In the 5 months since you released The Rules of the Game, where are you in your current writing on the follow up to it, Dead Mouths, and Eureka in Flames? Right now, I feel like I’m dividing my time into segments of reading, writing Intersections, blogging about Parkinson’s disease in 2 different places, and writing my Parkinson’s book Real Life Monsters. Fortunately for the writing, I’ve been stuck indoors all summer due to a combination of excessive heat and hyperhidrosis, which is a condition that comes with Parkinson’s. It's kind of like a free toaster. Take a day like today. I’m indoors in the high 70s, and I’m roasting like a pig. In the solid 80s and 90s, I’m a sweaty mess. The best thing to do on a day like today is something that involves air conditioning. Unfortunately, this means I can’t hike the way I did before, so that part of my writing topics has taken a backseat to stuff about current issues. Here’s to better weather and more travels in the autumn. That said, being active sure beats ballooning up to way too heavy a weight (he says as he contemplates getting out more to shrink down again).
For those who are worried, how does Parkinson’s affect your writing? It slows down my typing from 80-60 words a minute on good days. Some days, my fingers feel more plodding, but when I’m on fire and my hands are loose, I’m flying. Sometimes, I go word fishing, but mostly, I’m good to go when I edit and MaryAnn, who is awesome, helps edit for me. Most likely, my walking will be affected before the rest of the writing game, so yeah… Blackrock keeps moving forward.
How is that? On one hand, it’s never easy to write the vicious murders, so I’d rather just imply what happened. To be honest, I don't like that gory stuff at all. That was really tough to do in Dead Mouths. I remember taking a month off from writing after a minor character died. With main characters in harm’s way, it’s going to be tough to kill them off, as well. In Dead Mouths, it was hard to say goodbye to some people who were supposed to be quick exits or passing mentions. That became Chuck Jones and Suzie Heilman, though she was never supposed to die. Now, Sean “Big Dig” Carruthers and Benson Villaneuva are major players. Eventually, Patricia Kingman’s “All the Angels in Heaven” and Earl Johnson’s “Lost in the Storm” will see them become characters, if only for a short time. The same is true for an as yet to be named “follower” of artist Hieronymus Bosch.
With Lucas, he seems to be a favorite, as is Bart, and at times, they are uncouth, but generally, most of them is likable. Yes, this is true on both accounts, but in a world of beautifully imperfect, some otherwise great people harbor racism. Some people poke at that like it makes the whole person suck. To me, it's just not that easy. As Kurt Vonnegut felt, it's hard to write a complete hero or villain. It's hard to live angelic. Too many people talking crap, doxxing others, and excluding people think their poop doesn't stink. Methinks they should smell it some time. They might be surprised. As for expressing racist characters, it's hard to write around words I don't want to use. Something like "cracker," to me, is funny, but a lot of other words for other groups come with a sting or a slam. That said, with so many hateful, prejudiced, and misogynistic characters in the Blackrock world of diversity, it is a challenge. Adding current events in characters like Pyotor Osokin to the mix let the Russia thing work into the story. That said, the President won't be in this.
Where else would you like to go? The Faroes / Scottish Islands + Iceland, back to the Colorado Plateau for the World Petroglyph Tour, Oregon / Washington's border, and Italy / Vatican City. Oh, and who could forget Bora Bora.