A Thousand Suns

     In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that the sequel to Einstein’s Trunk was complete and titled World of Hurt. I thought the title was somewhat clever as it was a nice play on the hero’s last name as well as an accurate portrayal of what the book was about, i.e., Rulon Hurt’s somewhat painful world. Roughly 40% of the book takes place in the Twin Falls area of Idaho and the last 60% takes place in and around Zurich, Switzerland.
     But now I’ve changed the title to A Thousand Suns. The title comes from the expression ‘heat of a thousand suns’ – which Rulon uses to describe how much his enemies hate him and which Yohaba uses to describe how much she loves the big cowboy.  Can’t say more without giving away the plot, but I will add that Yohaba’s suns burn mighty bright, in fact, she dominates the book. The new title does a better job of capturing the human heart beating within the story – much more so than the old title. And besides, World of Hurt is a better fit for the third book in the series, which I’m starting on now.
     Speaking of Switzerland, I was having a conversation the other day on why some countries are more prosperous than others. Reasons were given. Opinions were shared. And then someone brought up Switzerland and mentioned that almost every negative condition raised could likewise be applied to that small country nestled in the center of Europe. Switzerland has limited natural resources, is landlocked, is split by multiple cultures and languages, has an expensive social safety net for its citizens, a lot of immigrants for its size, and is surrounded by countries with large militaries who have a history of going to war with each other. And yet it thrives. The longer I live in Switzerland, the more I appreciate its special place in the world. 
     My next post will cover a few tips I’ve learned on writing powerful descriptions.
 
Best regards,
 
Jim

Zurich

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A Preview of ‘World of Hurt’

     The sequel to Einstein’s Trunk is complete – or, let’s just say, the tinkering and re-writing has slowed to a minimum.
     Maybe it’s a common tendency of authors to always think their latest book is their best – but the truth is, I’m very pleased with how World of Hurt has turned out. The humor is still there, the beginning is snappier, and Rulon is still Rulon. The one big difference is that Yohaba comes more into her own. In fact, for about 60% of the book, she is the driving character.
     I can’t say much without giving away the plot, but I will say that there is still some suspence around Elsa colliding with the earth, and the Russians haven’t given up on dealing with Rulon after he took out their Spetsnaz team in CERN. But there is also an ensemble of new villians that, as happens in so many thrillers, just happen to gravitate towards the hero like yellow jackets at a picnic. The story begins in Idaho, but then the action moves to Zurich where some old scores get settled.
     I like to include in my thrillers a little intellectual/educational meat. In ET it was the information around asteroids, CERN, and nuclear weapons. In WOH the educational side comes out as Rulon deals with some local neo-Nazis and has a chance to observe first hand the rhetorical tactics first developed by their discredited Fuhrer as he spread the Nazi message in the beer halls of Munich in the ’20s and ’30s.
     Embedded in WOH is also my pride in the state of Idaho. As a native New Yorker, it was never clear when I moved to Idaho in the late ’80s that I would be able to adjust. Let’s face it – NY and Idaho are practically polar opposites in many ways. And initially it was an adjustment. But eventually I came to love Idaho and that hard as woodpecker lips toughness you see in many of the long time ranchers – just the sort of people that Rulon grew up with. I hope my love of Idaho is evident in WOH, just as my appreciation of Zurich and Switzerland may have come out in ET.

All the best,

Jim

Zurich

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