Return of the Coyote, billed as the sequel to Night of the Coyote, must have set a record for the longest time span between a novel and its sequel. On second thought, it probably doesn’t surpass the recent sequel to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
I wrote Night of the Coyote over 35 years ago during my early efforts to establish a career as a novelist. The book was well received despite its failure to find a publisher before I took a long hiatus from publishing efforts. A New York agent was negotiating with a major paperback publisher and died before finalizing a contract. A second agent thought the novel had promise and had an editor at Walker, western hardcover publisher, sold on the book. I even made a few changes at the editor’s request, before my agent informed me the editor had taken a job at another firm that did not publish westerns. It seemed the book was cursed. Thereafter, I put the novel to bed and shifted to the realities of making a living at my day job. When new publication opportunities arose years later, Night of the Coyote was ready to head out the gate. My few readers at the time seemed to like it, and my daughter-in-law, Brooke, showed great enthusiasm and asked when the sequel would be out. At that time, I had always thought of Night as a stand-alone book. I assumed all the readers knew I intended for Skye and Ethan to get together. I impulsively promised Brooke there would be a sequel, though, and felt committed to do it. Fortunately, other readers asked the same question and got the same assurance.
Thus, it took Sky dePaul and Ethan Ramsey over 35 years to reunite. I truly thought this would satisfy everybody. It evidently did not. Many readers have asked about the next sequel. I expect there will be one, but, with other projects in the works, I cannot say when. I promise I won’t wait another 35 years though.