- July 8th, 2014 -
So I started to write a sequel to ‘Fishtown’, the sequel to ‘Murder and Mayhem in Manayunk’. I’m thinking of ‘Northern Liberties’ for the title, but haven’t fully committed to that yet. I’ll probably run out of ideas, before I run out of Philly neighborhoods to use as titles. Anyway, I thought I’d give you, my readers, a tease of a tease, to keep you excited in the anticipation of yet another opportunity to follow the adventures of Jack Regan and Izzy Ichowitz. I realize that teasing you about a third book in the series, before you’ve had an opportunity to read the second is somewhat unfair, but what the heck! Here goes:
This story begins eight years after Fishtown ends (Fishtown starts 6 weeks after Manayunk ended). Liam is now 18 years old and about to graduate from Episcopal Academy. He’s the spitting image of his father, Michael Flynn. Liam has a beautiful girlfriend, whose name I have yet to decide upon (Morgan? Chloe? Jamie?), who is the illegitimate daughter of the corrupt head of one of the city’s municipal employee unions and a glamorous fashion model.
Jack is advised that his stepson’s relationship with this young woman, could have adverse consequences to his political career. Liam’s love affair with, let’s use Chloe for now, is further complicated by her older brother’s criminal activities, (apparently the apple does not fall far from the tree).Her brother set up a sophisticated marijuana distribution network in the high schools and private schools in the affluent Philadelphia suburbs. The police come to Chloe’s house with an arrest warrant and interrupt the young lovers. Not only are the police looking for Chloe’s brother, but so is the Russian mob, his source for the drugs. They want the $50,000, he owes them.
Before you know it, Flynn, Shona, the FBI, the CIA, (the whole mispocheh as Izzy would say) get entangled in confrontations with a new cast of villains. The story involves murders, international intrigue, and yes, lots of sex. (I can’t wait to read it myself, but I have to finish it first.)
Writing a novel with a continuing cast of characters is like reuniting with old friends. You get to explore what makes them tick, feel their pain, and dream their dreams. As in my prior novels, the creative writing process, at least mine, starts with a story line, and then the characters take over, often leading me to places and situations I never contemplated. Since my characters are far more interesting than I am, I let them take control, and seldom interfere.
On the occasions I have had the opportunity to discuss my books with readers, either in person, or in text exchanges, I have found that they find these products of my imagination as real as I do. They want to know more about their past, and what will happen to them in the future. My editor insists that I make my characters compelling, and that I never fail to consider the intelligence of my readers! Sound advice for sure, but sometimes difficult, at least for me, to execute.