Two things happened last week: my galleys arrived, and I was invited to sign them at MPIBA next month in Denver.
First of all, holy shit, the book looks great. All laid out with pretty shards of broken glass at the chapter headings, the pages wrapped in their slick little galley cover with the marketing deets on the back. Amazing, all of this. I can’t get over it. Now I see why people have pages of thank yous at the end of their books: it’s what you feel like doing when you see it all come together.
Today I wrote this snippet for some of the marketing materials we’ll be using at the show:
“Do I know you?”
It’s a throwaway line, something we say when faced with a stranger who seems just familiar enough to make us pause and look again. But it can be a tricky question. Knowing takes many forms, from the passing recognition of a stranger, to deepest carnal knowledge, to the shadowy, sometimes unpleasant awareness of self. We all want to know. We watch, we listen. We form the most intimate connections in pursuit of the desire to see and be seen. But what if we make a mistake? What if we only think we know?
This is the question at the heart of Alice Close Your Eyes. I wanted to see what would happen in a story where every character misunderstands every other in some fundamental way. I wanted that fact to taint some aspect of a remembered crime and send the victim’s plot for revenge tragically sideways. As the characters strain to see each other clearly, I wanted their vision warped and obscured by their own misguided apprehensions. But most important to me was the urgency of the question behind it all. The plea, the obsession, most poignant and persistent of all human longings: Do I know you?
What is the question at the heart of your story?