Hello, Columbus. Hey, New Orleans.

This will be a short blog. Not much new, it’s a beautiful day in Puerto Vallarta, and I’m going for a walk on the beach. But first… a short story, and then, a heartfelt thanks.

First the story. Ran into some neighbors this week. They told me were talking to a close friend of theirs in Columbus, Ohio; mentioned their new neighbor, me, the fact that I was a published author and that they had recently read several of my books. The friend in Columbus asked,

“Would his name be David Lyons?”

Answer, “Yes.”

“Our Book Club just bought his first book, Ice Fire. We love it. I noticed he lives in Puerto Vallarta.”

So, our mutual friend will ensure that we meet when this reader comes to visit. That’s a short story, but a meaningful one to an author struggling for recognition in the competitive and rapidly changing world of publishing. Hello, Columbus.

Now a heartfelt thanks. I know I’m late to the party, but I have recently tried to increase my activity on Facebook. The response from the good people of New Orleans to this effort has been overwhelming and very much appreciated. I love your town and have visited your city enough times over the years to probably qualify for honorary citizenship – except that such a welcoming status is automatically conferred on everyone who comes to the Big Easy, immediately on arrival. In my imagination, I visit N.O. daily, as it is the backdrop of my Jock Boucher thriller series. No wonder I love writing.

That’s it for today. Have a wonderful week.

David

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Desultory, a Writer’s Ramblings

Desultory – it’s my word for the day. I was looking for a synonym for rambling, which I knew in advance this blog would be – for reasons I will get around to sooner or later. But I associate rambling with physical movement more than mental gyrations; i.e. rambling rose, rambling boy, etc. I came across desultory, which has always lurked in the high grass of my vocabulary, vaguely familiar, but a word whose gist I gleaned from context, too lazy to look it up. Because desultory sounds like sultry, I probably ascribed a similar meaning. Boy was I wrong. It’s the synonym I sought; right on target. It means inconsistent, disconnected, digressing. What’s really cool is its Latin origin, pertaining to a circus performer who jumps from one horse to another. I thought of ‘saltar,’ which is the Spanish verb for jump, recalling that the language stems from Arabic, Greek and ta-da, Latin. But I digress. Why did I think this blog would be, ahem, desultory? Because I am at this moment procrastinating, which is in itself well, you know. I should be working on my novel. Instead I am writing this fitful gibberish. You see, I’m frustrated. I’m at a turning point in my plot. I’ve been at this turning point for over a week, making my daily word count, but rounding a corner instead of making a 90 degree turn, and the arc is ever widening. I’ve written about 25% of the book – it always astounds me that I know almost to the page how long my unwritten novel will be (note the desultory observation), even though I don’t know how I will end the current chapter. My protagonist is in peril and I need to let the reader know who the bad guys really are and what world-changing chaos they have planned. I’m getting to all that, but along comes a totally unexpected character who is demanding a role in the story, and I like this guy. I like him well enough to make him a future protagonist in his own mystery or thriller. (To me, the difference between the two is the degree to which you imperil your protagonist. Miss Marple rarely faces life-threatening situations in Ms. Christie’s mysteries, while James Bond risks life and genitals to save the planet in Ian Fleming’s thrillers). Enjoying your characters as you write them is one of the great things about creating fiction, but character development is not on the list of sundry topics I’m flitting over in today’s disjointed rumination. So what am I trying to say? Not much. Writing is fun, even escapist, and this little epistle has certainly been that, but writing is also work, and I need to get back to mine. As always, thank you for reading. I’ll try not to be so desultory next time. P.S. I am pleased to say that my latest novel, Waters of Oblivion, the third in the Jock Boucher thriller series, has been called ‘a must read,’ and ‘a great espionage thriller’ by Suspense Magazine. It is available in ebook format through Amazon, Apple, B&N, and Kobo at a special holiday price. To enter my contest to win a new Kindle ebook reader, go to my website davidlyonsauthor.com. Best to all, David Lyons

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Riding the Bull

I’m allowing myself a brief look back, a moment of reflection. I’ve just finished a novel titled ‘Waters of Oblivion – A Jock Boucher Thriller.’ It will be released in e-book format in two weeks. It’s a strange mixture of emotions I feel, the hesitancy in sending my offspring into the world to face friend or foe on its own, hoping I’ve given my progeny the tools to deal with the vicissitudes of a fickle public, offering faith and prayers for its acceptance. Knowing you’ve done your best doesn’t mean you couldn’t have done it different, and even now nagging thoughts about what I might have changed try to lodge themselves in my consciousness. These thoughts must be ignored. My baby has left home. It is no longer my own.

It seems such a long time ago that I began the novel. I recall the beginning. I had an idea for the theme, the use of light waves to replace radio frequencies for military data transfer, and it was so central to the plot I had planned to use it in the title. But a funny thing happened on the way to the ending, another theme inserted itself and it was a bull. I could have tried to grab it by the horns and wrestle it to the ground, but instead I jumped on its back and rode it to the buzzer. The book I began was not the book I finished. The two themes conjoined. The bull rode the light waves and the book became Waters of Oblivion.

