Sunday, February 21, 2010


I was at a friend's house in North Vancouver about five years ago. His uncle was visiting from Kansas. His uncle told me about how my great grandfather used to dig holes beneath chickoo trees to hide whiskey bottles during prohibition. I knew that someday I would write about this. All my novels have started with a single image. THE CRIPPLE AND HIS TALISMANS began with amputated limbs hanging from the ceiling of a dungeon, and for THE SONG OF KAHUNSHA I envisioned a ten-year-old boy trying to push his ribs back into his chest because he was ashamed of how thin he was. Image and character come together, from the unknown into the known, and that mystery is what enables a novelist to stay with a story for years.