May First. May Day. A celebration of labor and laborers all around the world (as opposed to Labor Day, the first Monday in September). Or you can read it as may day (mayday?), a call of distress. I think that’s what this day is for me. Maybe not distress, but perhaps a lament.
I have just finished the second draft of my novel, MEDICINE HAIR. Why is that a cause for lament? Well, it’s the last of the CUT HAND series, and that’s a tremendous emotional wrench for me. So why end the series? Because it’s time has run, that’s why.
CUT HAND, my first published novel, was well-received, thankfully. But I liked my characters and wasn’t willing to let them go, even those who did not survive in the novel. I sought some way to give them life—resurrection, if you will—in a second novel, RIVER OTTER. Otter seemed too vital a character to simply abandon, so he carries the tale until it is time to turn the saga over to John Strobaw and Matthew Brandt in ECHOES OF THE FLUTE.
But Cut Hand’s and Billy Strobaw’s story still did not seem complete, even though references to them diminish considerably. It took one final book, MEDICINE HAIR to finish the tale. And if the reader gives some thought to the novels, they are really a portrayal of how homosexuality was perceived and dealt with in two different cultures, and how one infected and changed the other.
You won’t see MEDICINE HAIR for some time yet because of the publisher’s schedule. It will appear in the spring of 2015. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the folks at STARbooks Press for their help. Mike Powers, Eric Summers, and Milton Stern are great to work with. Thanks, guys.
I don’t mean this post as a swan song. In addition to the Cut Hand series, THE VICTOR AND THE VANQUISHED, a story set in contemporary times, is still out there. And it will be joined by CHARLIE BLACKBEAR in the fall of 2014. I hope to have JOHNNY TWO-GUNS in print by Spring 2016 … with STARbooks cooperation. So as long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.
I also need to thank those readers who have kept in touch with me through this blog site. You guys help keep my batteries charged. Some of you make a point of simply contacting me from time to time to lend encouragement. You cannot imagine how much that helps.
Thanks for checking out the site.
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