There he was, a brand-name New York Times best selling author with ten thrillers under his belt, one of which was made into a Hollywood movie. Seven-figure multi-book deal and fans galore. When his last book came out not as strong as the one before, he made a brave decision. He decided to make a change. New publisher, new agent... So he bought out his contract (!), cut his ties with his agent, and took his time writing a new novel.
Sure he was grateful to his publisher. As he told the Boston Globe, “If not for [St. Martin’s] I would not be a New York Times best-selling author, period. We just disagreed. They wanted me to be the CEO of Suspense. And I felt that was too constricting.”
His new publisher, Dutton, has just brought out his new novel SUSPICION to much fanfare. It's a taut thriller with a great main character Danny Goodman (single dad, widower…) who is a historian working on a book about Jay Gould, a 19th century robber baron. In dire financial straits, Danny accepts a loan that he shouldn’t and from that one bad decision it's downhill: he’s between a rock (DEA investigators) and a hard place (Mexican cartel.)
SUSPICION just debuted #12 on the NY Times Bestseller List! WHOOT WHOOT!
I resonated to Joe's story - I didn't do quite the same thing, but when my last multiple-book contract with St. Martin's was fulfilled, I embarked on something new, writing on spec. The standalone suspense novel (NEVER TELL A LIE) took two years (not like one year for a series novel) to write.
I am so in awe of him - what courage it took to buy out his contract and rethink his image.
Here are some questions I'd love Joe to answer:
- How is this book different from what you’ve done before. Because one of the things I’ve always loved about your book is that you write about having kids and you’re doing that again here. It really humanizes the protagonist.
- Do you think the extra time makes a better book?
- Where can we find you talking about your new book and signing copies?
Red readers, pile on with questions for Joe. He'll be visiting Jungle Red today. I have a copy of his new book ready to go to one lucky commenter.