As some of you know, I’ve been dealing with a severe case of writer’s block for the past year or so. This has prevented the completion of the next novel in the Drill series, Winter of the Drill. I’m now settling in at my laptop for the last leg of this journey, and it will be finished this time, one way or another.
I thought it might help me to reconnect with Decker and the gang if I did a few blog posts that gave you an inside look at some of the characters and events nestled between the covers of #Winter. If you read and enjoyed Shadow of the Drill, you might find these posts interesting. If not, hopefully this little series won’t bore you too much.
I thought I would start by telling you a little bit about the character of Decker, the title character in the Drill series, and how he came to be.
When I started writing #Shadow, I knew almost everything about Decker before I first put my fingers to the keyboard. Because he was a composite of a couple of the street enforcers I’d known in my youth, I had to create a single image of what he looked like. Not a problem, I thought. I already knew that he was somewhere in the vicinity of six and a half feet tall. I knew that he was Italian on his father’s side, and that his mother was European. I knew how old he was, how much he weighed, and what his body looked like. I could even hear his voice. The only thing I couldn’t see was his face. And without a face, it was pretty hard to bring life to the man.
Then one day a movie came out that starred one of my favorite actors. My seeing eye son and I had both been looking forward to it, so we went. There was an actor with a fairly large supporting role in the film who caught my eye almost immediately. I’d never seen him before, but he did make an impression.
Then, at one point in the film, it happened. The camera caught him in just the right way, and I realized I was looking at Decker. From that moment on, he existed for me in no way other than as the Drill. I went home and began to write.
Bringing Decker to life was suddenly so much easier for me. And if writer’s block reared its ugly head, I went back to the movies. I saw that film almost 40 times in the theater. Then it came out on cable, so I was able to watch it at home. THEN it was available on DVD so I grabbed my copy, ran home, and begin the first of countless viewings. The image of Decker was now complete in my mind, and for the first time, he was fully alive to me.
Here is a picture of that actor. Do you recognize him? If you do, please email his name to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll draw a name from those who have answered correctly, and that person will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.
Many years have passed since #Shadow was originally written. Almost 20, in fact. A few years ago, I rewrote the book and published it on Amazon. But as I began working on the following books in the Drill series, I realized that a different actor had taken center stage in the Decker part of my brain. Now, when I write him, this is who I see. The eyes are wrong, of course, but I’ve been living with Decker’s eyes for so long that I automatically see them now.
This man is much easier to recognize, and if you do, please email his name to me, because I’ll be giving away a second Amazon card.
So now you know a little bit about the men who gave Decker life, and lit the fire behind the ice-blue eyes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I hope you will join me for the next one. I don’t know who I’ll be talking about yet, so I guess that will be a surprise to us both. Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope to see you next time.
Twitter @rhanidchae @rhanidchaebooks
Phone (253) 224-7410