Friday, September 20, 2019

Letting go of Tony 2

Usually when I release a new book I do so with a bit on melancholy, the feeling a parent has when sending their child off to school on the first day, knowing that they must stand on their own now. It’s out of my hands. My love is unconditional, but now they must walk alone.

Not so with THICKER THAN WATER. Releasing the next Tony Flaner mystery is a joyous sparkly, party of triumph and silliness. Tony had his first day of school already. He did well, but dropped out for a while to find himself and a new publisher. It’s been a long strange trip, but his return is, for me, nothing less than triumphant.

I love Tony Flaner. Many people compare him to me. I am one of the models for my flawed slacker, a big one, but not the only one. More importantly, Tony is a model for me. He’s my hero. I look to him for tenacity and resilience, a cynical attitude and sarcastic wit.

We’ve been friends for many years, Tony and I. He taught me my vocation and together we learned completion (see THE FINGER TRAP). Tony and I won the highest award we ever strove for, the Diamond Quill from the League of Utah Writers, one of my favorite writing organizations. I’m not just a member, I’m the president. But I wasn’t then.

Then Tony got lost. Publishing intrigue struck just at that moment of triumph and Tony fell out of print. It has taken this long to bring him back. June saw the return of THE FINGER TRAP and August saw the release of THICKER THAN WATER, the second Tony Flaner mystery that signals that the series is safe and sound and ongoing.

Echoing the themes of Tony’s fictional life, the journey to return the series to publication has been an exercise of push and pull. Push as I kept writing Tony, Pull that fans asked for more. Also it was hard to do and the feeling of accomplishment in bringing him back is itself a reward. Selling a bunch won’t suck, but having the moment of holding a Tony Flaner mystery was, well, triumphant.

It’s been a struggle to happen but it has happened. Flaner fans will love THICKER THAN WATER. Tony told me so. It’s an exploration of family and the debts we owe our ancestors. It’s got more local color than Moab at sunset, a love story, a killer whodunnit, and plenty of indulgences for Tony to be Tony.

And best of all, it’s available.

A personal triumph for me, another day in the life of Tony Flaner.

You can pick up a copy THICKER THAN WATER, and THE FINGER TRAP at Amazon now. Let me know what you think of them if you read them.

No comments:

Post a Comment