Early in my writing career—about 20 years ago—I didn’t quite understand the difference between writing as an art and writing as a business. After penning four novels, and accumulating the most impressive file of rejection letters (almost as thick as a NY telephone directory), it finally dawned on me. In order for a first-time novelist to break through the fortress built around the commercial publishing world, an unpublished author has to come up with a different angle: something truly unique. Whether an original plot idea, vivid, lifelike characters, or prose that reads like poetry, the wannabes need an idea to grab a publisher’s attention.
For my first novel, They Never Die Quietly, the hook was the villain. As a religious fanatic with a perverse sense of right and wrong, I created a man whose twisted interpretation of his spiritual beliefs gave him a license to commit the most unimaginable acts of depravity with the unconditional endorsement of his God. This, of course, made it possible for me to create a monster whose evil had no boundaries.
Faced with writing another novel to keep the momentum going, and of course to continue advancing my writing career, I decided to make the next book the second in a series, and to make it another serial killer novel. But I faced a quandary: I had already created a villain so evil and so unmerciful that he pushed the limits of the reader’s imagination. How could I top that?
After kicking a few possibilities around, an idea hit me. Do we all have a price tag on our heads? Are any of us truly incorruptible? If we longed for something so desperately, could we be tempted to abandon all of our principles and moral values to get what we wanted? Whether fame, fortune, beautiful women, or global recognition, what might we do to fulfill a secret desire? What might it take for a man with integrity, strong moral values, and a career focused on helping people, to step into a dark world from which he could never return?
Resuscitation, my second novel, explores these questions and illustrates how one honorable man struggles with a choice between good and evil.