Notes on my Max Beckley novels
(*Old Mill Road, Richmond Town – Photos by Joe)
The most exciting thing about starting the novel process for me is that the impetus forms completely outside of my control. That is to say, I could never write a novel, but there’s something outside of my scope of understanding that can.
In the beginning, silly, abstract thoughts form the basis for what I believe will be the foundation for a novel. There is no way I can say why I believe they will work. The tell tale sign that I have a story to tell, is when my excitement grows to a fever pitch. Not long after, The Words come.
I find I’m more excited to begin a novel, than to finish it. It was that way for my two Max Beckley novels, both of which I couldn’t be more proud of.
Check out this related post: Bald Punk on Writing 101
The ideas for the Max Beckley novels, the first of which is titled ABDUCTION STORY, came over a few weeks. It was years ago, in the month of August. I was originally inspired by summer skies. I thought there was a mystery in them that needed to be unraveled.
I can also remember one morning watching planes land at Newark International Airport. It was then that I first imagined a man locked in a dark space, whose only escape was to a mysterious world or other dimension. I kept dreaming, and daydreaming about these different skies and why and how this man was locked away, and how he could break in and out of that mysterious world. All the while, dreams of death and dying I’d had as a child, came back to me.
It was weeks before I wrote a single word, but I was certain they would come. And they did, late one August evening on Staten Island.
See links below for my other experience on SI:
Seventh Episode – May 2009 (Bald Punk Rides Again)
I had piloted my Plymouth Acclaim up the tight curves of Snake Hill, then weaved through La Tourette Golf Course, and come to the top of Richmond Hill Road, when I first caught a glimpse of the most amazing August sky. I continued down the road to the Staten Island Mall, and parked by Richmond Ave, out across from Sears.
I eyed the start of a chemical sunset over the factories in Elizabeth, NJ. In the southwestern sky was a tall, long, and massive shaft of molten clouds. Breathtaking is an apt description. I can still see that hallowed cloud belt now. I imagined that within the blazing colors lay the mystery of Heaven. At that moment a violent rush of inspiration coursed through me: I had to get “those clouds” on paper! It took three years, and more than 160,000 words(draft version was over 200k), for me to be satisfied.
Along the way, I lost myself inside a Picasso or two, but that was only to clear my head/to stop my conscious self from thinking. Because a book writes itself, and the author should rarely if ever get involved in the writing process. But what do I know.
*I chose the above photo from Old Mill Road–even though in the beginning of this post I was talking about an August sunset, because it just so happens that I took that photo standing about a mile or so east from where I saw that Heavenly sunset.
Here are all the posts in this series: Episode Thirty-Six
Most Holy Redeemer Church in the East Village (Photos only)
Photos in and around Old Mill Road in Richmond Town:
Part of this episode is set on Old Mill Road by St. Andrews:
Episode Twenty-Seven - March 2010 (Feat: Ghost of a Slave named Hardy)