Created by Jack Ewing
SKOOG is a small-time, small town Idaho private eye who's hired to find the missing husband of a carnival sideshow freak, in Freak-Out (1998).
The series is set in and around the fictional village of Geode,
Idaho, in fictional Pahsimeroi County. The town is a composite,
with features borrowed from several real Idaho communities, and
the county is based
upon the terrain of actual Custer County in the center of the state.
An advertising copywriter with three books (okay, so they were soft-core porn) to his his credit back in the sixties, and over 300 short stories sold since, somehow Jack Ewing still couldn't interest any traditional publishers in his first novel about an Idaho-based private eye. So he decided to take matters into his own hands, and self-publish. Freak-Out appeared in 1998, and received some very favourable reviews, including some very nice comments from Bill Pronzini. He sold enough copies to more than recoup the cost of the publication, which, Jack admits, "is all I had hoped for."
Since then he's self-published the stand-alone Kissing Asphalt in 2000, and in 2001 he plans to bring out three more novels with iUniverse, including ta sequel to Freak-Out. His other series features a 1960's-era "Drifter" who gets around In the first entry, he's in a fictional Idaho town, and in the second, he's primarily in San Francisco.
The sequel to Freak-Out is Young Blood, which was supposed to have been published in the fall of 2002 by the infamous Wildside Press but, as Jack says, "Who knows when -- or if -- it will see the light of day?" Although there are some funny bits, Jack says "the bulk of the novel is straightforward. I think further entries will be mosly serious, with anironic undertone, because -- Westlake's excellent Dortmunder series notwithstanding -- murder and mayhem are generally not laughting matters."