But I digress.
I talk a lot about writing to theme, an unusual method of creative writing, one that I learned through my training in literary and cultural criticism. Thank you, University of Utah. What this means is that I’m usually investigating a larger idea in my work. Larger than just the story, I mean. The story is in service to the personal exploration of the theme.
In Thicker than Water, I was driven by the idea of family connection and ancestral debts. It was spurned by the tragic but modern phenomenon of losing connections with once dear friends and family. Maybe you’ve kept track of everyone who ever touched your life, but I unfortunately haven’t and coincidentally, neither has Tony.
There are people whom I’ve loved, who have loved me, put up with me, saved me in hard times, but still have fallen by the wayside of my life, lost in the distractions of growing up and growing through.
Nostalgia comes in times of quiet and in times of crisis. For Tony, it’s a tonic to reinvigorate him out of a stupor to repay an old debt to kind kin in the desert.
Tony’s debts are more defined than mine, his settings more cinematic, but the idea of a magical summer, mythical and meaningful as only retrospect can color it, is at the heart of the story on all levels. From his son’s music concert to the snake in the garage, all are pieces of the same familial puzzle.
And there’s plenty of sarcastic social satire, Flanerisms and a ripping good mystery I bet you won’t figure out until the very end, when Tony tells you. Your mileage may vary.
THICKER THAN WATER, A Tony Flaner Mystery, coming August 2019