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Ugh. Had a headcold last week (presumably con crud, but only in the head). Sneezing Wednesday. Coughing it up Thursday. Basically just weak and listless on Friday. Then I gave it to Fabulous Publisher Babe™. She’s almost over it, but a couple days behind me.

Sitting to write the last few days. Not caught up, but kept up and chipped away a bit as I went. The Light Thriller is about 20k done. Got inspired by reading the first Gray Man novel. Not by the Gray Man himself, who is an unkillable ubermenshen death machine that makes Batman look like an emo teen by comparison.

Instead, at Bouchercon, Matt and I talked about the first group of profession ex-special-forces killers that the Gray Man annihilates. They were the guys in the transport aircraft.

Apparently, Exfiltration is one of the best kept secrets in SOCOM. And anywhere else.

But I got to thinking. Everybody is writing about that superguy assassin, who gets in and gets out. I wanted to create the team that you hire to get in there and rescue/evacuate the hero from the situation, when he’s being chased by a convoy of angry arabs with machine guns, or whoever your villains are this week.

Got a team built. Got a novel going. No idea what I’ll call either, but the main guy is called Gator, because he runs mostly submerged. And he was born Cajun, but raised in Los Angeles. Exotic cars. Lots of guns. An all-female sniper team. Gomez Addams emotional descendant.

I’ve tried to make this one rich with personalities. And fun. Much more violent than some of the things I write, but the genre measures blood by the bucket, and I have to appeal to those folks.

So gun porn. And aircraft porn. Both things I can do well, with a little research.

In the background, I’m also working on building a caper team. Somewhere between Parker and Dortmunder, two of my favorite characters, but it is utterly amazing how dated the books are.

We don’t take into account what cell phones, laptops, and the internet have done to fundamentally alter the shape of our civilization. In one of the Parker books, he robs a movie theater late on a Sunday night, when they will have the whole weekend’s box office in the safe.


When was the last time you paid cash for a movie ticket? Or at a grocery store? Or most other places?

And everybody carried a camera and video camera with them at all times these days, too. You’ll notice how few UFO sightings there have been recently.

So, the world has changed. I wrote something in 1991 that included being able to simply travel to London and vanish, because calling England from the States in those days was a complete pain in the ass.

These days, you need their number and the right calling plan.

So Caper has to look different. Think different. And I don’t want to write the low-hanging fruit crap that I keep finding when doing research. And not the “Good Guys” like Leverage (my wife’s favorite tv show), where they are getting even with somebody and righting wrongs.

Nope, stealing shit. And generally getting away with it.

In my mind, kinda the perfect inverse of a private detective novel, where someone hires the detective to see justice done.

Here, you hire a guy to see crime done. And that might be the tag line, thinking about it.

Finally, planning on the fifth Marrakesh novel. Space Adventure. Mission of the Week like ST:TOS or TNG. Character development arcs, but not long story arcs.

Currently, thinking thoughts about Exoarchaeology. Archaeology in space, but not xeno- because no aliens. Instead, several generations of human civilizations that have come and gone, leaving traces on various worlds for our heroes to uncover as they search.

What I’m hoping to do is create some Space Cryptids for color. Think Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. But in a space setting where A’Zedi spans dozens of worlds and is currently at war with Wronlori. With a few others kinda involved on the sides.

Got any fun ideas for how you might do Space Vampires? Or intergalactic Plasma Space Dragons? No idea too silly, but many of the suggestions so far have been tame. (Yes, I am aware of the New Jersey Devil. Dream bigger.)

Let me know.

And have a lovely week. I’m dealing with some things at this end, but I’m dealing.

You make sure to take care of yourself.

shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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