February, 2011: One True Sentence is released, the fourth of the Hector Lassiter novels.
At its climax, crime novelist Hector Lassiter wanders into a woman’s Paris apartment, bleeding and pushed past all points of exhaustion. The story ends on a dark and ambiguous note:
“In the blackness, Hector felt himself falling.”
Then, a kind of real blackness swallowed up Hector and his ongoing series.
Nearly all of the planned Lassiter novels were finished long before OTS was published. But logistics, competing publisher nibbles and various other factors resulted in a kind of accidental purgatory for the Lassiter series.
Hector has lingered in that blackness far too long.
It’s a fact made more frustrating because One True Sentence and its intended follow up are the only two chronologically and plot-linked books in the series. There was every intention of having Hector Lassiter and fellow novelist Brinke Devlin reconnect on Valentine’s Day 1925 (or, for his readers, February 14, 2012), as was set up in the closing pages of OTS.
While the series has been on forced hiatus, I’ve steadily recovered publishing rights and now have complete control of all Lassiter novels, past and future, for the first time since 2006.
The plan now is to publish the series in hyper-accelerated fashion between this and next summer.
The entire Hector Lassiter series and a collection of Lassiter short stories will be made available in eBook and uniform trade paperback editions over a course of mere months.
Each novel will feature an introduction and reader discussion questions, along with new covers and overall packaging.
I see these as the definitive Lassiter editions and they will in fact represent the first paperback editions available in English of Print the Legend and One True Sentence.
There’s something else very different about this edition of releases.
Readers of the Lassiter series know time is used in a most unusual way in the novels. The books are designed to present a larger story and arc for Hector when the series is viewed as a whole.
However, the novels can also be read in any order. Upon original publication, the first four novels jumped back and forth through time, with Hector variously presented as an older and younger man.
The new releases of the Hector Lassiter series will try for something different. We’re going to present the books in roughly chronological order—at least in terms of where the main story starts as the novel opens. In other words, the repackaged series now begins with One True Sentence, the fourth novel in original publication sequence, but the first novel chronologically.
Set in 1924 Paris and featuring Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and a host of other historical notables from the period, that novel is now followed by its intended sequel, Forever’s Just Pretend, enjoying its first-ever publication.
FJP completes another story, revealing how Hector became the guy we come to know across the rest of the series: “The man who lives what he writes and writes what he lives.”
Before autumn’s end, you will also be given a repackaged, expanded version of Toros & Torsos (1935), quickly followed by two new Lassiter novels, The Great Pretender (1938) and Roll the Credits (1940).
The rest of the repackaged series briskly unfolds in similar fashion, a mix of old and new titles.
As I’ve said, the Lassiter novels were written back-to-back and the series mostly shaped and in place before the second novel was officially published. It’s very unusual in that sense—a series of discrete novels that are tightly linked and when taken together stand as a single, far larger story.
I reserve the right to tell smaller, “standalone” Lassiter stories here and there perhaps, but the heart and soul of Hector’s saga is in the ten books coming your way over the next few months.
Welcome back to the world of Hector Lassiter.
STILL TO COME: New cover reveals, novel descriptions and book trailers.