The inspiration for One Hot January was January’s Paradigm. January’s Paradigm is really a standalone novel about a novelist who has written a bestselling science fiction novel—One Hot January. He’s working on the sequel, January’s Thaw, when he makes the firsthand discovery of his wife’s infidelity. Devastated, he turns to the protagonist in One Hot January, Joe January, to help him come to terms with his wife’s duplicity.
I wanted “January” to appear in all three titles for the sake of continuity. The casual observer will note a reference to the month, off which “Thaw” and “One Hot” play. Closer inspection of the cover blurb will reveal that January is the last name of the protagonist. Since both novels chronicle a man’s journey through life, taking place over a century, the titles also reference his disposition: in One Hot January he is quick to anger, fast with his fists; while in January’s Thaw we see him soften to become more human.