So yeah, yesterday I “finished” my third Charley Ridgway novel. I put “finished” in quotation marks because it was more like me just deciding not to tweak it anymore. I emailed it to Event Horizon Press yesterday afternoon, and now just have to wait and see what they say.
The hard thing about writing a series of novels is staying out of the trap of writing the same thing over and over. There’s a certain familiarity that readers expect, but at the same time I still want to stretch out and try new things. Like all books in any novel series, this installment brings back familiar faces and settings while introducing new characters and conflicts. To an extent greater than I first imagined when first starting the book over a year ago, it plays off of relatively minor figures in the first two books (especially the second one, The Dead Season). While it stands on its own and doesn’t require reading earlier books in the series, this story will provide new surprises for those who’ve already read the earlier Ridgway novels.
Ultimately, I wrote this third book because I still have things to say about Maui, an island of amazing contrasts that makes it an ideal setting for noir tales. And I have ideas in my head for at least two more books, which either makes me prolific or a hack…
In other news, today’s New York Times has a great and chilling story about a 98-year-old man who flew Zeros for Japan during World War II and is now trying to convince his government not to re-militarize. Given that my 2014 play War Stories (which somehow won Second Place at the Maui Fringe Festival and the Audience Appreciation Award at the Playbuilders Festival of Original Plays) dealt with a similar (albeit younger) Japanese veteran trying deal with the aftermath of the war, it felt rather eerie to read this bit of non-fiction.
Photo: Angelo DeSantis/Wikimedia Commons