Saturday, December 9, 2023

Inspiration is Out There ... Waiting ... Waiting


 I wrote much of this piece almost two years ago while laboring through pandemic days and just happened to read it again while looking for something of value to pass along despite my being currently overwhelmed with finishing up Kaldis #14 and feverishly planning and executing for the release of Kaldis #13 – At Any Cost, coming February 6, 2024. Plus defending the Rockefeller Center-size Norway Spruces on my farm from a potentially fatal fungal infection. 

So with that heart-warming introduction I’ve updated the post slightly to accurately reflect dates, but beyond that it’s an uncanny reflection on how our world’s ever crazier times continue to impact our work. Here goes… 

Approximately two years ago an author I deeply admire posted elsewhere about the influence his subconscious has on whether a work in progress is headed in the right direction, and how often a novel that begins with spectacular promise, fades off into oblivion at around short story length. From the replies to his post, I think many authors share that experience–especially these days. 

After all, in these times it’s difficult to bring full creative power to bear while your subconscious is continuously running a fight, flight or freeze survival loop in the background. To that extent, we’re no different than prehistoric man whose mind was far too preoccupied with what predator was intent on having him for (not over for) dinner, to give serious thought to redecorating the cave. 

Personally, I find it difficult to write without my muse nearby…by that I mean Greece. Yes, I made it over there for several months this summer, but that’s not nearly enough time for me to gain the immersive perspective I seek in creating a new locale for a story. Place for me—as for all of us at MIE–is seminal to our work, and not something lending itself to compromise. 

Luckily, I’m familiar with enough heavenly (and hellish) places in Greece to keep Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis on duty, but stories set in some magical venues I’d like him to visit will just have to wait a bit longer. One must play the hand you’re dealt—or kick over the table and face the consequences. 

On a more upbeat note, I’m happy to say that the first review is in for AT ANY COST and Kirkus Reviews has praised it “for the rich, entrancing local color that has become a trademark of Siger’s series...A timely mystery with an engaging cast and a sublime setting.” 

Please feel free to preorder. It will make me very happy.:) 


1 comment:

  1. Cannot WAIT for this, Jeff. And yes, it's hard when you can't immerse. I had to do my whole Bali book remotely, and it took three times as long to make it feel real. Thank goodness for your muscle and mental memory!