I was back in Southeast Missouri last week researching my next novel, and it starts right here in this cotton field south of Kennett. A giant six row cotton picker falls into a hole and the farmer discovers a century-old storm shelter lined with 1×12 cypress planks, and a mystery involving his family going back to before the Civil War. Bootheel will be a multigenerational saga about the Little River Drainage District and the largest swamp drainage project in America; a bodice ripping romance of hot blood, money, power, jealousy and adventure. A tale of finance, vision, politics, greed, and the transformation of uninhabitable swamps into the world’s best farm land and its utilization by industrial agriculture on a grand scale. It will take a year or more to write. In the meantime, look for Sliding Delta, a novel about the Delta blues I’m currently shopping to agents.