To the few people who went to the Shattered States in Crossing Bedlam, I would like to say that the return is coming soon. That means we get to reunite with Lloyd, Cassidy, and a few familiar faces. Not to mention a bunch of new ones, some of which won’t get smeared across the landscape because someone is on a rampage. So, what brought about this new story and how does it differ from the first?
Well, I was always hoping to do a sequel and I had a list of possible topics. Nothing very deep or world-changing because Lloyd and Cassidy aren’t the type. It’s funny to me when it’s suggested that they reunite the country, take over the country, or do anything more than survive. These aren’t the hero types, which makes the sequel thing rather easy and daunting. They can end up in any adventure, but that means I can go anywhere in the United States. At least the continental part because Alaska is tough and Hawaii is downright impossible. I do have an idea about the first one though. Not for this story because I want in an opposite direction.
I was scratching my head until Jon Hunsinger, who does the cover art, brought up New Orleans. We talked about if Mardi Gras was still going on and that made me start thinking about a Southern coast adventure. I can hear some people thinking of hillbillies and mosquitoes already. There was an item on the idea list that reminded me that I wanted to touch on this part of the country. I can see the South becoming more pocketed in terms of civilization than the North, which had more desolation. Only going by my time in Florida, there was a lot of open land and smaller villages. Still, I had to check maps and research the stops a bit to figure out what would happen. It all came back to Mardi Gras, which actually has nothing to do with the main plot aside from being one of the big stops.
Something to keep in mind is that Lloyd and Cassidy adventures will typically involve a lot of travelling. There is a sense of exploration and mystery to what they’re walking into, which works toward their more reactive natures. Cassidy loves a challenge and Lloyd loves chaos, so it mixes better than them having a main plan. For me, I get to come up with new environments and crazy enemies like a city that worships peanuts, a crazy riverboat adventure, and touching on the maniacs that run the slave trade that you just know is part of the overall country at this point. It’s this focus that gives the books an episodic feel with every chapter being a new location and adventure. Traveling parts are skipped because nothing really happens there, which is something Lloyd may bring up at some point since he still thinks he’s a book character.
Now, you might be wondering what is going to be the catalyst for our ‘heroes’ traveling from Dallas, Texas to Miami, Florida. What could have enraged one of them so much that they are leaving a path of carnage and tacos in their wake? Seriously, tacos do make an appearance. Well, here is the answer:
An old enemy has stolen Cassidy’s precious jeep for the Miami drug cartels and our heroine is pissed off enough that Lloyd is the voice of the reason.
Yeah, it’s going to be a lot of action, humor, sexual innuendo, and a running gag of vehicular destruction. It’ll be fun. If you don’t trust me, trust Lloyd.