I want to tell ancient stories in a unique way. In this endeavor,
I'm influenced by a very odd group of characters, primarily Jorge
Borges, Joseph Campbell,Lao Tzu, and Raymond Chandler.
For Borges, mystery stories are the highest achievement of
literature because "there is nothing in the world that is not
mysterious." Campbell is very clearthat ancient stories are still
alive, that "the current iteration of Oedipus is standing on the corner
of 43rd street, waiting for the light to change." FromLao Tzu I try to
understand: the truth that can be said in words isn't the truth;
words can only point or suggest or imply. And for practical matters,
what canbe more important than Raymond Chandler's instruction,
"If in doubt, havetwo guys come through the door with guns."
Which is to say that I hope to write stories that are more
than they seem.The Flap Tucker series is a loving parody of the
noir ethos with Zen riddles.Each Fever Devilin novel is a
contemporary take on an ancient folktale.The Christopher Marlowe
books are all at least as interested in themetaphysics as they are in
spies. The current Foggy Moscowitz serieshopes to synthesize all
these admittedly strange elements.
My theatre work follows the same path, elements of mystery
and metaphysics,with a hint of social commentary. Edward Foote
is a twisted variant of theOedipus mythology set in Depression era
Appalachia. Nick's Flamingo Grill,a play with music, is the story of
the first desegregated nightclub in the south.
In 1965, Miss May, my tenth grade English teacher, told me I
should write.I agreed. In 1969, my folklore professor, Dr. Burrison,
told me to go research Appalachia. I went. In the late 1970s, Joseph
Campbell told me to use themythology to write. I did. That, in short,
is how I got here.