Fort Davis Rocks
It is a pouring down rain Saturday in Fredericksburg, Texas, a place where rain is appreciated. I believe I have completed my fourth novel after about three years of messing around with it: Fort Davis Rocks. The story is set in the tiny town of Fort Davis, way out in west Texas; Rocks in the title refers to the landscape, strewn with ancient chocolate colored lava flows and site of the Davis Mountains. I have been listening to my writing critique group about it for three years, comments from test readers for several weeks, and bits and pieces of advice from Jami all along. I have made some revisions; there may be some yet to come, but they will be small. I have a terrific cover photo from my Fort Davis friend Carolyn Miller. I fired my friend Lee’s handgun to see what it felt and sounded like. I made a lot of trips to Fort Davis and walked miles of trails to get a feel for the place. I hung out at the bar at the Blue Mountain Bistro, and the Stone Village Tourist Camp. I talked to the park police officer of the time. I did a week of volunteer work at the old Fort.
I say it is a thriller but this is not a complete description – these days the category seems to be non-stop action. It doesn’t start with a murder or a mystery. There may be a bit too much sexuality for some readers, but it isn’t a romance. Each of the five main characters told me their story, and I just wrote down what they said: Delbert, police officer at the nearby state park; Gwynne, bartender at the town’s one bar; Raquel, daughter of a local rancher gone for 30 years, now a trial lawyer in Austin; King, a best selling writer; E W, banker; and Tail, motorcycle gang member who stayed behind the pack. The story begins and ends with the Rock House fire of 2011, making a one week long circle, but isn’t about the fire. 70,000 words, 30 chapters, 3 years.