I’m envious. Writers are an envious tribe. I try not to succumb to envy, because my style is what has developed and evolved throughout my life. I bear the scars and achievements of my existence to this point.
In a song, Guy Clark once quoted the rodeo cowboy Larry Mahan thusly: “Mistakes are only horses in disguise. Ain’t no need to ride ‘em over ‘cause you could not ride ‘em different if you tried.”
So, while trying to control my envy, let me say that I deeply admire what Craig A. Hart has done in Being Moon. He has written an extraordinarily well-crafted and superbly plotted novel.
While our tribe is envious by nature, it is also cooperative. We root for one another and try to help. I committed myself to reading Being Moon because Craig committed to reading mine. We didn’t agree to whitewash our respective takes on the other’s novel, and I have no idea what Craig thinks of Crazy of Natural Causes, my latest.
I only know that I raced through his, and it grabbed my attention and kept it. My only misgiving is that it is all too brief, which may wind up being gratifying to the next author on my list. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t know where it was headed but knew I wanted to go there.
The “moon” in the title is Nigel Moon, an aging, successful author who can no longer get it done. Moon is contractually committed to produce one more book, and he wants the young man he encounters in a bar known as The Jesuit to pen it for him. This winds up being deliciously but cruelly ironic.
Every page is a vital part of the tale. Nothing is extraneous. The prose is tight. Becoming Moon is a disciplined work. As my mother used to say, the best meat is closest to the bone.
I cannot say that of Crazy of Natural Causes. I’ve written three novels now. Each began with a basic outline, and I started riffing, adding side tales, reminding myself of where I was going and where I’d been with an outline that grew progressively more detailed as I went along. Then came the bloodletting of the second draft in which I tried to winnow out the extraneous and apply the discipline I disregarded in the original draft.
I may be wrong. I can’t speak for Craig. He may have disguised his flights of fancy, but my impression is that he drew up a tight story at the beginning and abided to the mission. His way is different from mine.
He probably can’t write any other way, and neither can I.
You can buy Craig A. Hart’s Being Moon here: http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Moon-Craig-Hart-ebook/dp/B00XV5R3OW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438537654&sr=1-1&keywords=Becoming+Moon
My books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1