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I now have in hand the contracts optioning A Conspiracy of Paper to Scott Free, Tony and Ridley Scott’s Production Company, on behalf of Warner Brothers.  So this seems as good a time as any to address the many emails I get regarding another possible Weaver novel.

As I’ve posted here several times, my next novel, The Darkening Green, will be out in about a year’s time, and it is set in 19th century Nottingham and London.  It is obviously not a Benjamin Weaver novel.  At this moment, I have no plans to write another Weaver novel.  On the other hand, I also have no plans not to.

After I finished Conspiracy, which was my first book, both my editor and agent urged me to write a sequel immediately.  I understood, however, that if I were to do so, I would risk locking myself into a fairly narrow and specific career, something I didn’t want to do.  Instead, I wrote The Coffee Trader, a novel that shared certain characteristics with my first book, but was different enough that I hoped it would establish a pattern of variation that would open  the door to many new possibilities.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t  My publisher and the major bookstore chains were not convinced The Coffee Trader was as commercial as my first book, and their reactions were lukewarm – less promotion, poorer in-store displays, etc.  Nevertheless it went on to sell as well as Conspiracy.  On the other hand, The Ethical Assassin may now have its own little following, and it continues to sell in back catalog, but it did very badly when it first came out.  You win some, you lose some. 

The truth is, the second two Weaver novels have not sold as well as my stand-alone historical novels, and my publisher has actively dissuaded me from writing another sequel.  I never wanted a career dominated by a series character, so for the moment my publisher’s preference and my own inclinations are in alignment, and it’s always convenient when that happens.  If I wanted to write another Weaver novel, however, I would, and I would deal with the consequences.  The fact is, I have so far been able to make my living writing what I want.  I like my career.  It’s fun.  And as long as I can get away with this kind of freedom, I don’t see why I should write what I don’t want to write. 

Nevertheless, I do take the requests I receive from my readers very seriously.  It is extremely gratifying when readers say they want another Weaver novel, or a sequel to The Whiskey Rebels or another book along the lines of The Ethical Assassin.  One of the downsides of having a varied career is that some readers are always going to be disappointed by the direction I take. 

As far as film version of Conspiracy goes, I am guardedly optimistic that it will happen, but I’ve been down the Hollywood road often enough to know how easily a project like this can get derailed.  If the movie does go into production, you can safely bet my publisher will ask me to drop whatever I’m doing and writer another Weaver novel.  We’ll see what happens.

5 Responses to “”

  1. JCFan says:

    I think you need to abandon the Old World and concentrate on locales like those in The Whiskey Rebels. There is a big crowd of provincial Americans out there that demand no less!

    JCF

  2. Rovi Scolari says:

    Thanks for the update. Very interesting, indeed.

  3. Peter Cohen says:

    Conspiracy was great and so was The Devil’s Company but, I think you should follow a trend…Perhaps an American story of historical significance in the same grain as The Whiskey Rebels but not necessarily a sequal. For example, you could write about the California gold rush and insert a new main character of Jewish decent. In fact, you could name him after Weaver..Perhaps he could be Weaver’s namesake or great, great grandson, an American Naval Commander. I believe there was a Jewish Naval hero, Benjamin Levy, who served in the 1800’s.

  4. Tim says:

    Congrats on the film options. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy or better author. Fingers crossed that it crosses the tinseltown minefields in one piece.

  5. Jennifer Hargis says:

    Every book you write is so vivid in character, plot and scenery, it’s like watching a movie already. Ironically, yesterday I accidentally said I was watching a book (The Whiskey Rebels). Every one of them makes me say “This should be a movie!” and I cast it while I read. I am so excited to hear that someone in Hollywood has a brain in his head, and I hope this will be seen through to complete fruition. Congratulations.

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