An excerpt from
THE IRON DEAD
Falling leaves danced in the truck’s headlight glow, and the hitchhiker up ahead wore their shadows like graveyard beetles scuttling over a corpse.
“Wanna pick him up?” Cody asked, his hands tight on the wheel.
“Uh-uh,” Mason said. “That bastard looks poorer than us. Carve the skin off that apple and we wouldn’t get a plug nickel.”
“Then let’s have some fun with him.”
Mason thought: Middle of the night. Middle of nowhere. Stuck in this rig with a white-line maniac jacked up on coffee and cocaine. What could it hurt?
“Gun it, junior,” Mason said. (more)
THE CARE & FEEDING OF FIRST NOVELS
Making the transition from writing short stories to writing novels was not easy for me.
There, I said it. The words are up there on my computer screen. And now that I’m sitting here staring at them, I realize that they add up to a flat little sliver of understatement that just won’t do.
So let me try again: Writing my first novel was torture. It was a trip to the black hole of Calcutta, an exercise in misery of Poe-esque proportions. And it’s something I’m very glad I’ll never have to do again.
Yeah. That works a little better. And I promise I’m not exaggerating. After my first few attempts in the early nineties, I was nearly convinced that making the run from page one to “The End” of a novel was something I’d never be able to do. I must have started a good half-dozen novels before I ever managed to finish one. Piling up the pages as I worked on each of those books was like running a gauntlet—the more pages in my pile, the more beat-up I’d feel. My plot would become a tiger I couldn’t hold by the tail; my characters wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do; my confidence would wane. I’d read through my manuscript time and time again, looking for a way to fix the problems I saw there, and those pages would keep clubbing at me.(more)
Copyright © 2007 Norman Partridge