Even though publisher Becky Coffield had planned on gravitating toward other genres, she was surprised when Jere D. James, Moonlight Mesa's best-selling western author, announced there would be no book in 2016. "I can understand if Jere needs a break," Coffield said. "The author has produced seven books in seven years. Jere does not have another writer helping out like so many of the multi-book authors."
Nevertheless, Coffield was disappointed when the decision was made. She'd already cancelled a forthcoming mule book, and the rowing book Coffield had planned on completing is behind schedule, although she insists it will be ready by the end of the year.
"Right now I'm not sure where we're headed," Coffield said recently. "I think there will be another western in 2017, but no guarantees. I'm concerned that Jere's following may fall by the wayside if another book isn't forthcoming soon. I suppose we can pick up another western writer but I'm not overly enthused about that. I guess we'll see in due time."
The boat, a tandem wherry, was built by rower Tom Coffield. A wherry is slightly wider than a rowing shell, so it's much more stable. The wherry isn't as fast as a shell, but it's roomier and very distinctive. "We're trying to teach our dog, a Chespeake Bay Retriever, to sit calmly in the boat and not leap overboard in pursuit of ducks, sticks, or other enticing items. It's quite a challenge," Coffield said.
This is Moonlight Mesa Associates' second boating book. The first, Life Was A Cabaret: A Tale of Two Fools, A Boat, and a Big-A** Ocean, published in 2005, is still available in trade paperback and ebook, although the ebook format does not have photos. Coffield reissued the book with photos after the first publisher would not do so.
"Maybe we'll have to become a boating-book publisher," Coffield mused. "There's not a big audience for boating books in Arizona, but we sell a lot of them in the northwest. I kind of like this idea!"