Speak of the Devil Tim Cockey
Author Richard Hawke
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Richard Hawke

Richard Hawke France

Except for two aberrant years he spent in Central Florida, Tim grew up in and around Baltimore, Maryland, the land of Poe, Mencken, Ogden Nash, John Waters, John Barth and Anne Tyler. . . to name half a dozen.

Educated (after a fashion) in Ohio, London and Copenhagen, Tim's first post-college employment was to tear down a barn with his bare hands so that the barn's oft-drunk owner—the heir to a laundromat-chain fortune—could install the barn's weathered exterior wood inside his kitchen. Although a profound metaphor is clearly embedded in here somewhere, Tim confesses to having never quite managed to grasp it.

Soon after this endeavor, Tim skidded back to earth in Baltimore where he worked with a local newspaper in advertising sales and design while moonlighting under a pseudonym as the paper's book reviewer. Peculiar karma then landed him at the helm of the Public Relations Department of the Baltimore Opera Company, where for four years he pretended to know what he was talking about when it came to all things opera. If writing fiction is a high wire act of bluffing with conviction, the opera company gig certainly served as a valuable training ground for the career to come.

A move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina was the catalyst for bringing writing to the front burner. Bolstered by the world's tiniest grant (from the good folks at the Maryland State Arts Council), Tim lived the life of the idle poor for two years, resulting in an unpublished novel (Zen Bastard), first place in a P.E.N.-sponsored short story competition, and the decision to relocate to New York City to seek his fortune.

Surely a fifth floor walk-up with a leaking skylight and wind-rattled windows qualifies as a garrett. . . and it was here that Tim stumbled onto the idea for his Hearse Series. Having been bit by the mystery bug, Tim fashioned the first book (The Hearse You Came In On) into a noir-in-cheek, creating as its narrator bon vivant Fells Point undertaker Hitchcock Sewell, subsequently deemed by one critic to be "the love child of Cary Grant and Groucho Marx."

Tim Coffin

A Book Sense "Top Ten" pick, THYCIO was also nominated for a Dilys Award (alas, it didn't win). Two books later, The Hearse Case Scenario did bring home an award, the "Lefty Award" from the Left Coast Crime Association. Meanwhile, People Magazine raved about one of the books (Hearse of a Different Color) , while skewering another of them (you really think were going to say?), leaving things there with a batting average of .500.

In possession of a list of over 100 excruciating hearse-pun titles sent to him from readers, Tim proceeded to title the fifth book in the series Backstabber. Clever guy. After Backstabber, the hearse pulled into the garage and has not been seen since. No longer living under that leaking skylight, Tim's recent ventures include several books written under the name Richard Hawke.

As to rumors that more TC books are in the works, word on the street is that only Tim(e) will tell.

Of course.


Richard Hawke