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 clear
that 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." From
Lao 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 can
be more important than Raymond Chandler's instruction, "If in doubt, have
two 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 the
metaphysics as they are in spies. The current Foggy Moscowitz series
hopes 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 the
Oedipus 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 the
mythology to write. I did. That, in short, is how I got here.