I Recently published my first novel on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. The story began as a 40-page narrative, written soon after my father died suddenly in 2004. At the time, I held a job requiring a good deal of drive time in my car, which gave me time to develop the kernel of an idea about a man’s journey through a Purgatorial landscape with his estranged father.
In my college literature classes, I’d taken a particular interest in Dante’s remarkable epic and its illustration by the nineteenth century woodcut artist, Gustave Dore. These dramatic images from The Divine Comedy had impressed and stimulated my own imagination to such an extent that my own story naturally evolved into a loose retelling of Dante’s work. My novel, A Comfortable Distance, in many ways exists as a tribute to Dante, and at some point in its development that became my intent, weaving in subtle clues of comparison as exemplified in details such as the representative initials of some of the characters’ names: Derrick Anderson (Dante Aleghieri), Bonnie and Beverly (Beatrice), Brother Vincent and Val (Virgil). The “Virgil” characters provide guidance to Derrick in some way or another, and the “Beatrice” characters, both wearing blue and white, assist Derrick and his father with the purity of their prayers, which are symbolized in the protective, blue-and-white irises.
This blog will delve further into features and literary devices of my novel while also turning my “ramblings” toward other projects in the works and assorted issues concerning the writing life.