My next book is beginning to soar.
- It’s a mystery.
- It’s set in NYC, showing a side of my city I hope you will enjoy.
- It is a Black Sallie Blue Eyes suspense story yet again.
Originally I thought it would be about streetball, which I used to play and love to watch. I began working on it two summers ago by hanging out at The Rucker Park Basketball Courts in Harlem on 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard (a.k.a. 8th Avenue). Twice a week I took the B train to observe league play until I was able to imagine a character that I could build a story line around.
While there I met a group of very hospital enthusiastic basketball fans who were involved with the Hip Hop Church founded by the famous pioneer of rap, Kurtis Blow. They invited me to a rousing inspirational Thursday night service. I found the place and the experience so inspiring it will be one of the locations in the new book. I also could not resist the pull, as author, to keep writing about the hip-hop world. My new novel, like HUMPTY DUMPTY WAS PUSHED, will be in part set in that world.
I began writing the book in NYC last summer. After writing hundreds of pages I decided it lacked the hard edge and fast pace of HUMPTY. In January, I began again, this time from my home on a remote beach in Nicaragua. Think National Geographic, Discovery Channel, or Animal Planet and you’re close. The next season of “Survivor” is being shot nearby.
Writing a NYC-based urban novel from two thousand miles away was trying. The folks we know from down there and the primitive wilderness environment are … well let’s just say we spend a lot of time getting to know about stuff that leaves us with our mouths open in disbelief.
The folks, example: Our neighbor is called El Commandante. She is a warrior goddess famous for leading a group of six women with machine guns and taking the country’s entire parliament hostage for three days—the siege led to the beginning of the end of one of Central America’s most brutal dynasties.
Example: Another of our neighbors, a special envoy to the United Nations, was held in prison in Peru until his country paid a five million dollar ransom fee to have him released. His crime was to transport people targeted for assassination by the then fascist government, out of the South American dictatorship. He did it by flying them over the Andes into Argentina, one at a time in his two-seat single engine plane.
Like them there are constant reminders that “we ain’t in New Yawk no more”, like the people who live near the beach in huts made from plastic garbage bags, who make there living illegally collecting turtle eggs that are used to make Viagra soup, or the folks who live in the hills without electricity because God does not approve of it, or a neighbor who believes the water that appeared on the floor of our bedroom came from a piece of weeping driftwood. We live among camposinos, evangelistas, police Czars, magnificently wealthy oligarchs and the materially impoverished. These folks visit, break bread with us, drink with us, and have given us the privilege of hearing their stories. I find their world so interesting that I decided to make one of the main characters Nicaraguan.
Another aspect of the book is the main character’s, Detective Black Sallie Blue Eye’s struggle to deal with what he sees as his major failing. For those who have read HUMPTY you know that at the end something very unexpected happens. For Sal it is the catalyst for a downward spiral that leads to panic attacks, depression, and eventually to sessions with an exceptional psychiatrist.
So…many exciting things are happening. HUMPTY is coming out in paperback. Raymond de Felitta (writer/director “City Island”) is working on a screenplay of the book. I am about 130 pages into the new book and could not be happier about the way it’s taking shape. So if the blogs stop coming as regularly I apologize. I’m spending the time on another novel featuring Black Sallie Blue Eyes.