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“I actually could not put the book down. It is well written and kept my interest. I want more from this author.”
Reader review of Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead on Amazon.com 

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Brain Activity

The strangest thing happened over the weekend.

On a two-and-a-half-hour car journey to Dublin, my brain went into hyper-drive. This happens every so often. I cannot predict when it will happen or what will bring it on. If I could make it happen at will, I would—and at a convenient time.

By hyper-drive, I mean that my mind began writing out scenes and storylines for a long-planned book. It was like a fax machine that suddenly came to life and started spewing pages.

This usually happens in the summer. More typically, it will happen late at night or early in the morning while I am lying in bed. This can happen in my own usual bed in Connacht, but it is more likely to occur in the bed where I sleep in Munster when we have gone down there for a break. It seems to have something to do with getting out of my usual routine and/or being cut off from my usual distractions, which tend to involve some combination of computer and internet access.

One memorable morning during such an episode, I wrote in my head the final seven pages of Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead pretty much verbatim. Immediately afterwards, I had to get out of bed and grab a smart tablet to type it all out before I forgot any of it. Those pages wound up in the book with very little change, even though I still had several chapters left to write to work my way toward those final pages. Something similar happened as I neared the end of my first draft of the upcoming book, the sequel to Max & Carly, which I hope to be able to tell you all about—including where and how to acquire it—during the month of September. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel when I suddenly find myself writing the ending to a book. While I have the major plot points nailed down before I begin any writing, I do not always have a clear idea how I will end up getting from point to point along the way. While I know the ending, it remains vague and fuzzy to me until that strange moment when it begins playing out in front of my eyes like a leaked on-line spoiler video clip from a yet-to-be-released movie.

The scenes that played out in my head during the weekend’s drive to Dublin were from the upcoming third installment of my Dallas Green trilogy. (Yes, it’s a trilogy.) New characters he needed to meet and old ones he needed to meet again told me who they were and how they were going to fit in. More vividly, certain key scenes played themselves over and over until they burned themselves into my memory, just as I hope they may do for the eventual readers.

It is a strange thing this writing process.

It is, of course, way too soon to be talking about the third book when the second one has still to see the light of day. The good news is that it is very, very close to being unleashed upon the world. It feels as though it has been forever since I began writing it and even longer—as illogical as that will sound—since I got to the end of the first draft. I honestly could not do this without my good friend Dayle, who somehow manages to take my writing more seriously than I do and who helps me and supports me and challenges me to respect the nuts-and-bolts craftsman part of the writing process.

If you enjoy—or not—the stories I try to tell, I will shamelessly accept the credit—or blame. If you find you can read my books without them totally doing your head in—or even being pleasurable to read—then you can thank Dayle.