Today isn’t about me selling you a book. Today is about me celebrating an accomplishment with the dozens of people who made this book possible. Writing might be a solitary pursuit, but no books would be on a bookstore, library, or personal bookshelf without the work of many, many people. Today, I salute and celebrate each and every one of you and say thank you for all you do.
It’s nothing short of a miracle this book is out in the world today. This was a difficult book to write, for many reasons, some of which have to do with writing, some of which do not. There were many times I thought about quitting, about giving back my advance and admitting the story was too big for me, that I wasn’t good enough, that I was beaten. Basically, I suffered from imposter syndrome for most of the year I spent writing Heresy.
Well, guess what? I won. This book is a big middle finger to imposter syndrome, among other things, and, in the end, it’s my best work to date.
I didn’t do it alone.
Thanks to my agent, Alice Spielburg, for being my biggest champion.
Thanks to Lindsey Hall, Anne Clarke, Tim Holman and the Orbit/Redhook team for having faith in me that I could deliver this book based on a very thin idea. I can admit now how very thin this idea was. Razor thin. Almost nonexistent. Hence the Year of Difficulties. Their belief in me, not wanting to let them down, is what made me keep going.
Thanks to Bradley Englert for picking up my little orphan and offering wonderful editorial insight, and for loving it as much as I do. Thanks also to Ellen Wright for being the best publicist in the world.
Thanks to my tribe of writers and pub professionals, who pick up the phone and answer my calls and texts and listen to everything from my “I don’t have a process! Why don’t I have a process yet!” rants (Brooke Fossey) to all my crazy plot ideas (Jenny Martin) to “This book is going to kill me. Will you be sad?” (Mark Hoover) to “Remind me when I have a Great Idea to keep it to myself” (Kendel Lynn/Lindsey Hall/Alice Spielburg). Thanks, too, to everyone at DFW Writers’ Workshop and Sisters in Crime North Dallas for keeping me motivated.
Thanks to historian Laura Ruttum Senturia for your invaluable help with Colorado history, to Ashlee Clark Thompson for help with the representation of Hattie LaCour, to Mark Hoover for your constant love and support and being the best first reader a writer could ask for.
Thank you to all the readers who have reached out to me, excited about my work and eager for this book. I hope the wait has been worth it! To Suehyla El—Attar, Suzanne Owen, Christy Ramirez, Diane Fenci, Jennifer Mason—Black, Blake Leyers, Carin Thrum, Heather Wheat, Terry Matthews, the Winnsboro Book Club and all of my other friends who have offered support in various ways in the last year.
To my extended family for loving me, believing in me and looking past my faults and our differences to the soul beneath.
Last, but never, ever least, to Jay, Ryan and Jack. Whenever things are darkest, I look to you three—my beacons, my true north—on the other side of the doubt, the challenges and the setbacks, and know that your love is there, waiting to embrace me.
They were the first and only all-female gang in the American West. Though the newspapers refuse to give them credit, their exploits don't go unnoticed. Now, they've got a rival male gang on their trail and an old score to settle.
Margaret Parker and Hattie LaCour never intended to turn outlaw.
After being run off their ranch by a greedy cattleman, their family is left destitute. As women alone they have few choices: marriage, lying on their backs for money, or holding a gun. For Margaret and Hattie the choice is simple. With their small makeshift family, the gang pulls off a series of heists across the West.
Though the newspapers refuse to give the female gang credit, their exploits don't go unnoticed. Pinkertons are on their trail, a rival male gang is determined to destroy them, and secrets among the group threaten to tear them apart. Now, Margaret and Hattie must find a way to protect their family, finish one last job, and avoid the hangman's noose.