A Letter from Robert McCammon


McCammon's update letter from September 15, 2010

On September 15, 2010, Robert McCammon wrote this piece for the website.


Goodbye, Summer

Well, the time has come to say goodbye to summer and to prepare for another autumn and, beyond that, another winter.

I always feel a little sad at the end of summer. Or wistful might be the better word. There were so many plans for summer that never happened. You know that drill. You meant to take this trip to the beach, and something got in the way. You meant to stand in a woods and watch the fireflies—we call them "lightning bugs" down South— light up the night, but it never happened. You meant to go to a baseball game and kick back with the taste of a hotdog and the smear of mustard on your mouth, but somehow another thing seemed more important. Maybe you meant to just lie on a hilltop and watch the clouds move in their slow and stately progression, but somehow that didn't seem important enough. I know all about this. It happened to me, too. I had plans that didn't work out. Doesn't everyone? And the thing that gets in the way? That's called "Life." Ah, well.

There's always next summer. And plenty of time to dream about what might be, next time around.

Thank you for your comments and your readership. As always, if you didn't read my work, I would cease to be. So thank you again for hanging in with me, and travelling with me over the many roads.

For anyone close enough to Birmingham to make the drive, I'm going to be speaking and reading at the Hoover Library on Tuesday, October the 5th at 7:00. It's free, books are going to be sold there, and it's a nice venue with a cool stage and very comfortable seats. The kicker is that I'm going to not only talk about the Corbett series and The Five, but I'm going to read the opening chapter of The Providence Rider and of course talk about that book too. So if anyone can make the drive, please drop by for the reading.

I'm going pretty well on The Providence Rider. Usually the toughest part for me is getting everything going, and then when the engine is started—so to speak—the machine sort of starts running itself. Lots of characters in this one and it may be a long book. Not sure yet. Well, okay...yes, it's going to be a long book! Let me restate that: it will be as long as it needs to be to get the story told. Aren't they all?

Speaking of long books, The "Ultimate" Wolf's Hour comes in around six hundred and seventy pages, including the new novelette. You know, I look back on some of those and wonder how I wrote such long books. But then again, The "Ultimate" Wolf's Hour is everything it needs to be. Story told. But story finished? After I did The Hunter from the Woods this summer, I enjoyed it so much that I immediately started thinking about doing more Gallatin pieces. This really was a fun book to write, and probably the most "fun" I've ever had doing a project. What was cool about it to me was that instead of writing one book for nine months, here I could finish a short story in a few days or a novelette in a week or so and then go to an entirely different locale and plot-line. So I really did have a lot of fun doing it, and maybe there's more Michael Gallatin in the future if you guys like it.

Just wanted to check in briefly this time and give you an update. Writing this in the middle of the night—of course—so I'll be getting back to Matthew and The Providence Rider.

But before I get back to work I may walk outside to my balcony, sit down and just listen for a few minutes.

You know, it's still warm and the crickets and the night sounds are still out there. It's really still summer, so maybe that goodbye was a little premature. The moon's up, the world feels calm, and in the peace of solitude there's still plenty of time to dream.

So yes, I think I won't say goodbye to summer yet.

Not just yet.

Best Wishes,
Rick

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