I thought I would take a minute and catch up on the news that came out last week: I’ll be writing some more books for Putnam! Obviously, I’m thrilled, and the credit goes both to my amazing agent Carlie Webber and Sara Minnich, my wonderful editor at Putnam who wanted to keep working with me.
So what does that actually mean? Here’s the schedule:
THE FAR EMPTY (June 7, 2016 – Book 1 of the Big Bend)
HIGH WHITE SUN (June/July 2017 – Book 2 of the Big Bend)
THIS SIDE OF NIGHT (June/July 2018 – Book 3 of the Big Bend)
THIRTEEN DAYS (2019 – standalone novel)
Remember that all titles are tentative, but that’s where they stand now. HIGH WHITE SUN is all wrapped up and we’re just in the copy edit and galley page stages. I’m well into THIS SIDE OF NIGHT right now, and THIRTEEN DAYS is simply a proposal and a bunch of notes in a folder, but here (in all its glory), is the original THIRTEEN DAYS proposal:
Thirteen days before long-time Garland County Sheriff TERRY LEE is set to retire, prominent citizen DONNIE WISE DALE is murdered in his bedroom – the apparent victim of a violent home invasion. He’s survived by his badly injured wife, a young daughter, and his older son.
To those who knew him, DALE’s death was a long time coming. For over three decades, DONNIE DALE was Garland County’s most notorious and feared citizen, a cruel and dangerous man who terrorized his community and his family the same way he did his numerous enemies. And during most of those long, violent years, Sheriff LEE was not only DALE’s bitterest rival, but also his only friend: a complex relationship forged decades earlier during their turbulent childhoods.
LEE also has plenty of troubles of his own. Two failed marriages, an estranged daughter, and a grandchild he doesn’t know. He’s also the target of an on-going state corruption probe, and secrets he hoped were long buried now threaten to come to light in the aftermath of DALE’s shooting.
But at the urging of DALE’s wounded wife, MARIN – the only woman LEE has ever truly loved and could never have – the aged sheriff has his final thirteen days behind a badge and a gun to protect another man’s family and find his killer…
A crime a lifetime in the making.
Set against the arid and desperate backdrop of West Texas oil country, THIRTEEN DAYS asks just how high the cost of redemption really is, and if it’s ever too late to pay it. It’s the ambitious, violent story of two men and the one woman they’ve both loved, told across fifty years and thirteen final, desperate days.
I’m excited by all the books coming down the line. I’d love to return to Big Bend books, and slide in some standalone novels like THIRTEEN DAYS. As a matter of fact, I just sketched out the idea for another one, tentatively called THE NIGHT ROOM.
It’s been a dream come true to have even one book published; I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around the idea that I’ll have four on bookshelves in the coming years. I appreciate everyone who’s followed along on this journey with me. THE FAR EMPTY was my first real book, a labor of love, and for all its flaws (and there are more than enough), I wouldn’t change a word of it. I went “big” with that novel and don’t regret it. But I hope HIGH WHITE SUN and the other books show me growing and improving as a writer and a story-teller. They all feel different, which I think is a good thing.
I hope you stick around to judge for yourself!
Thanks – JTS