So, it’s official. On May 29 Boone Shepard will be back for his next adventure, careening across America with Promethia Peters and Oscar Wilde for a rollicking road trip that may or may not involve some time travel (it does).
Boone Shepard’s American Adventure has had a particularly tangled road to get to this point. As I’ve spoken about in other blogs, its early drafts were pretty messy and inconsequential feeling. There was some talk about skipping it and going straight to book three, which is far more explosive, but instinctively I felt like American Adventure was important, that it had value. And as ramshackle and bad as my first draft was, I felt there was a good book buried in there. I just had to work out what it was.
I rewrote American Adventure bit by bit over the last year, replacing scenes until it became a totally different novel to the one it started out as. With the help of a playlist heavy on Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bob Seger I found my tone and my themes and eventually I found the story I wanted to tell. A book at once funnier, more action packed, and more introspective than its predecessor, a story about learning to appreciate the people in your life and discovering what it really means to be a good person. I wanted to transpose the wild, fun tone of the Boone Shepard short stories on to a novel, and while it took a while, I think I cracked it. I promised myself that I wouldn’t let American Adventure go ahead until I was confident it was better than the first book, and now I’m sure that’s the case.
With a now confirmed release date fast approaching, I’m slipping fully back into Boone mode. This weekend we’re shooting the new trailer, which I’m very excited for, and I’ve spent the last few days organising another book launch. The draft illustrations are starting to come in and that very particular thrill of seeing my world and characters coming to life in pictures is back in force. As soon as the book is close to edited I’ll start work recording the new audiobook, which will require me to do enough Texan accents that I’m going to apologise in advance. But it’s looking like the recording will be scored by a bluegrass version of the theme song we had in the first book, so that at least should make up for some of my less-than-impressive vocals.
It’s a cliché to say I can’t wait to share it with you all, but I really can’t wait to share it with you all. It’s thanks to all the people who read and liked the first book that there’s even going to be a second, and I promise you Boone’s adventures only get bigger and better from here. Now let’s hope we can see this journey through to the very end. It’s gonna be a good’un.
Just some thoughts.