Question, From Herman Moeller: “Back around 2008 you where interviewed by George Guidall for Recorded Books as a supplement for the audiobook “The Dark Horse”. He asked if you had any other books besides the “Longmire Mysteries” you wanted to do. You stated you where half done with one, and started another. Are they both now done? Maybe even published under a pen name?”
Answer: I think it’s important to stretch your literary muscles in different genres and with different styles, and I’ve always done that, even before Walt Longmire came into being. I was a little concerned that doing a series would get me into a writing rut but being with Viking/Penguin really has given me all the freedom I need in pursuing the craft. I think you have an obligation to try and be a better writer with each book, and sometimes those ideas travel outside the conventions of a Longmire novel, but Walt is still a part of the joy in my writing.
The novellas, Spirit of Steamboat and The Highwayman, were enjoyable to write and I’ve got another one, Tooth & Claw, on deck that’s about halfway done, so I see me continuing to write those along with the short stories I put out every year. I think that just because an idea isn’t a three- or four-hundred-page idea doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of being written and the only thing worse than not writing them would be padding them out and trying to make full-sized novels out of them. Walt still holds my attention, and at this point I hope to be writing him for the rest of my life.
I’ve actually started about three other novels–a psychological thriller, a traditional western, and a piece of literary fiction, all in different states of completion, along with another idea for another television show and a few movie scripts, but with the workload that goes along with writing a series, it’s sometimes difficult to devote the time to those projects that they deserve. I continue to work on them now and again whenever the mood strikes me, but I’m in no hurry to get them done until they’re ready. As to the pen-name thing, nope, you’ll always know if it’s me because it’ll have my name on it…
– Craig Johnson