I wrote the following in response to a reader who had read (and liked!) “The Nice Guy” and wanted to know when the next Bat Garrett book would be out. He also wanted to know about the next Edward and Marianne story, so I answered that, too.
Thank you so much for writing! I like all my characters, but Bat may be my favorite, so it’s “nice” to hear that someone else likes him. To answer your question about when the next Bat Garrett book will be out … well, I may have thrown myself a curve on that. If you had asked me that three months ago, I would have said the next Bat novel was going to be called “The Return of the Nice Guy” and was going to be out in the early fall. And then, the next novel in the “All the Time” series was going to be out in December/January with the next Garison Fitch novel coming out next summer (’11).
In prep for all that, I was going over “Return” one more time and there was a reference in there to a story that has been in my head for twenty years, but every time I would try to write it out, I would always stall for one reason or another. Then, one night, I started typing. I’m now several chapters into the Bat & Jody story I always wanted to tell but never could and really enjoying it. However, even if I finish it before early fall (which would probably be pushing it) I doubt that it would be ready for release, as I like to set the stories aside for a while then come back later and see them with a fairly fresh eye.
Now, here’s my plan, which is firmly written in soap: release “Some of the Time” (book two about Edward and Marianne) in December ’10 and shoot for a spring release of “Up to Bat”. With what have now become the third and fourth books in the Bat Garrett cycle are already written, I can release them at some point in the future as I work on the next Garison Fitch and Edward & Marianne books. I know the stories in my head, and have some chapters written on both, but they’re still quite a ways from completion. And then … there’s one more book in my head that draws all three series together. If you count that I have also written (but not yet published) a western novel about Marianne’s ancestor John Overstreet, then that other book in my head will be drawing four series together.