I have written in a variety of formats – non-fiction, short story, novel, screenplay, poetry – and learned gradually that my form is the narrative trilogy.
An early novel, Faster, written in 1994, is an autobiographical piece centered on Buzz biking from London to Morocco. And while there was an arc, it was incomplete.The character was left hanging, adrift. And there had to be something next.
And so I wrote Through – Buzz now traveling across Canada with his young family. I knew almost immediately that the work was a bridge to something else. And Out was clear from the outset, Buzz systematically losing everything he could – money, family, health – until there was nothing left, just Buzz, and that was the end. All of it together was Buzz, which became a template over the years, leading to my present work, the science fiction trilogy Anori.
I wrote Buzz in three installments, one per year, 1996-99. Leaving documents the main character’s younger years, cycling across Europe to burn off a broken heart. A yellow road turned inland from Valencia, went up into the hills and onto the plateau of La Mancha. The climb out of Chiva was hard, four vast switchbacks to the ridge, a burnt-out tractor-trailer wreck beneath a sign welcoming visitors to the heart of Spain. Sad dusty trees teetered beside rocks and weathered white-washed houses. Maybe here he wouldn’t see so many dead dogs.
Through is a piece in stasis, offering only the illusion of getting anywhere. The monster blackness in the corner of the room, ripping the roof off, vertigo and on forever, beautiful and tiny like a bar of soap, just under foot, holding it, dinosaurs across the island and his mother’s best friend lying with him naked bent over backwards, the curtains and the phone ringing, on a boat, a really nice boat with a super big flag and clean bathrooms or in tatters and leaking a bit.
And Out is the final dissolution, what it is to have thrown everything away for no reason at all. I was trying to understand, meaning to do it right, holding her eyes perfect, leave nothing, not myself, not jumping, not dead, not there, and then just stupid, loving her, stuck in myself, stuck stupid and sad.