community Leader Award was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I honestly don’t know who the hell I could really vote for, though, in that it’s full of people whose incredible generosity I’ve experienced firsthand, including Elizabeth White, Steve Weddle (and here), and Keith Rawson, Cameron Ashley, and Jimmy Callaway.

The only name glaringly omitted from the list is Brian Lindenmuth himself, but I guess I can see why it wasn’t included. Still, huge thanks to him for everything he does to support authors. The whole crime fiction community would be a far smaller and cheaper thing without him.

Update: I should have said “One name glaring omitted from the list” because sitting around thinking about it, I keep coming up with other folks. Jedidiah Ayres, Linda Brown, Bobby McCue, Scott Montgomery. It’s incredible to me how many great people I’ve gotten to meet in the last few months.

(Cross-posted at
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