Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stories of My Life (Part I)

Two years ago, having sold our business and moved with my family to a new town, I decided to turn my attention to writing fiction.

I was 45 years old and I'm sure many people thought I had lost my mind. Unless they'd known me in college or earlier, they hadn't seen any fiction from me. They may have known me as an editor, an entrepreneur, or even an occasional non-fiction writer, but not as a teller of stories created from whole cloth. Yet the truth is that I've always considered myself a writer of fiction. Chance -- the novelist's best friend and worst enemy -- simply carried me off in other directions.

Ah, chance. In high school I had a great interest in science fiction. The first complete story I can recall writing then was about a couple of guys flying a spaceship in the office of a giant. They see wonders. The giant sees a bug. Splat! End of story.

Wherever I go, I see stories. I imagine what people are thinking. I ask myself how one would dramatize a political or social idea. I pose the question, "What if..." So it was that, one day, I began to wonder what would happen if an ape with special talents turned up in an animal testing lab. The result was my first complete novel, a thriller entitled PRIMACY, which my agent, Paul Bresnick, will soon begin shopping to publishers.

Chance, as Dr. Pasteur taught us, favors the prepared mind. Soon after I started PRIMACY, an acquaintance referred me to a workshop in Philadelphia. There I met another writer, Elizabeth Collins, who later invited me to write for a hot website called The Nervous Breakdown. And a couple of weeks from now, TNB re-launches with another novel of mine -- CADAVER BLUES -- serialized in its fiction section.

Shya Scanlon, my editor on the site, suggested a blog to support all these activities, so here I am, creating my own little buzz in this giant world.

Does it end with: Splat!? Not if Pasteur was right.