Act 2

The sequel to my first thriller, White Oaks, will be released on Oct. 22. It’s called Black Willows and you should, by all means, hurry on over to Amazon, let your finders do the walking, and preorder a copy right now. The preorder price is $5.99. You can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited. Such a deal, amirite?

Here’s the link:

The big question is why write a sequel? Why not move on and write something else? Maybe something with characters in it who aren’t vain, greedy, foolish, untrustworthy, and in most cases, not nice at all.

Some readers didn’t like that about White Oaks: the lack of niceness. In addition to complaints about the swearing and the violence they griped that the characters were unlikable. My response is that most real people are unlikable. I certainly am.

The fact that the two nicest people in White Oaks are an international arms dealer and a teenage recovering addict also annoyed some readers. People who sell land mines and fighter jets aren’t supposed to be sympathetic. Neither are heroin addicts. Yet Marsh Trapnell and his nephew Benjamin are sympathetic. Odd, that.

The thing is, real people are complicated. So why shouldn’t imaginary people be complicated too? The Trapnells are rude, self-absorbed, and very, very funny. If you had inherited millions of dollars and were in line to inherit billions more you’d be pretty weird too.

I don’t want to give the impression that everyone hated White Oaks. Far from it. Most readers liked it a lot and didn’t hold back from saying so. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have made something that people enjoyed. Thank you. That’s why I write, because I like making up stories and sharing them.

So back to the Trapnells. After I wrote The End and closed the last page in the Word document that made up White Oaks I thought it was the end of their journey. They’d recovered a stolen ancient artifact with mysterious, deadly powers, uncovered a plot to destroy the world, and thwarted the evildoers. What more was there to say?

Plenty, as it turned out.

The Trapnells wouldn’t leave me alone. I kept thinking about them and wondering what happened next. Would Ewell Haskins ever accomplish his dream of becoming sheriff? Would Gordon Buzzy continue to operate his horrible convenience store? Would the Trapnells ever find a new butler? Was it really a good idea for Marsh to be friends with someone called The Madman of the Steppes? These questions and others haunted me. That’s why I wrote Black Willows. It has a tulpa in it. In the next blog I’ll talk about those.

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