The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Historical Discovery

Where does the next new book idea come from?  In this case I can give us a very simple and precise answer.  After a lot of years it was time to paint the inside of our house again. That in turn was an excuse (necessity?) to reorganize messy desks and closets and peek into various cracks and crevices. Even (shudder!) to throw away a lot of old junk. But we unearthed a few lost treasures, too. One of them was Elaine's journal from our trip to Quito, Guayaquil, and The Gal├ípagos Islands several years ago. This little bit of hidden treasure ensures that somewhere on the to-do list is a visit to the Gal├ípagos Islands and a body or two for Roger and Suzanne to discover among the Booby Birds and the tortoises. I've also been meaning to re-read Darwin's classic treatise, "Origin of Species", so it might be an excuse to sprinkle a bit of biology into a novel. We'll see.

We met a few very interesting people on that trip. I assume that Roger and Suzanne will meet their fictional doppelgangers in this book to be (book in utero?). These characters should include the two sisters from San Francisco and the mysterious handsome Ecuadorian dude, Raul, who was trying so hard to pick them up (in the face of little or no resistance to the idea).  Raul had his big secret in real life.  Should that secret also transfer to his fictional doppelganger?  I strongly suspect that it will.  One of the low spots of that trip was the taxi drivers' strike in Quito where they closed down travel in the city by setting huge bonfires consisting of burning old tires on the main boulevards.   I don't know if I'll try to work that experience into the story.  One of the high spots of our trip was sitting next to an Ecuadorian Air Force General on the flight from Guayaquil to Baltra and learning about what the Air Force of a modern South American country just to the south of Colombia does.  I'm sure the general will make a guest appearance in the book.  He'll probably get a good sized chunk of the Baltra chapter to himself.

We talked about new technology and writing blog entries more or less spontaneously in an earlier post.  Here's a great example of it.  I have a 1.5 hour train ride and my iPad.  As I sit here now on the Amtrak train traveling from Davis to Oakland, CA for a meeting, I've been thinking about this book, for which I just started writing some scenes. To my right, through the train window, is a beautiful view of the north end of San Francisco Bay.  Next stop is Martinez if you know the route.  Or even if you don't.  My thoughts are on this book in utero. Will this be a romantic getaway just for Roger and Suzanne or should Robert and Bruce be invited along for the trip? Should Eduardo Gomez fly over from Paraguay to meet them or will he be superfluous this time? How about Vincent Romero, Roger's new partner in his detective agency? Decisions, decisions, decisions!

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