Spider’s Bite: Author Interview

I caught up with myself earlier today at the hospital while picking up a friend. Here’s what I had to say:

Q. Hi. Long time, no see. What have you been up to?
A. Oh, you know. Busy, busy, busy.

Q. Actually, I’m serious. You haven’t written anything here since God was a little girl.
A. I think it was the end of September. It’s not that long ago when you don’t have anything to say.

Q. You’re a writer. An author. Would it kill you to share a few words with your followers?
A. No, of course not. Writing is a very high priority for me, but last year, especially from the summer on, a couple things in life intruded. But we’re good now. I’m writing again, blah, blah, blah.

Q. Great. What are you writing?
A. It’s going to be book three of the Black Orchid Chronicles.

Q. So Sebastian Arnett is coming back to battle that demon?
A. Yes. Sebastian is back. Empaya Iba, the Bornean spider demon, is back; some might say the demon is back with a vengeance.

Q. That sounds ominous.
A. Well, there’s a lot going on in this book —

Q. Excuse me. Do you have a title yet?
A. Yes. The working title is Spider’s Bite, following up on The Mark of the Spider and Beware the Spider.

Q. Spider’s Bite. Okay, I’ll make a note that that’s a possessive not a plural.
A. Yes. Spider’s possessive. … Now there’s a lot going on in Spider’s Bite. You’ve got drug connections, Polynesian gangs, unhappy FBI agents, a disgruntled bodyguard.

Q. Sounds like a lot.
A. Yes, it does. But the conflict between Sebastian and the demon takes on an even more personal dimension than in the earlier books.

Q. Does that mean either Sebastian or Empaya Iba dies?
A. I suppose it could, but not necessarily.

Q. Don’t you know?
A. I have an idea but I’m a long way from the ending.

Q. But you know how it ends, right?
A. More or less. Some people die; others don’t. There are a few details to work out.

Q. Just how much of this new book have you written?
A. My manuscripts run about 450 pages, double-spaced. I’m at about 286 pages, but I know that I’ll dump most of that.

Q. Why would you throw material out that you’ve done already?
A. Truth be told, I wrote the original draft three or more years ago. I’ve learned quite a bit in that time, and I’ve found that most of it has to be reworked.

Q. When you say most, what do you mean?
A. Here’s a screen capture from one page of the first chapter. Notice how much is new.

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Q. All of the red stuff is new.
A. Bingo.

Q. So, how long is this going to take? I mean, when can we expect to see a new Black Orchid Chronicle?
A. Certainly before the end of year. Very likely sooner. 2020 is a real possibility.

Q. That’s not very definitive.
A. No, it’s not. But check back any time.

Q. So you’re planning updates?
A. Not so much, but you can check back any time.

Independence Day GnT

With the July Fourth holiday staring us in the face with its usual high heat and humidity, I thought it appropriate to pass on a recipe for a refreshing drink from the hero of my Black Orchid Chronicles.

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Sebastian Arnett takes photos of flowers, orchids in particular. Orchids grow best in warm, humid locales, so after a morning of shooting, he likes to cool off with a libation.

His favorite, of course, is Tanqueray gin and tonic. In his words:

 “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” I said, as I fixed drinks in the pantry off the kitchen. We both preferred gin—Hendricks and a chunk of lime for the old man, Tanqueray classic and diet tonic, 50-50 proportions, with a large wedge of lime for me.

Here’s how he does it:

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Ice melts quickly under the influence of all that gin.

  1. Fill tall glass with ice.
  2. Squeeze one-quarter lime (or more) over ice.
  3. Fill glass half-way with gin.
  4. Add tonic (diet tonic if you drink a lot of them ’cause tonic water is like mainlining sugar).
  5. Stir, don’t shake. (James Bond insists; Sebastian just doesn’t own a shaker.)
  6. Bottoms up!

Note: Tanqueray is NOT sponsor of this blog, but some days I wish it were.


Beware the Spider, Book 2 of the Black Orchid Chronicles, is available in digital and trade paperback (5.5 x 8.5″, 302 pp.) formats at these fine booksellers.