Someday, not too terribly long from now, Lois and I plan to take a short train trip to Montana. Two days up, one day there, and two days back, so it’s not really as much of an oxymoron as it sounds. There will be spotty cellular service and no Internet while the train is moving. We’re ready to be incommunicado for a little while.
Last year’s 3,500 mile rail cruise through the northern US and Canada, including this route, planted the seed for my new book. There are lots of railroad tunnels. A few weeks after we returned home, I dreamed about walking along a railroad and into a tunnel. It was too big inside, apparently for nefarious reasons, but I woke up before I could find out quite what they were. It sounded like a great idea for a book, though. I had never written a mystery, so I killed a couple of folks off and invented a villain, in that order. Of course, I also needed good guys and some people who might be either. There had to be enough clues to justify the conclusion, but not enough to make it obvious. It’s not all that easy to plant a clue without it standing out. We’ll see how well I did. It was a fun project.
I moved the story three states south to New Mexico, which I know a lot better than Montana. The new setting lacked a few things I needed, so I remodeled it somewhat. The Continental Divide has shifted a bit, for example. Did you feel it move?
My day job is sort of crazy right now. Retirement is sounding better all the time, but it’s still a way off. The story is about an older guy whose job disappeared, and an out-of-the-way place called Comunicado.
I’ll take a few copies of the book along. Maybe somebody will buy one. Otherwise, I’ll just show the books where they were conceived.