The gravelly-voiced woman on the phone just kept going, as if she was following some script, “If you ever want to see Ms. Delapour again you will do exactly–”
It hit me all at once. She was serious. This wasn’t some kind of goofy game, she meant exactly what she was saying. I was stunned. “Are you people INSANE?” I yelled into the phone.
“You will do exactly what we say. She is alive and unhurt, but we are prepared–”
“Prepared? You’ve kidnapped Agony? You’ve for real kidnapped Agony and you’re talking about being prepared? Nobody is prepared for what you’ve done. Listen to me–the best thing you can do is kill yourself right now! You have no idea what depths of suffering you’ve gotten yourself into. I can’t imagine what she’ll do to you–I don’t want to imagine what she’ll do to you.”
The woman paused, then went right ahead with her script. “We will contact you in exactly two hours.” Then hung up.
“No, you won’t,” I said sadly to the dial tone. “In two hours you’ll be eating your own eyeballs or something.”
I sighed. Some kinds of stupid couldn’t ever be fixed.
After a great deal of deliberation, I have decided to go ahead with The Worms Of Heaven, the next James & Catskinner book. I like Wind And Cars And People Of The Past, my Time Travel/Romance/Mystery novel, and it’s probably a more marketable piece, but I’m not done with James & Catskinner (or maybe they’re not done with me) so I’m going to be going back to that first.
I have a pretty good idea where the story is going to go, and it’s a natural progression from the first two. There’s the macro story, which is going to involve some new villains and other supporting characters that I’m excited about (hint: they’re not getting less weird) and then the micro story, which is going to take James into some new territory as a character.
I’m not really officially starting on writing it now, just kind of noodling around ideas and making notes. Still, there is a solidity to my musings, a kind of deep awareness that this is the one that I am serious about.
I’m still working on Fauxpocalypse, of course, and there is a dim flickering light at the end of that particular tunnel. I’m hoping for a pre-Halloween launch on that, but a lot depends on the contributors.
Anyway, I thought I’d throw that out for the James & Catskinner fans–and if you’re not familiar with those characters, Catskinner’s Book and Cannibal Hearts are both available as e-books and trade paperbacks. Check them out, let me know what you think. I like hearing from readers.
Oh, and since nobody came up with the reference, “Wind and cars and people of the past” is a line from the song The Ballrooms Of Mars by T Rex.