Bernard Zakheim was my friend and mentor. When I began to write over forty years ago, his encouragement was all important. Every writer should be so lucky.
In 1979 Bernard challenged me to write Tractored Out to accompany his painting of the same name, a painting inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. The moment I first saw it — leaning against a wall in a leaky shed at Farm Arts in Sebastopol — it spoke to me just as Steinbeck’s writing had. Bernard, who’d rubbed shoulders with Steinbeck, Hemingway, and Marc Chegall, and studied with Diego Rivera in Mexico, wanted to foster my emotional connection to his work. Finding words to match his images did just that.
No, I didn’t actually get to write with Jack London recently, but I got to do the next best thing, spending an afternoon in the Author’s Circle at Wake Robin Lodge, where he shared the first draft of Call of the Wild for the first time. Jack’s collection of traveling stories, The Road, was very much on my mind, because the first chapter of my own road novel, River of Steel has just been excerpted by The Write Launch. Follow the link and come along for the ride!
Thanks to you, just this week my suspense novel, A Matter of Time, surpassed 1,000 downloads! It is thrilling to see so many people reading and enjoying this book . . . as writers that is what we live for.