new short story collection. Out now!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Building a River Part 2

I have questions about people and relationships, and I attempt to answer those questions by creating characters who are totally believable, and placing them in difficult circumstances. The major concept I wanted to explore with this novel, A Muddy Red River, was what it would be like to have a brother. 

In the novel, my two lead characters, Shane and Rob Archer, are brothers who have grown apart due to their differences. As children these differences were complementary, but in adulthood they are catalysts for separation. Shane and Rob are essentially opposites; two sides of one coin. A Muddy Red River was originally a single point of view narrative but wanting to show how inextricably linked the two men were, demanded I use a dual point of view.

My hope is that the reader will see the importance of relationships, and in particular, the unbreakable ties of brotherhood, and appreciate that reconciliation is never as far away, or unlikely as it may seem.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Building a River: Part 1

A Muddy Red River was originally inspired by a chance meeting which in fact was barely worthy to be called such. In 1990 I was working with a volunteer missionary group called Youth With A Mission (YWAM). I was in Thailand where my team visited a high school in a province whose name I can no longer recall. I may have forgotten that name, but I have never forgotten the name of Jam, a beautiful young student to whom I was briefly and perfunctorily introduced.

Her name, her pretty face and her slender feminine body became the inspiration for A Muddy Red River. I never saw her again, and it was not until ten years had passed that I began to write the story: a handwritten draft about an Australian man who falls in love at first sight with a Thai women after a chance meeting. As most romances are, this tale would be full of drama and difficulty. Chris Cornell's lyrics sum it up nicely. "You fall in love from a great height, now the easy part's over."

The manuscript ran out of steam after four chapters so I shelved it. At that time, I was concentrating on short stories, believing I was too busy to attempt a novel, and very uncertain about my ability. The very short life of A Muddy Red River proved the point, and those first four chapters remained hidden away in a drawer for more than ten years. Until...