I’m pleased to announce that my latest novel, Deep Blood, will be published this summer by Roundfire Books. Be sure and check in here often for updates and details, or, better yet, subscribe to the blog and follow me on Twitter (@olemissgrad38).
For those of not familiar with this project, this novel is a different kind of story from my previous ones. For one, it’s not a Wade Stuart story. It has, I hope, a different feel and “sound” than those. It’s closer to the type of writing I’ve been trying to achieve for a long time — what I’ve defined as “redneck noir.”
Deep Blood is the story of Mississippi sheriff Colt Harper, whose moral compass is slightly askew. He doesn’t care for the mundane parts of his job, he drinks too much, is separated from his wife, and has a former stripper girlfriend who regularly violates the drug laws of the county. Even when the son of a close friend is murdered, he has a hard time concentrating on the subsequent investigation. But when his incorrigible father is arrested again for DUI, he learns a secret of his father’s past — one that threatens his own future.
The story started out as just that — a short story I wrote a few years ago for one of Bob Bausch’s creative writing classes (and if you don’t know Robert Bausch, you should. Check him out at Amazon.) It got pretty good reviews in class (a rarity), and after meeting another writer, Tom Paine (who wrote the hysterically funny Pearl of Kuwait), I submitted the story, titled “Fishing” (at Tom’s insistence) to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont. Much to my surprise, it was accepted.
“Fishing” was critiqued by none other than Tom Franklin, who was then the writer in residence at Ole Miss (yeah, talk about pressure). I didn’t breathe for the entire hour that he and the class discussed it. Tom was gracious, brutally honest and inspiring in a brief conversation after the session.
Thus encouraged, I brought it home and kept working at it. Eventually, it became Deep Blood.
I’ll be posting updates and all the when and where here, so stop by often.