What also goaded me on, my research into this new topic – which I cannot reveal here without giving too much away – included commentaries and dire, one might say apocalyptic, predictions from leading international political scientists. Furthermore, alarming headlines in the daily news reaffirmed how current was this theme I was addressing. The importance and timeliness of the subject definitely influenced my decision to get this thriller out there in e-book format as soon as possible, rather than wait the 12 – 18 months necessary for traditional hard cover or paperback production. Tomorrow’s headlines make for much better political thrillers than yesterday’s news.

Now it’s done, and I’m about to leap into yet another novel. Once again, I know my beginning, a lone skier’s deadly race down a snow-covered mountain. Once again, I have a challenging theme, and once again I have no clue how I’m going to fill 350-400 pages between beginning and end. But remember the story about the optimist, the boy who wades into a room full of manure yelling ‘There’s a pony in here somewhere.’ I waded into that room. I found a bull.

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About This Author

On reaching the final edit of my next novel, (more on that soon) I decided to revise my ‘About the Author’ page, in an attempt to make it more personable. I thought I’d share it. Here goes.

One thing that strikes me as I take a reflective view of my life so far is how much my past has led me to the endeavor in which I am now engaged – an author of action and adventure thriller novels.

I was born in England, raised in the United States and around the world, my childhood travels dictated by my father’s job. My adult globe-trotting was the result of my own career choice, international law. In my profession, I traveled extensively, met and worked with government and business leaders around the planet; with allegedly legal arms dealers, with potentates and poseurs; some of the most colorful, charismatic and occasionally dangerous men on earth. I did not realize I was constructing a reservoir of recollections that would someday provide fodder for my fiction. For whether I take the reader on a walk through New Orleans’ French Quarter, the basements of the US Capitol, the grand hotels of Europe, or a prince’s palace in Arabia, I am dipping into my own well of memories. Most of my reminiscences are pleasant – but not all. Occasionally I recall a certain event in my life and ask, how did I get myself into that mess? Or, more importantly, how did I get myself out?

But they were fascinating years – and I sure did log those frequent flyer miles.

Nowadays, my productive hours are spent at the computer, my beloved cat asleep on my desk, as I sift through my past and apply it to my fictional characters’ present. Not necessarily productive but most fulfilling, I still engage in a life-long hobby of haunting piano and karaoke bars and singing my favorite standards. As long as they let me in the door, I imagine I’ll continue to indulge my passion for the popular song. If you’re ever in town, you should be able to find me close to the nearest piano. And if you’ve read and enjoyed my work, be sure to tell me so I can express my sincere gratitude. I might even sing you a song.

Thank you for reading.

David Lyons

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Ice Fire, A Thriller by David Lyons – When Fiction Becomes Fact

Just in time for the release of my novel in paperback, as reported in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and major energy related media, Japan announced the first successful extraction of a new energy source from the ocean floor, methane hydrate. Many experts are calling this a global game-changer.

This quest forms much of the plot of my novel Ice Fire. Methane hydrate has been popular in fiction of late, also contributing to the story line of the revived TV series, Dallas. Years ago, Clive Cussler tackled the subject. Exploring the ocean floor for an almost inexhaustable supply of energy does stir the imagination. Now it is no longer merely the stuff of fiction.

Methane hydrate is natural gas encased in ice crystal, formed at great pressure and low temperatures at the bottom of the sea. It is estimated there is more than twice as much methane hydrate as all other carbon based forms of energy combined. Numerous countries and the largest energy companies have had research and development projects to exploit this resource under way for years. Methane is a much cleaner burning fuel than oil or coal, leaving less of a carbon footprint. That said, it is also a greenhouse gas, and extracting it from the ocean floor may destabilize the sea bed, with potentially dire consequences. But ask any West Texas oil field worker over the past century and he’ll tell you no form of energy comes without cost.

How would the world be changed if economic powers like Japan, China and India no longer had to rely on exports for their energy needs? Would the Middle East become less of a strategic hot spot if nations were no longer forced to look solely to that tempestuous region for their oil? Could a cleaner burning fuel clear China’s skies? Questions worth pondering.

But Ice Fire wasn’t meant to address the major problems of the world. It’s a page-turning romp through New Orleans and the French Quarter featuring as protagonist a renegade Cajun judge who does not limit his justice to the courtroom. It’s about his fight against a villian who plans to exploit methane hydrate from the sea bed in a careless, dangerous manner.

It’s a thriller, not prophesy. Still, it’s fun for an author when you get the timing right.

Thanks, and enjoy your reading.

David Lyons

Ice Fire is available in hard cover, Ebook, audio book, and now paperback.

 

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