Sunday, December 12, 2010

Guest Blogger: Eric Haney

It’s my pleasure to welcome New York Times bestselling author Eric L. Haney as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.

Eric’s latest book, LOW COUNTRY, is the second novel in the captivating new Tanner series and was released this week. Here’s a brief synopsis: “Kennesaw Tanner is back in action in LOW COUNTRY, where he is on another quest to find justice against a killer. Confronted by the grieving mother of a young girl who died in mysterious circumstances, Tanner sets out to find the truth. However, his investigation and search to find another killer—who may have murdered his friend in cold blood—leads him into the grisly world of the sex trade industry and the swamps of Georgia’s Low Country.

I’m especially happy to welcome Eric because he’s not only a Georgia author, but he was born near where I live and currently makes him home only a few miles away. He stopped by today to talk briefly about what inspired him to write this book.

The KENNESAW TANNER novel series came about originally as a concept for a feature film. I began writing what turned out to be the first book, NO MAN’S LAND, as a movie script but after I was several scenes in I realized that I liked the character so much that I wanted to give him a long life.

The problem was that when I sold the script I would lose all rights to the character and the story. So instead, I called my literary agent, told him what I was doing and said that I wanted to do this first as a novel. That way even should I eventually turn it into a film or television series I would still own the character. So that is what happened.

In the first novel, I introduced Kennesaw Tanner, several recurring characters, and gave him a mission but at the same time I planted the seeds for the second novel, LOW COUNTRY. And now, here it is.

Also, it appears that my original objective may come into being after all: we are getting close to closing a deal to produce both books as major motion pictures.

Eric, thanks so much for stopping by today and giving some insight into how Kennesaw Tanner came about.

Now some background on Eric. He spent twenty years in the military serving in critical, front-line combat units—as a Combat Infantryman, a Ranger, and a founding operator of Delta Force. He was also a writer and producer of the CBS television series The Unit and the author of Inside Delta Force and Beyond Shock and Awe. For more on Eric, stop by his website:

Now here’s my take on his latest release.

LOW COUNTRY by Eric Haney

Kennesaw Tanner is a man with a past who seems on a mission to help others.

When a friend of Kennesaw’s finds a woman’s body floating in the river, Kennesaw is the one to report it to the authorities. He understands the authorities may take a dim view of Danny Ray Pledger, a low country boy, and see him as a suspect in the girl’s drowning.

Later Danny Ray brings the girl’s mother, Joree Causey, to see Kennesaw. She doesn’t believe her daughter jumped from the Talmadge Bridge of her own doing, but was murdered. Kennesaw agrees to look into the matter.

As Kennesaw begins to investigate, he learns other girls near Tonya Causey’s age are missing. The more he looks, the more he finds a world of corruption and depravity where young girls are lured into an underground sex trade. These girls are virtual prisoners being held by threats, abuse and drug addiction. They’re recruited with promises of jewelry, fancy clothes, big money and easy living.

The corruption appears to have a long reach causing the girls to be afraid to seek help from anyone.

From taking on the case until justice is served, author Eric Haney carries readers on a roller coast ride of emotions. His past-pace writing makes the story flow smoothly from one event to the next all the while keeping readers on the edge of their seat. He’ll have you almost in tears as Kennesaw comforts a dying cancer patient, holding your breath during a gun battle and house fire, laughing at Kennesaw’s antics, and feeling a bit of satisfaction when the killer finally meets his match.

This is the second novel in the captivating Tanner series. However, it is a stand alone book. The author’s detailed descriptions gives the reader a real feel for the area in and around Savannah, GA, where the story takes place, as well as for the people of the communities.

Kennesaw Tanner has the manners of a true Southern gentleman, but he can shoot with the best of ‘em and fight dirty if he has to when seeking justice for those less fortunate.

Low Country by Eric Haney, A Tanner Novel, Berkley, @2010, ISBN: 978-0425238141, Paperback, 304 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Eric, thanks for guest blogging here today. Looking forward to seeing Low Country as a movie.

  2. Eric, how interesting that if you'd sold it as a screenplay you'd have lost rights over the character. Thanks for the insight into the difference in publishing screenplays and novels. And major congrats on the books!

    Mason, great guest blogger!


  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Eric.

    Eric - Thanks for giving the background on Low Country. I like characters who are driven, as Tanner is; I find them compelling and this story sounds really interesting. I wish you much success with it.

  4. I heard Orson Scott Card talking about this very thing on NPR yesterday. He said he had received many offers to make 'Ender's Game' into a movie, but once he gave it up, whether it was good or not, the characters were out of his hands. That's why it hasn't been made into a film yet.

    We create these characters and they are precious to us. Thanks for your take on this! And thanks, Mason, for introducing me to a new author!


  5. I didn't know that about screenplays and characters. I'll keep that in mind.


  6. Eric, Wow a movie from your book? I didn't know you would have to give up control over the original characters. That's hard.

    Mason, thanks.

  7. Congratulations on the movie deal! And the new release. I'm looking forward to reading this book. :)

  8. Losing one's characters is something I'd worry about as well.

  9. Sounds like a terrific book. I didn't know that about screen plays - very interesting. Thanks for the tips :)

  10. That's an interesting fact for mystery writers who want to create series characters. Write the book first, not the script.

    I like the idea behind Eric's series more titles for my TBR list). Thanks, Mason.

  11. What an intriguing guest, Mason...I will have to add this book to my list.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.