I don’t mind chasing down a story. Heck, the thrill of the chase and the adrenaline rush are what made my life as an investigative reporter quite exciting for 20+ years.
Yet, here I sit, at the US Naval Support Site in Naples, Italy, chasing my thoughts to create a story and the experience is quite different. In news, the facts are there, somewhere, you just have to find them. The events have already happened and someone knows the trail of evidence which leads to the final outcome.
In fiction, there are no facts. It’s all fantasy laced with elements of realism to make it believable. Only I know how the story will end and I have to create the trail of clues to get there. How do I escape the shadows which lurk around corners? How will my victim die? What were the killer’s motives? The questions are the same in news but the reality is that fiction is much harder to chase down.
So, why am I here at a Naval base? Research, chasing the thoughts which are running hither and yon in my mind, trying to find the elements of realism. I’m inside the secure gates. Is the killer with me? Does he know I’m searching for him? When I find the answers, a novel will be born.