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”

She Who Must Be Seen: Behind “Star of Zoe”

I just have to see her. How “Star of Zoe” first got going, well, it was without Zoe. Not technically, I mean. I was riffing on this idea, this phrase: I just have to see her. So right there comes a She Who Must Be Seen. A proto-Zoe in the mix. My first riff, though,…… Continue reading She Who Must Be Seen: Behind “Star of Zoe”

When Consequences Are Skunk Apes: “Problems Aren’t Stop Signs”

I like writing about problems. As in, you know, their problematic nature. It’s the stuff of a great story. And I had this idea for a writing challenge: take one self-inflicted problem and make every next sentence add a specific complication. Why, transgression zero’s blowback would mount and mount and surely hit a sublime ridiculousness.…… Continue reading When Consequences Are Skunk Apes: “Problems Aren’t Stop Signs”

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”