Pride Cometh Before the Sale: Behind “Murder on the First Night’s Feast”

There is a C.S. Lewis quote about the blindness of the proud. To paraphrase, someone completely full of themselves is so busy looking down their noses that they’re blind to what’s above them. And what’s above them, of course, is the whole, wide world. We’re all prideful. Someway, somehow we’re all darn proud of something:…… Continue reading Pride Cometh Before the Sale: Behind “Murder on the First Night’s Feast”

Borgias, Bother, and Bad Ideas: Behind “Book of Hours”

So I had this idea for a novel. There was this gentleman thief, see, and he needed to steal something. Wait. There was more. This something, see, was hidden in the pit network underneath the Colosseum. The hypogeum, if you’re into archeology. A caper in front of ten thousand tourists. Say crooks or spies did…… Continue reading Borgias, Bother, and Bad Ideas: Behind “Book of Hours”

It’s a Spider’s World: “Queen and Country”

Lesson one on writing a spider story: Never write a spider story. Don’t do it. It’s been done. Since mythological times. Spider women. Tangled webs we weave. Innate fears and phobias. The built-in burdens alone will wrap poor writer you in literary silk. See what happens with spider stories? The metaphors have started already. Lesson…… Continue reading It’s a Spider’s World: “Queen and Country”

Music Speaks, No Mistake

In Twelfth Night Shakespeare dubbed music the food of love. Beethoven considered it a higher revelation than wisdom or philosophy. Nietzsche said without music, life would be a mistake. To him, and he wasn’t the sunniest of guys, music exalted the soul. Little wonder few topics get writers going–or even squabbling–like how music fits into…… Continue reading Music Speaks, No Mistake