I’m thrilled to welcome New York Times best-selling author and the writer inspiration for not one but two TV series C. J. BOX to my author nook. I met him at the PrimeCrime Writers Conference in Indianapolis in October of 2022 and was immediately taken by his gracious personality and his willingness to engage with the assembly of writers. Plus, I love a great western tale, and C.J. has crafted over thirty novels, which include the Joe Pickett and the Hoyt/Dewell series as well as several stand-alone works. He has won an Edgar Allen Poe Award as well as an Anthony and continues to grow his readership with new adventures. The latest in the Joe Pickett collection, STORM WATCH, releases on February 28.
A Wyoming native, the setting for many of his novels, Box has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, and a small-town newspaper reporter and editor. He and his wife Laurie also owned an international tourism marketing firm. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and currently serves on the Wyoming Office of Tourism Board. CJ and Laurie have three daughters and two grandchildren. He and his wife Laurie live on their ranch in Wyoming.
Janet Irvin: C.J., welcome to the nook. I’m excited to introduce you and your work to new readers as well as share your thoughts about writing and your books with those who are already fans. One aspect of your novels that stands out to me is the setting. Having visited Wyoming, run the rapids, ridden horseback there, visited museums, and attended a rodeo, I found the grandeur and beauty of Wyoming intriguing. For you, as a novelist, what is the most compelling part of plac your stories there?
CJB: I’ve included children in the novels since the very first book, and several of the books have points of view from young people included. I think I do this because it makes the books more realistic and serious. I enjoy writing from different points of view, and I hope it makes the novels richer overall. Plus, I think the stakes are higher for the reader if they get to know and identify with members of the family.
CJB: I used to be a journalist, and I still get fascinated by things I read, hear, or observe – and I want to know more about them. All of the books contain certain issues or controversies aside from the mystery or crime element, and those topics (I hope) keep the ideas fresh and original.
CJB: I now try to get as much work as possible done during the long winter months on our ranch so that time is freed in the summer and fall for outdoor pursuits. It works pretty well.
CJB: I’m very fond of both Joe Pickett and Cassie Dewell. I don’t think I could write about them otherwise. When it comes to villains (there have been a LOT of them), I think the Lizard King from THE HIGHWAY and the Cates Family in the Joe Pickett books stand out as bad folks.
CJB: STORM WATCH will come out at the end of February 2023. It’s the 23rd Joe Pickett novel. I’m already working on the next one now.
To contact C.J. Box: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency, 212/684-6936, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Joe Pickett Novels: Katie Grinch, Penguin/Putnam, 212/366-2574, email@example.com
The Cody Hoyt/Cassie Dewell and Stand-Alone Novels: Hector DeJean, St. Martins Press, 646-307-5560, firstname.lastname@example.org
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