I was being interviewed the other day about the new Bubba Mabry novella, PARTY DOLL, when I realized I've known Bubba for more than 20 years now.
Bubba was the star of my first published novel, LONELY STREET, and we've been together through six more novels, two novellas and a movie. I've published 14 other books during that time as well, but I keep coming back to Bubba.
All the Bubba stories remain in print via Kindle and Smashwords for $1.99 or less, and most are still readily available in paper as well. For those who've come to the series recently, I thought you could use a quick history of Bubba.
I wrote LONELY STREET in 1991, but it was 1994 before it was published by Pocket Books. In LONELY STREET, the bumbling private eye is hired by what appears to be the living Elvis. A reporter is trying to expose that The King faked his own death years before, and Bubba's hired to tail him.
Partly because of that rock 'n' roll connection, LONELY STREET remains my best all-time seller, and it was made into a Hollywood comedy that came out a couple of years ago. Here's the trailer:
That's the ever-hilarious Jay Mohr as Bubba. Underneath that incredible makeup is Robert Patrick as Elvis. Other faces you probably recognized are Joe Mantegna, Katt Williams and Mike Starr. The film was directed by Peter Ettinger.
The second Bubba book was BABY FACE. In that one, Bubba and his girlfriend, newspaper reporter Felicia Quattlebaum, take on the Religious Right, politicians, hookers and a vicious pimp named Sultan Sweeney.
WITCHY WOMAN, in which Bubba goes to Taos, NM, to try to wrest a rich heiress away from an all-female cult. Things get weird when Felicia goes undercover by pretending to join the cult.
In SHAKY GROUND, Bubba and Felicia get married, but their wedding is almost ruined by Bubba's investigation into the killing of a biologist in the desert west of Albuquerque.
DIRTY POOL came next. Bubba goes head-to-head with a Texas private eye named William Pool as they both search for a young skinhead who's faked his own kidnapping. Whoever finds him first gets to keep whatever ransom is recovered.
In CRAZY LOVE, Bubba goes to work for a jealous widower who believes his wife had an affair before she died.
MONKEY MAN takes place mostly at the Albuquerque zoo. It opens with the shooting of a whistleblower zoo employee by a man wearing a gorilla suit. Things only get weirder from there.
SANITY CLAUSE. In that story, Bubba is working as security at a mall at Christmastime, and somebody bumps off one of the guys who plays Santa.
That brings us to the new novella, PARTY DOLL, in which Bubba is hired to locate a missing stripper who goes by the stage name Joy Forever.
I don't have immediate plans to write another Bubba story; I've started working on a standalone about bank robbers. But I'm sure Bubba will return before long. He and I go way back.