Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Greetings from the Novelist's Front Lines

So, yeah, I've been absent again, for quite awhile. Most everything I have to say has been going into a rewrite of "O Fortuna."

Yes, I know I have just shamelessly linked to the book's page on Amazon, even though a) I am no longer happy with the final version of the book, and b) apparently my publisher has decided to release it in Kindle format without my knowledge or consent. I would not mind, but it is replete with formatting errors. What's a writer to do?

Well, re-vamp the whole damn thing, of course. Make it better than it was, kind of like the Six Million Dollar Man?

I have three volumes in a series, with seeds planted for a fourth. I need to name the series, and I may wish to rename the books within it. The jury is still out on that, but when I come up with something good, readers here will be the first to know.

I have come to the conclusion that I must identify the time period in which the books are set. I mean, when was the last time anyone dialed a rotary phone? Played a vinyl album on a turntable? (Apologies to my fellow Vintage Vinyl friends who do this very thing on a regular basis.) Typed a thesis on an IBM Selectric? Did not have a computer or a cell phone?

My "mood music" for the first book goes back to the late 1970s, so if I intend to refer to it, I really need to place the story in its time.

Billy Joel's wonderful song, Vienna, has been Lorin's theme song for a long time now. It captures him almost perfectly, and seems sort of prophetic, in a way.

And though Lorin is a classical musician/composer, he listens to a wide variety of music, and some of the music that got played on the airwaves in those days was damn good, and Lorin likes it. Consider this one by Dire Straits. for some reason, it always made me think of Lorin, and of him walking places in the city with Neal. When I hear the song, I can almost see the two of them. A foggy night. Perhaps they even steal a kiss or two in a darkened doorway...

I think in all my books, music IS a feature character. It asserts itself all over the stories. Not just these, but my other novels not in this series. (Yes, Virginia, CP/Jehan has many pots simmering on back burners.) I guess that shouldn't surprise me at all, given that music is a prominent character in my own life.

Which reminds me, I can't say enough good things about that first Dire Straits album, or Billy Joel's "The Nylon Curtain." Both of those albums have been in heavy rotation on my iPod lately. Between those two and Durufle's Requiem, I have been immersing myself in a particular atmosphere, and trying to recapture what I felt when I was actively working towards publication of the first book. And I am recapturing it, and feeling new things about it as well, as demonstrated in this New Excerpt.

Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading.

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