Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, published in 2016, was the first novel in the emerging collection of novels, novellas and short stories known as the Maddox Men series. It is a series that recounts several generations of men from the Maddox family dating back to Glen Marshall, who fled a coal mining disaster in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907 with his young wife, only to end up in Wichita, Kansas confronting a new set of troubles. Glen’s story, which is to be told in Wichita Snake and which will be the first chronological novel in the series, has only been partially developed to date.
Billy Maddox Takes His Shot will be the final chronological novel of the series, which will be composed of the following stories about the Maddox Men and their families:
- Wichita Snake, Vol. 1 (1907) – Wichita Snake will tell the story of Glen Marshall, Billy Maddox’s great-grandfather.
- Rynning, Vol. 2 (date – ?) – Rynning will tell the story of Glen and William Maddox, Billy Maddox’s grandfather.
- ? Vol. 3 (date – ?) – An as-yet unnamed novel will tell the story of William and Hector Maddox, Billy Maddox’s father.
- ? Vol. 4 (date – ?) – An as-yet unnamed novel will tell the story of Hector and (possibly) his children.
- Green Bay Outsiders, Vol. 5 (1994) – Green Bay Outsiders introduces Carl Daniels–eventual mentor to Billy Maddox in Volume 7 of this series–who, upon graduating college, chooses to disavow those priorities that everyone tells him are important. To get experience in the larger world and despite the pain his actions bring, he is ready to throw away all the comforts and relationships of his current life.
- Billy and Darla, Vol. 6 (1994) – In a free short story, Billy and Darla, 18-year-old Billy Maddox is heading to Tucson’s Motel 6 for a fun evening with his ex-girlfriend. Their romp, however, quickly turns south as Darla Littlefield’s penchant for trouble-making steers Billy on a collision course with local law enforcement. Click the cover image below to pick up a free copy now.
- Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, Vol. 7 (1999) – Billy Maddox Takes His Shot tells the story of Billy Maddox, his wife Jessie and their son Matthew. You can purchase a copy by clicking the book cover image down below.
Why write the Maddox Men Series?
Nearly 20 years ago, I graduated with a Master of Arts degree in English literature. Although I have since entered the professional world and became a communications professional, my love of classic literature has always remained. In the early 21st century, contemporary literary fiction is the closest thing to classic literature. Indeed some contemporary fiction will likely be considered classic in its own right, one day.
I have always enjoyed writing about real people facing real situations, and that is the story of the Maddox men. I have long toyed with the idea of renaming the series the “Maddox Family” series but, as yet, have not done so. But my characters tend to be challenged by some of the same issues in human life as anyone else and, in support of my writing, I often blog about such themes. For example, four blogs I’ve posted include The Crippling Effect of Memory, The Inevitability of Loss, The Healing Power of Friendship and The Salty Taste of Bitterness.
One other aspect of the Maddox Men series, which is particular to my interest and writing, is location. An East Coaster by birth and upbringing, I enjoy dropping my characters and stories in places I have little experience with, in an attempt to build worlds that are partly fiction and partly real. In Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, it was the Sonoran Desert and Southern Arizona. (And in the free short story, “Billy and Darla”, it was a Motel 6 in Tucson. The iconic “Motel 6” sign graces the book cover.)
In Green Bay Outsiders, the primary landscape is Green Bay, Wisconsin. In Wichita Snake, the setting will be historical Wichita, Kansas and, in Rynning, we’ll return to the same Southwestern border as Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, though this time the storyline will involve early attempts at border security and the protests of Mexican copper miners. The Rynning of the novel’s title refers to Thomas Rynning, an actual historical character who was a legendary Arizona Ranger and former Rough Rider under Teddy Roosevelt.
Although the book series would seem to indicate a primary focus on men, women play an incredibly significant role in my stories. Billy’s wife, Jessica, makes an appearance on page one–setting expectations that Billy struggles to live up to, and threatening the end of the marriage. In Green Bay Outsiders, Carl is torn between his dream of leaving home and settling down with his girlfriend, Amelia. It’s not a coincidence the cover includes a couple sitting in the shadows of the setting sun. A lot is on their minds and a big decision needs to be made. And, finally, in “Billy and Darla”, the story focuses on an evening at a Motel 6 off South Freeway in Tucson, and a twisted romance between Billy Maddox and his long-time, dysfunctional girlfriend, Darla Littlefield. Darla shows up for a brief scene in Billy Maddox Takes His Shot.
I have rarely written from the perspective of female characters though that doesn’t mean I don’t find it fascinating. My personal favorite among all the short stories I have written is “My Scholarship“, which is told from the perspective of a young Sri Lankan woman living in the city of Kandy (in Sri Lanka’s hill country). And I have a blog post underway comparing the development of Darla Littlefield in “Billy and Darla” to the movie Fatal Attraction with Glen Close.
There’s a lot I still need to write and develop but this is where I am so far. If you enjoy contemporary, literary or historical fiction, I think you will enjoy the Maddox Men series. There are several free opportunities for you to check out my writing. “Billy and Darla” is currently available on Instafreebie. Click here to get your free copy.
And you can give the Maddox Men series a chance by downloading the complimentary first scene from Green Bay Outsiders. In the interest of full disclosure, you’ll be subscribed to my weekly email list when you download your copy, thus giving you a chance to stay current with the stories as I develop them.
Feel free to drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.