Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Why I wrote The Caretaker of Lorne Field
"I became a Zeltserman fan after I read his superb noir trilogy SMALL CRIMES, PARIAH and KILLER. When I heard that he'd written a darkly funny horror (for want of a better genre definition) novel, I was curious -- of course -- but doubted it could top the trilogy. I was wrong. THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD is a masterclass in character development, suspense and reader manipulation. Frightening, funny and poignant, it blends the cosmic horror of H. P. Lovecraft with the down-homey terror of Stephen King at his best. CARETAKER is one of my books of the year."--Roger Smith, author of Mixed Blood and Wake Up Dead
Before writing Caretaker, I had written a lot of short crime fiction and five crime novels. So why write a book that's somewhere between an allegorical fable and a horror novel? Well, here's the reason. My wife and I had moved to a house where we had a black locust tree with this root system that spread all over our front yard and the side of our house. Hundreds of these little weeds would pop up every day from this root system, and they'd grow like crazy. If you didn't pull them out, within days they'd be about six inches, and within a week they'd start to develop thorns. If you didn't take care of it, you'd have a forest of black locust trees. So every day during the summer I'd walk back and forth across our lawn pulling out 100s of these suckers. After a couple of years of this I told my wife I was going to write a book about these weeds. She told me I was nuts. So that was why I had to write Caretaker!
The Newsday review for The Caretaker of Lorne Field is now up on my publisher's blog.