For the last several weeks, I’ve been looking at final edits on my eighth novel, INFAMOUS, out this spring from G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Without doubt, it’s my most ambitious work: a sprawling Depression-era crime epic that weighs in at more than 500 pages. The story of George “Machine Gun” Kelly is a massive road trip, running thousands of miles from Fort Worth to Chicago and Saint Paul to Biloxi. But as I look at the typestet pages for the novel, I’m also working with David Thompson, owner of Busted Flush Press, on bringing back my first published novel, CROSSROAD BLUES.
The book is certainly a smaller, more intimate crime story filled with offbeat characters and the almost surreal world of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta. I’d also forgotten what a debt it owes to The Maltese Falcon with my series character, Nick Travers, playing a wayward Sam Spade tracking down a priceless artifact.
In the afterword, I talk about how ever much a writer wants to tweak their previous work, you can’t. Raymond Chandler called it the “animal gusto” a writer has for their first stories. And even a decade later, I still get mail about that first adventure featuring a Delta blues soundtrack and the ghost of Robert Johnson.
Crossroad Blues is ready for preorder and will be out on bookstore shelves across the U.S. just in time for the Christmas holidays.