As we progress into fall I always fall back to the basic plot of my debut novel, The Fever. It starts at just about this time of year. Sam Milton, the main character, is hiking out of the desert on a cool October night, lamenting his failure to find his elusive goal.
As we find out, his search in the far reaches of western Texas is complicated by fears of the unpredictable weather so he limits himself to a few months in the Spring and a few months in the Fall. He’s ready to hang it up for the year, and as his frustrations mount, perhaps forever.
Then, by chance, a friend’s casual observation puts everything right back on the front burner. That’s what the story is really about, pitting his obsession against his worries about changes in the weather. And the story does not disappoint. One reader told me she had to get up and put on a sweater during a described winter storm Sam endures during his quest.
The stories are set in the 1980s, so there is no instant access to weather reports, and no way to call in air support if things get dicey, and he’s traveling through a sparsely-populated area, so even the car radio is unreliable.
So, that’s why I think this is a great time of year for you to walk a few miles in Sam’s dusty boots. Take a chance, maybe you can solve the cryptic riddle along with Sam. But I have to warn you, like Sam, you will no doubt catch THE FEVER.
If you want to explore Thomas Fenske’s world, peek into the Traces of Treasure Series … Book 1 is The Fever, Book 2 is A Curse That Bites Deep, and Book 3 is Lucky Strike. If you’re hungry, the companion cookbook might strike your fancy as well.