When the pandemic drove us indoors in early 2020 (and wiped out the NCAA basketball tournament; I’m still not over that one…), I found a number of ways to keep busy. At that point I hadn’t written a new book in years, but circumstances being what they were, I decided the time had come to do just that. So I journeyed far and wide to the repository of unfinished stories and unrealized book proposals—aka the file cabinet in my attic—to see what I could find. And one partial manuscript of 35,000 words that seemed to call out finish me, please finish me caught my attention.

Kindred of Blood—that was its working title when I researched it and wrote the partial at least twenty-five years ago, maybe more. I recalled referring to it as my serial killer novel back then. Without giving too much away, it involved a number of fictional serial killers and mass murderers based on real ones, and another character that you would easily identify as the Reverend Jim Jones, he of the rather tainted Kool-Aid.

Hey, 35,000 words involved a lot of effort, so why not make the completion of this thriller my new project? But two things stopped me. First, when I mentioned it to my bride, she raised a ruckus. Why would you want to write about so much death and violence, Jacqueline said, when there was so much negative crap going on in the country and the world? Pandemics, toxic politics, school shootings, mass murders in supermarkets, movie theaters, big box stores, you name it. And second, I remembered why I initially stopped working on the story in the first place: the research into the minds of all those monsters affected me strongly. Okay, Kindred of Blood remains in the file cabinet, not to be completed while I remain a visitor on this planet.

So I made the obvious choice: A new Jack Miller book, Back on the Bike Path, to continue the comedy/sci-fi series that I first published in the ’90s. And wow, it gave me so much pleasure during the three or four months it took to write! To state it simply, writing this book was FUN.

And so, when I chose my next project, I knew that there would be no more serial killers, or mass murderers, or buckets of blood, or anything like that. My choice, as I mentioned in last week’s post, was The Horrors Of Harrmel, a Sword & Planet spoof and sequel to my 2016 novel, The Wizard From Harrmel. It is almost finished, and yeah, I’m having a ball once again.

So will I ever write another thriller, or horror novel, or anything with tons of violence? No answer here; never say never, right? But for now, let me reiterate: I’m having FUN.

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