Often times, I have referred to The Novellas of Highfill, Kansas as some variant or another on the term “a writing project I thoroughly regret publishing.” While the review sections on Amazon, and all the places I submitted them to for reviews have been a regular ghostopolis (IE, dead silent), a couple of readers have insisted I’m too hard on myself. Well, I suppose the important thing is THEY like what they read. Lord knows two years later, I don’t like them.
All that being said, I’ve been open to the idea of writing more of them. The only real guarantee I’ve made in the past is that Jodi LaVey and her wife won’t be the main characters, or really any part of future novels. Jodi’s story is told, and there’s not much else I can do with it.
I’m really more interested in expanding on the setting, the mindset, the culture… Or really, just providing Highfill as a setting for miscellaneous novellas that have nothing but the setting in common. In fact, the only reason The Majin Among Us ended up not being a Novella of Highfill, Kansas was due to its supernatural fantasy elements. So I had to forge a similar town with Redcrest, and make it a whole separate entity.
I’ve had scribbles of ideas in the old internal scribblepad for other Highfill, Kansas stories.
The oldest of the scribbles was a story under the title of Election. Gwen LaVey was featured as one of the three narrators who told the story of a democrat’s effort to run for mayor of Highfill against a republican candidate so corrupt that Donald Trump looks like the fucking pope by comparison. Despite his corruption, though, he’s still the popular candidate on the grounds that, while he’s a misogynist, a racist, an incompetent boob, and a spoiled brat with no social skills, at least he’s not a democrat. I eventually abandoned it on the grounds it’s basically a fictionalized account of either the 2016 presidential election, or the 2014 governor’s race here in Kansas. Really, take your pick. I haven’t deleted the idea, but I don’t plan on writing this one any time soon.
Another idea I’d had sitting around was simply titled Boxmart. I hadn’t really built much around the story beyond the fact it was set primarily at a big box store creatively named Boxmart, and that Jodi would make a cameo. This one probably needs more work.
Another idea I had was for a story called Court Case. Gwen would be featured prominently, but she wouldn’t be any of the three narrators. I had the beginning, and the ending mapped out… But no middle. I may tweek this one a little in the future.
However, the most recent of the scribblings is what I ended up picking as my next writing project.
The story is officially titled Sarah’s Phone. It’s set in Highfill, Kansas, and possesses a healthy dose of the backward dark that made the first two what they are. However, as I promised before, it has nothing to do with the LaVey family in the slightest. Also, at the rate things are going, it’s looking like there is only one narrator. At least in the traditional sense of what makes a narrator, anyway. If and when I finish this story idea, you’ll see what I mean.
I have no time table for when Sarah’s Phone: A Novella of Highfill, Kansas will be available for purchase, but if it’s anything like the first two, it shouldn’t be especially long.
I’ll be sure to keep ou updated, either her, or on my Facebook, on progress. All I can guarantee out the gate is that knowing my luck, I’ll probably end up hating it like I hate the other Novellas of Highfill, Kansas a year, or even six months later. For now, though, I’m interested in seeing where this idea takes me.