Why We Fight: Endings and New Beginnings.

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Next week, on Tuesday, May 14, Why We Fight comes out. It is the culmination of a series that started in 2013 with Tell Me It’s Real and of a character first seen in 2014 in The Art of Breathing. It will be the last book in the series. And like always, it’s bittersweet.

I’ve ended series before. Bear, Otter and the Kid are done. Sam of Wilds is done (at least from his perspective, that is.) Abby, Oregon, with Gus and Casey and Josy and Q-Bert, is done. Though you haven’t read the final two books yet, the Bennett Pack is done.

This year—perhaps more than any other—is a year of goodbyes. Since 2011, I’ve built a career out of telling stories the way I want to tell them, and though I’m going to continue doing that, things are going to be a bit different starting January 1, 2020. I’m not so much as closing a door as I am just opening another one. With the big changes ahead, I wanted to make sure I finished telling the stories I needed to before moving on.

(And no, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop writing queer dudes falling in lurve. That will always be the case, no matter where I publish.)

I’ll have more to say about Green Creek in August and why I’m ending that series too, but it’ll echo what I say here. I’m not an author that wants to write series that go on and on and on. As it stands right now, a series with four books seem to be my sweet spot. I’m able to tell the story I want to tell without overstaying my welcome and becoming stagnant. While I get many people would be quite happy reading more books in series I’ve written, I think it would start to show through later books just how board I would get of my own writing. And that’s not something I ever want to happen.

Corey/Kori is special. They deserve to have a story told that sees me excited to tell it. This series deserves it as well. Tell Me It’s Real was the first time I allowed myself to let my freak-flag fly, embracing absolutely absurd, over the top humor that I love. It’s not for everyone. But because of that first book, it gave me the courage to write a spiritual successor of sorts, in The Lightning-Struck Heart. Honestly, without TMIR, Lightning would not exist, or at least the version you’ve read. Because of Paul and Vince, I was able to say fuck it, and write what was funny to me.

And it’s the same thing I wanted to do with Corey/Kori, knowing there is a different between playing it safe and being respectful.

On top of that, Why We Fight is my last contemporary book for the foreseeable future, so I wanted to go out with a bang.

After Heartsong and Brothersong later this year, I’ll be taking up with a new publisher. Tor, a division of Macmillan, is all about fantasy and sci-fi and the like. I’ll be publishing The House in the Cerulean Sea, a queer romantic fantasy. After that comes my YA debut, The Extraordinaries, next summer. 2021 is The Tremendous Death of Wallace Price, another queer fantasy, which will be followed by The Extraordinaries 2. And in 2022 will be my third adult queer fantasy with Tor, followed by the final Extraordinaries book.

So, an ending, if you will.

That doesn't mean I won’t be publishing other books. My sweet spot, it seems, is three books a year. Early in the year, one in the middle, and one toward the end.

I will be releasing a third book next year, but one I can’t talk about yet. It’s not a contemporary.

I will be releasing a third book in 2021, but it will not be a contemporary.

This will probably be a bummer for some readers, and that’s okay. Corey/Kori and Why We Fight is, at least for now, a bit of farewell gift. I will write contemporary again, I just don’t know when. These days, the stories I want to tell all somehow deal with the fantastic, and I want to follow that thread to see where it goes. I’m excited about it. Big, big things are on the horizon, and they begin next Tuesday, when I invite you back to Tucson one last time.

(Hell, for all I know I’ll crash and burn in the next couple of years and writing more books in series I’ve closed will seem desperately appealing. Let’s hope not, shall we?)

Thank you for following my crazy brain this far. With Why We Fight, I wanted the send off to be just as memorable as the other trips with the Tucson Crew, and I think I’ve succeeded. I hope you’ll join me in watching our old friends get in over their head, snarking at each other sarcastically, and getting that lovely, wonderful thing known as a Happily Ever After.

Eight more days!

love,

tj

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