This holiday season is unusual in that it brings three new Hector Lassiter offerings with significant Christmas connections.
Earlier this month, we released the new Hector Lassiter novel, The Running Kind, which is set in December 1950 in the aftermath of a historic (and killer) snowstorm that has become known as “the Great Appalachian Storm of November 1950.”
That year, Ohio, the setting for much of the action of The Running Kind, achieved some records of the kind you really don’t want to set. As described on the Wikipedia page dedicated to the storm:
“…nearly a foot of snow fell on Dayton, Ohio, which combined with the wind and cold temperatures, became their worst blizzard on record. Nearly the entire state was blanketed with 10 inches, with 20-30 inches being measured in eastern sections of Ohio. Snow drifts were up to 25 feet deep…”
It is against this icy backdrop, and the looming Christmas holiday, that The Running Kind opens. Before now, we haven’t had much insight into a Hector Lassiter-style Christmas, but The Running Kind gives some bittersweet sense of how an aging bachelor like Hector weathers what is generally regarded as a family holiday.
As it happens, another work that debuted earlier this year, the Lassiter novel Forever’s Just Pretend, opens on Christmas Eve, 1924. We see future Mrs. Lassiter, Brinke Devlin, spending a solitary holiday writing in a Key West bar, while a continent away, Hector and Ernest Hemingway are drinking and celebrating as Hector prepares to close out his life in West Bank Paris to join Miss Devlin in Florida.
As to that third Christmas-Lassiter work that’s available? It’s far more of a rarity. Betimes Books, which is now bringing you the Hector Lassiter series, has released a short story collection of Christmas tales called Gifts, which is still available in collectible paperback for a short time more.
The collection contains a newly repackaged vignette from my novel Print the Legend, which Betimes will reprint next year. The short piece is a chapter that visits Hemingway and Hector on the Christmas morning immediately following the Christmas Eve that opens Forever’s Just Pretend.
I hope you’ll consider celebrating a little Christmas time “cheer” with Mr. Lassiter in the days to come, and please have yourself a safe and happy Christmas.