7. The BluePosted: April 3, 2017
Poor Traits of an Artist as a Young Man: The Blue
I wasn’t about to stop writing, but Ten Minutes to Midnight wore me out. I was exhausted with trying to chase success, with trying to fit a mold. So when it came time to write another novel, I was sick of trying to bend to trends. That only led me to failure.
It is a book that contains my deepest fears and insights on humans and human interaction. The Blue follows the path of Derek, an alcoholic and struggling painter who finds himself stricken with face-blindness, a real disability in which the sufferer cannot recognize anyone by their appearance. Not even themselves.
Isolated by his condition, Derek finds himself in the center of a legal battle over a car crash which resulted in the death of a mother and her children. He’s hunted by the surviving members of the family, ostracized, and left struggling with the nature of reality itself.
It is my shortest book, at around 50,000 words. I also further developed my style; rather than the flashback/forward structure of [sic], I wrote in one uninterrupted first-person narrative. The reader lives the book with the narrator.
The Blue is my choppiest book, in that I stayed away from semi-colons and dashes but stuck with small, simple sentences. It’s a divisive style, and it will bother some people. Others love it, and my biggest fans tend to swear by The Blue as my best work.
At one point, it was the #1 most downloaded free e-book on all of Amazon.com. It’s been downloaded around 80,000 times. By a weird coincidence, I met NYT bestselling author John Lescroart through a mutual friend who’d sent him The Blue. He was impressed by the book, and we talked on the phone about it.
I love it. I’m happy to take stylistic risks. The Blue is probably my personal favorite of my novels. The reviews are mixed, but then the reviews are mixed on some of what I consider to be the greatest books ever written. This is the sort of novel that speaks to me the most.
For the next entry in the Poor Traits series, click here.