That Crazy Jack

I’m making good progress on the line edits for The Dancing Queen, and that has me thinking about the future. The Dancing Queen will complete the first three books featuring Jack Trexlor. After this book, I will be blasting out a super-secret trilogy as fast as I can, hopefully in no more than one month. After that, I have planned two more books related to the trilogy and also super secret. Then Spring Rains. Then, maybe, I will be back writing about Jack.

I have three more Jack Trexlor books in active development, as in, they need to be written, and I am (and have been for some time) plotting and planning them. They are The Stolen Four (1981-1984), which comes between The Crazy Jack (1980) and The Desert King (1985) and tells the story of Jack’s time in the Arizona Insane Asylum, The Tonto Ten (1986), which comes after The Desert King and tells the story of when Jack went back to the desert and fell in love with Sylvia, and The Final Five (1990), which comes before The Dancing Queen (1991) and tells the story of Jack caring for his mother in her last days. All these stories are referenced from the other books, so they have to be written. And actually, I can’t wait to get into them.

But wait, there’s more! Jack’s mother’s illness plays a role in The Tonto Ten (1986) and defines The Final Five (1990), but another book needs to come in the four years between them. Right now, I have no idea what that book is, but I know it has to exist. Then, another super secret plot twist hinted at the end of The Desert King spawns yet another book. I know what sparks the action in this (currently untitled) one, but I don’t know much beyond that and the fact that it takes place in 2003, when Jack is 41 years old. That book ties up all the loose ends that I currently know of (except one), but it leaves unresolved what becomes of Jack. Fans will be happy to know that soon after that book, he actually, finally, truly, at long last, becomes a working artist, albeit of the starving variety. The last Jack Trexlor book that I know of right now has him living on Roosevelt Row in Phoenix, making his own art in his own gallery, and thriving on First Fridays. However, his fragile success is upended when a young lady (what else? and oh, yes, the final loose end, deliciously wicked fun) comes to him for help, and does Jack turn down the request? No, he does not. He never has, and he isn’t starting now. This book not only completes Jack’s journey to the life he has been seeking for over twenty years, it sets the stage for his future adventures. Cool, right?

So that’s it, the nine Jack Trexlor books I have currently written, in development, or in mind. How long, an astute observer might ask, could this be expected to go on? The answer, which might surprise you, is not long. My plan all along has been for there to be 13 Jack Trexlor books, one for every card in a standard suit. I currently have King, Jack, and Queen. Coming next are Four, Ten, and Five. On the horizon are Ace and two more not currently determined, but maybe Two and Three. That would leave only Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine to fill the suit. What then? Right now, silencio. That’s right, Jack spends most of his life getting his feet under him to live the life he dreamed of when he was 18, then he only gets to live that life for five books. I don’t know how he ends then, but I’m pretty sure he does. Shocking, right? I can’t believe I’m doing this to him, but I think I am.

Anyway, all that’s a long way off, surely no less than a year or two, even with my new, streamlined, awesome work arrangements. Now, I’m going to get back to work on the line edits for The Dancing Queen, which is turning out both terrible and great. I can’t wait to release it. If you haven’t read The Crazy Jack and The Desert King yet, go get up to speed with those now.