Lately, in this blog, I have been providing answers to the questions I am most often asked about my books and writing. I’ve also invited readers to ask new questions.
Here are two recently posed questions.
“Will the 4th book in the Crispin series ever be published?”
I rarely have a full sense of how the plots of my novels work out until a have a complete first draft. The Crispin books were an exception. When I first thought of the book(s) I conceived of a four volume saga, not so much as a series, but a continuing story. Very early (before I began to write) I had a sense of how each book worked. In that sense I knew (and still do) what the fourth volume contained, where it went, and what would happen. Oddly enough (for me) I even knew the very last line of the whole story.
The reason that last volume was never fully written—it was begun—is complex, and is a publishing story which involves a lot of “he said,” and ”she said,” not necessarily worthy enough to replicate here—even if I could. That said, I’ve often thought of self-publishing that last volume, which would be the only way to bring it into existence. Perhaps it will be my swan song. But don’t hold your breath.
“Do you ever know what happened to ‘Tony’ who was the inspiration for your novel Sometimes I Think I Hear My Name? Do you and or your son still keep in contact with him? How did things work out with his parents? I think it would be interesting to know what happened to him.”
Not having any knowledge about “Tony,” or what happened to him, I went to my son who, during high school, was “Tony’s” friend. Not very surprisingly, my son has lost contact with the fellow, and has no real idea as to what became of him, only commenting that “’Tony’ had a chaotic life.” It must be said, however, that “Tony’s” situation (and persona) was merely the starting point for the novel I wrote. What happened to the boy in the book is entirely invented. In fact, as I recall, the book had more to do with my mood at the time—the work was published in 1982. All this reminded me of an essay I read about the great writer (and literary teacher) Wallace Stegner. He is quoted as saying that “Reality waits to be civilized into fiction.”
Do keep these questions coming.