This post is inspired by the Next Big Thing blog hop started by Marilyn Brant and kindled by Malena Lott. Take a look at what they’re working on as well. (Links at the end.)
Q. What is your working title of your book?
PARADOX. When something unexpected happens, it takes us out of the everyday humdrum of life; but when something impossible happens, we sit up and take notice. In art and science, the impossible happens all the time–both as a result of a contradiction and not–and when it does, they call it “paradox.” Can paradox solve crimes?
Q. Where did the idea come from for the book?
My artist character, Adele Proust is a strong, intelligent woman, but one aspect of her personality makes no logical sense, only emotional. She happens to be a true “bombshell.” I chose that trait for her unique ability to walk into a scene and turn it upside down without saying a word.
In researching her art methods for the second book, I chose paradox for the same reason. When something impossible happens, the investigation radically changes. An assumption, a “truth” is proven to be wrong. Novel prize winning physicist Niels Bohr once said:
“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.”
Paradox can drive forth science, and in the same way an investigation. The greatest barrier to progress is our sense of knowledge. The presence of the “impossible” draws our suspicions into areas we thought we understood. Paradox drives us to look at the facts with a more open mind. NOW we can see something new–and it doesn’t always mean that what we thought before was incorrect. Bohr also believed:
“The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.”
In investigating a crime, especially as it crosses borders, cultures, the “truth” can be redefined in new ways. It can change and bend with location. What happens when you take an American underworld and submerge it into the backstreets of Tangier?
In the same way that Hitchcock found inspiration in the paradox of an MC Escher staircase for “Vertigo,” I’m finding my answers in an impossible, illogical Moroccan cityscape. I’m throwing my characters off-balance with everything from language to food to getting pick-pocketed at the airport.
Update 6/09/15: I’ve noticed a lot of people checking out this page lately so thought I would update it. Shortly after this post, my vertigo became just awful. Months later, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
But I kept dreaming about this book. Two years and one minor stroke later, I’m thrilled to have finally finished the first draft. Much about the book has changed, but most everything in this writeup is the same. My publisher has gone “dormant” so I will have to shop it.
Meanwhile, I hope to finish revising PARADOX within a month.