Monday, March 12, 2007

Ken Bruen

It might have been more appropriate if this was March 17th, but today is International Ken Bruen Appreciation Day.

I met Ken last fall, in Madison. He’s such a warm person I imagine I felt as so many others have when they met him – a sense of camaraderie and acceptance and instant ease with the man. Ken is so likeable and genuine, and down to earth.

I emailed him afterwards, to say it was great to meet him. I never made it through my entire list after conventions, but I do get some of those emails off. Most people don’t write back.

Ken Bruen did.

It told me a lot about him, what I guessed at already. Here was a person who was down to earth, someone who wasn’t standoffish.

Someone who hadn’t let their phenomenal accomplishments and success go to their head.

I already had Dublin Noir and Murdaland, so I was familiar with Ken’s work in short fiction, his distinctive style. I was just starting to read his longer works and was blown away.

I’ve said it before here, how he has this amazing humour, these keen insights on life that hit you between the eyes…

His work lingers on your mind long after you’ve finished reading the last page.

I know a lot of people don’t believe I can be shy and intimidated, but Ken was one of those people I was extra nervous with. I guess the thing is, I really wanted to be friends with Ken. I really liked him, and his opinion mattered to me. And when someone’s opinion matters I’m always a bit more nervous with them.

I was fortunate enough to enjoy the chance to correspond with him, and then talk with him at length, and get to the point where I didn’t just consider him a good friend – I consider him family. Kevin and I both consider Ken family.

It still blows me away, because for all the joking I do about worshipping writers I call gods, I have so much admiration for the person Ken Bruen is, for what he has survived and accomplished, for his amazing talent and his dedication to his craft.

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Ken, and later this month that will be up on Spinetingler. But today is a day to say ‘thanks Ken’.

Thanks for putting yourself out there through your work in a way that has touched my life. I have learned so much through your writing – not just about writing, but about putting your heart and soul into the work and letting those insights on life come through the story. You make it look so effortless.

Thanks for always being there when I need an ear.

Thanks for making me laugh.

And thanks, for believing in me. I have the strength of your convictions.

The good opinion of Ken Bruen is worth that of a thousand of the average man. Tell me not how many awards you’ve been nominated for or how many books you’ve sold – tell me what Ken Bruen thinks of you. That’s the truest measure of merit I know.

And you can listen to Ken Bruen read his short story, PUNK by clicking on the link.

Other blogs to visit today:

Daniel Hatadi
Nikki Dolson
Patti Abbott
Steve Allan
Anthony Rainone
Russel McLean
JD Rhoades
DA Davenport
Christa M Miller
Bill Crider

David Terrenoire

Jim Winter on The Rap Sheet
Sean Chercover

Sara Gran
Victor Gishler
Al Guthrie
Gerald So

Duane Swierczynski
Patrick Shawn Bagley
Jen Jordan
Mindy Tarquini


Crimespace or, more specifically this page on Crimespace

If you see any other tributes to Ken out there today, please post a link in the comments or email me - I'll add it.

And in other blogging news, Dianne Day launches her blog. Welcome Dianne!


Anonymous said...

Few people can get knocked down and get right back up like Ken Bruen. He has had some things happen to him that would make most people hard and cold but he has not let it change the outgoing and exceptional man he is.

So let us all who know and respect him raise a glass to Mr. Bruen.

And to all those people who take cheap shots to make themselves feel better or as publicity stunts, in the words of the Canadian East band GREAT BIG SEA, you can kiss my irish ass.

David Terrenoire said...

You can add me to your lst of Bruen Appreciation.

angie said...

Ken Bruen is my literary hero. He's just da bomb, totally, completely, no doubt about it. Hands down the best in the genre. And then he's a super nice guy on top of it all. Yep. I'm his number 1 fan girl!

Daniel Hatadi said...

Sara Gran's in on the party too.

And it's a heck of a party, Sandra. Very cool idea.

Anonymous said...

Cheers to Mr. Bruen

Mindy Tarquini said...

a total mitzvah, Sandra. Good for you.

Mindy Tarquini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.