The Sycamores of Calella, Spain
Sixteen months ago I put my second novel Bankrupt Heart on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I printed off 50 copies and those have been distributed to influential helpers or sold to fiction readers.
At the same time I began plotting my third novel, a comedy with the working title Hot Spring Honeymoon. I began drafting this third novel on April Fool’s Day of 2012. I thought a comedy started on such an auspicious occasion had if nothing else good timing.
Writing long fiction is complex enough and is made even more so when added to its list of goals is that it must pass the test of being not just in structure a comedy but in fact it turns out that it is indeed funny.
I worked along steadily beginning in April through August. After five months I had the seven of the twenty chapters drafted. I had other work consume my attentions until the middle of December and that is where the book has remained. I resumed my efforts and sit one year later at work on the eleventh chapter.
I have noted that each chapter more or less requires as best I can judge one month’s time to become high enough in quality to join the others. Where a dramatic scene might be put together in two weeks a comic scene requires another two weeks to discover the rhythms, twists of plot and insight of character to birth its comic potentials.
I’ll leave you with a fragment… and for Bankrupt Heart a few new readers reactions to my second novel. To those of you happening by this blog I hope you’ll keep in touch… a comic novelist is in fact lurking in one of the least visited corners of the Universe!
Fragment from Hot Spring Honeymoon
“You just stay here.” Fletch explained. “Come on back for you after I’m done doing my work.”
Wasn’t a word of truth to what he was saying, Bambalina knew all too well he’d be coming back stopping at the Brewery, leave with one of those easy women he ran with. All she had to look forward to was switching her tail and twitching her ears until that man has had his way with another one of his so called girlfriends. Might not be whip smart but a burro had a keen sense of when her master was not forthcoming about how important her welfare truly was to the man her whole life depended upon.
Fletch stood on top of his trucks running boards. “Don’t give me that look.”
Bambalina knew she’d be stuck in this no good miserable dirt lot with nothing to do but count pickup trucks driving up and down the Hot Spring Highway. She looked right through the miner she had cast her whole lot in with. Might fool some of those women he ran around with but not this burro.
“There’s too much dog and too little cat in you.” Fletcher complained. “I don’t want to have to explain myself to nobody or nothing. All I want is a burro.”
Bambalina’s head drooped, she was inconsolable. She lifted her sad eyes and looked up and down the highway, must be a better miner to devote her life to. The burro turned and walked away last thing she had to say came out of her business end, a greenhouse gas exclamation mark. That’s what disappointment can do to a relationship.
“I read a few novels a week. Bankrupt Heart concerned me, it started out slow for my taste, but by the end I thought that this was a great read.”
Anonymous Reader, Emery Cove Marina, Emeryville, California
I did so enjoy your novel. It had great elements, A shining star on your forehead for a stellar first (actually the second, Highway Home was the first) novel. Laughed my ass off at the restaurant staff commenting on the musicians and their influence on the fidelity of former lovers.
Max Frobe, Jeweler, Filmmaker, Nelson, British Columbia
An effortless read, there’s a natural flow to it, and theirs a nice unpredictability, you get caught up in the saga. His new life at the boatyard was unexpected. How Ry Waters came in as an outsider and became part of this group of misfits and how this set of new relationships alters him. He was forced to reinvent himself. I liked the attention to detail. It all felt quite real. It goes places other books don’t go. It opened a door to a whole new world…
Dom Ferry, Street Act, Yamba New South Wales, Australia