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.

Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 1.55.50 PM

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.

A Writer’s View

It’s true that writers spend hours and hours in front of a computer, but it’s not all typing time.

Sometimes the mind wanders, thoughts stray and eyes drift to the world outside.

This is what I look out upon, and I’m grateful to have it.

IMG_6376

My wife says we need more color, but I’m content with green and splashes of white.

Project Progress

Two novels are about two-thirds complete. (My experience suggests the last third takes as much time as the first two-thirds, so if my math is correct, I’m only halfway through those projects.)

I foolishly accepted a challenge from a writer friend to try writing a humorous short story. Very foolishly. This is devilishly hard, has consumed more than a month of writing time, and is still not very damned funny, which is at least ironic.

I got a notion that a mystery involving an old geezer and his grandson would make a fun story with opportunities to talk about life and death, youth and old age, tradition and change. I’m making notes.

If you can’t stop and smell the roses, at least try to enjoy the view.

 

 

Writer’s Burden Crushes Chair

Desk chair collapseMy daily companion for many years collapsed yesterday under the weight of writing three books: HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos; The Mark of the Spider; and most recently, Beware the Spider.

That’s right. My desk chair died.

I was not injured, but the sound of the left arm giving way under the strain of tens of thousands of typed words startled me from my day dreams. I mean, it interrupted my plotting of a new story for readers.

Fortunately, one of the office supply stores is having a sale on chairs (ending tomorrow), and I got a new one for less than what the old one cost.

You served me well, chair. RIP.