News and Interviews 2014
CJB talks about Joe Pickett with Cincinnati NPR
HH: You’re in for a treat. I’m live in Denver at the campus of Colorado Christian University. And I’m here for the Western Conservative Summit. I’ve been leading all week the Young Conservative Leadership Conference. I’ll continue to do so from this campus. My friends at 710 KNUS taking care of me, but just by happenstance, I’m here with C.J. Box, just one of my favorite people in the world, happens to be in Denver to sign his brand new book, Shots Fired, a collection of marvelous short stories which include three about Joe Pickett. WWJPD is the new thing. I just tweeted it out, or about to. C.J. what do we call these things? Decals, right? What do we call these?
CJB: I just call them decals, yes. That’s what, one of the daughter’s projects.
HH: This is a terrific project. This is like a secret signal for Joe Pickett lovers. Welcome. You’re going to be the Tattered Cover in Denver, in Highlands Ranch tonight at 7pm.
CJB: That’s right. Yup, I was in Phoenix last night, Denver tonight.
HH: Now I did not know I knew Bret Harte. I did not, Bret Harte’s one of the great short story writers of the West about to turn to the last century. And all of a sudden, along comes my Shots Fired, and I have been, this is actually a joy to read, and I’m not shining you on. If I was teaching high school or college kids how to write, because they won’t read a novel, I would give them this book along with your introductory note on inspiration, and I’d say start with short stories, because this is amazing.
A Conversation with C.J. BOX
Author of SHOTS FIRED
Stories from Joe Pickett Country
Michael Barson: In SHOTS FIRED, you have quite an array of different story types—four Joe Pickett tales, a solo Nate Romanowski, a couple of historicals, and several contemporary crime yarns—not to mention one that takes place at Disneyland in France! Do you approach the writing of a short story with a freedom that feels different from the experience of writing a novel?
C.J. Box: Sure. I find that the subjects of short stories are kind of like songs that you hear that won’t go away (even if you never really liked the song. Think: The Pina Colada Song from the 80’s— okay, now try to get it out of your mind!), or peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth. Despite the looming deadline for a novel or the next fishing trip, that damned short story idea just won’t leave you until you sit down and make it real. I can’t move on until it’s on paper (or a computer file, but you know what I mean). Plus, I’m able to tackle subjects and locations I’d never include in a Joe Pickett novel or stand-alone.
A man walks into a bar. Cowboy boots. Black cowboy hat. It’s a scene out of a western novel. Only we’re in Greenwich Village at the Cowgirl. And the cowboy is real. He’s C.J. Box, author of a mystery series featuring Joe Pickett, a game warden from Box’s native Wyoming, whose 14th entry, Stone Cold, was published by Putnam in March. Box has also written four standalone western novels, and his first story collection, Shots Fired, is due out in July.
'Stone Cold' is his 14th novel featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett By Jay MacDonald
At first blush, Wyoming seems the least likely setting for a bestselling mystery series. After all, with just shy of 600,000 residents, the nation's least-populous state has fewer bipeds than Omaha, Neb., and a violent crime rate that barely registers a pulse. Only recently have the independent-minded citizens of the Cowboy State begun to warm to its unofficial nickname: "The Big Empty."
Man in a Black Hat
If you see a ruggedly handsome man in a black cowboy hat looking a little out of place in Telfair Square this weekend, it may be award-winning author and Wyoming native C.J. Box. Christina Kelly sidles up and shares a chat with the bestselling mystery writer.