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This Close to Sitting Ducks

Ah, the feeling of a new home. My wife and I are living out of boxes and bags at the moment, waiting for a big day of moving tomorrow. I figured while I have some down time, I might as well write up a quick post. My third novel has been sent off to my editor, so now my attention is totally focused on novel two, “This Close to Sitting Ducks”. That one will be out December 7th, and should be available to pre-order at the end of next week!

I’ve written a bit about it before, but I don’t remember how much detail I’ve gone into. My main character’s name is Francisco. He’s an older fellow, who moved to the New England country-side with his husband, Thomas. They opened a small grocery store, helped run a wine shop for a bit, and do their best to enjoy the quiet life. One day, shortly after their neighbors pass away, a world famous painter moves in next door. His name is Radwin Ali, and he likes to party.

Radwin disrupts the serenity Francisco was enjoying so much, driving him up the walls. Not long after Ali moves in, though, he dies in a drunk driving accident. From there on out, it seems to Francisco as though everything in life is spiraling out of control. Losing the borderline boring life that he savored so much causes Francisco, as well as those around him, to go totally crazy. The chain reaction of bizarre events following Radwin Ali’s death only add to the insanity.

This was the first book that I wrote during a NaNoWriMo challenge, and I enjoyed the experience thoroughly. It all started with the simple concept of a man moving to the country for a quiet life, and artists keep moving in next door, dying in freak accidents. The basic idea for the book was inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “Bluebeard”. That was the first Vonnegut book that I read, which happened to be sometime in early 2017. The concept of that novel was so fantastic to me that I felt like writing a story similar to it. A few days later, after letting the seedlings of the project stew for a bit, the idea of doing the opposite popped into my head. Thinking of painters in the country, Jackson Pollock popped into my head. So, that’s where “Sitting Ducks” began.

To me, it was a really interesting approach to thinking about the story. Usually, we want to be directly exposed to the action. In this case, I flipped that, making the main character want exactly the opposite. The action in the story literally pisses off Francisco. Sometimes, I think we all feel that way. We need to study, want to relax, whatever it may be, but sometimes we just want a few hours of peace. I like to think this is a story about someone who feels that way for their entire life. The amount of downtime Francisco gets is his measuring system for quality of life.

Maybe that’s not how other folks will see him when they read the book, though. I’ve got this vision in my head that is hard to translate into words completely, as I assume all artists do. It’s also one of my goals to leave those kinds of motivations open to reader interpretation for the most part. Being told what drives a character is nice sometimes, but not all of the time. That’s how I feel about this specific case.

I kind of feel like saying too much more would spoil the story, so I’m going to leave the description at that for now. I will say that this book takes a huge departure from the type of story that “Falderal” was. At least, I believe it does. After all, it was still something I wrote.

So, as soon as I receive the cover art for this one, I’ll be putting it up for pre-order. Hopefully that’s by next weekend. Either way, the paperback will be available December 7 of this year. I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks about this book!

Questions? Interested in finding out more about my work? Drop a comment on this post! I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner.

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