I’m pleased to announce that my next book is now under contract with Holiday House publishers. BOBBY LEE CLAREMONT AND THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT will be published in the fall of 2016, and I couldn’t be happier!
Here’s a quick synopsis:
Robert E. Lee Claremont–or Bobby Lee, when he’s not walking the straight and narrow–is leaving New Orleans. He is bound for Chicago, where he hopes to join the criminal element and make a new life for himself, far from the condemnation of his mother’s death and the heavy-handed salvation of the Sisters of Charitable Mercy. He finds himself making the journey with a young widowed mother, her companions, and a policeman, who suspects them of having murdered her husband. It seems like his big chance to join up with criminals. So why does the truth about Jimmy O’Halloran’s death and his young widow’s hopes for a future make Bobby Lee’s hardened criminal heart yearn for the wholesome comforts of family and home? And once he’s uncovered that truth, how far is he willing to go to save her, and himself, from the criminal element he had hoped to join?
This will be my third book, but is also a first in several ways:
- My first book with Holiday House
- My first book not set in Colorado
- My first book with a boy protagonist
This is the manuscript for which
- I spent a whole day reading about the history of toilets on trains
- I sang The City of New Orleans around the house for days straight (the cats are really tired of that song!)
- I read dozens of oral histories from African-American Pullman Porters
Because those are the sacrifices a person makes for her art. What can I say. Some days, my job is pretty amazing.
I look forward to sharing more updates as this manuscript grows into a book with the help of my amazing new editor. Every story is a journey. This one in more ways than one.