Many of you are asking (as am I): Where, oh where, is the promised new novel, Lone Dog Road?
Here’s what you are waiting for:
A book that William Kent Krueger says “is breathtaking in its beauty and heartwarming in its humanity.”
A book that Dan O’Brien says “Opens a door on another reality.”
A book that Leif Enger says is “swift, compassionate, and instantly credible.”
A book that my friend, Robert Plant, calls “a revelation.”
It is, I hope, all of that. But it is also a book that is having a frustrating and difficult time being born. As I’ve said, the big publishers ran from it because it has the mark of Cain upon it: A white man writing about Indians. Notwithstanding that I’ve earned my spurs in the Native world by my patient labors over 30 years, and that hundreds of you Native folks — among my most faithful and insightful readers — would stand up for me on a moment’s notice, the publishing world sees with wary eyes and paints with a broad brush. The book scared them, leaving me to go with this earnest, courageous young publisher, Polished Stone Press.
To their credit, Polished Stone is, with a small staff, trying to do what the big publishers do with hundreds of employees and well-oiled machines. Not suprisingly, they are struggling. The innards of the struggle are unimportant; watching the sausage be made is generally a sight to be avoided. I just want to see the book in your hands, because I love it and believe in it and want to offer it to you as what I think is a unique literary gift. And I will get it to you.
At this point there are plans to simultaneously publish a limited edition hardcover and a paperback, and to do so within the next few months. I do not want to be “the boy who cried, ‘book’!” so I’m not going to proclaim a date. And, understand, I’m none too happy with the delays myself. But I think there is light at the end of the tunnel. We only have to hope that the light is not some chimerical illusion or distant mirage.
But I’m willing to be patient. Lone Dog Road is a good book; one of my favorites, and I believe it is worth the wait.
Just know that when it finally does come out, I will need all of you to help it make its way in the world by flooding the cyber world with reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and everywhere else. A small publisher has no real promotion budget and has to rely on word of mouth, which has always been good to me.
We as author and readers have always had a special relationship — more friends than readers and writer, so I know I can count on you. Lone Dog Road is going to need all of us pushing it into the light if we want it to do the good in the world that my other books have done.
So stay patient and stay tuned. And talk to your local bookseller about making a pre-order. They will be the first to know when this little literary infant will crawl forth into the world. Hopefully, it will be before the buds are on the trees.
I’ll keep you updated as best I can.