Pardon My Commercial…
Been away for a few months. Dealing with life’s rich pageant. But to paraphrase Gene Autry, “I’m back in the swivel chair again!” The good news is, I have not forsaken my compulsive, addictive, obsessive need to scribble words on the cathode ray page. Truth is, I have spun more yarns over the last year than any other 12-month period of my life. And one that I am exceedingly excited about is the eighth book in CD Publications’ wonderful “Signature Series” – a little ditty I like to call The Miniaturist.
Let me explain. I like to cook. It’s a hobby. I know actual chefs, and I would not in a month of Sunday dinners pretend to count myself among this gonzo fraternity. Being a chef takes a special brand of creativity, courage, stamina, taste, the ability to curse a blue streak, and a willingness to work for minimum wage. But I do dig futzing around the kitchen. My specialties are slow-cooked fare: Pork shoulder, short ribs, gumbo, brisket, pot roast, and veal shanks.
However… the origin of The Miniaturist comes from the same place you go to get a good sauce.
First you create a tantalizing hybrid by incorporating disparate ingredients – say veal stock, sage, Pinot Grigio, rosemary, and lemon juice – and then you whisk the hell out of it. For The Miniaturist I incorporated three genres that I love: Hard-boiled noir, high fantasy, and Lovecraftian pulp… and then I whisked it like crazy. Finally I applied the most important step: Heat. I raised the temperature through a classic suspense structure.
As with all good pan sauces, the heat can do something magical. It reduces the liquid into a silky, succulent ambrosia. Reduction intensifies all the flavors.
The Miniaturist – in its cooking stage – got reduced from a planned novel into a very concentrated, intense, savory novella. And I hope it is as delicious to read as it was to cook up!
But no meal is worth its salt without a great table setting… and no chef is worth a damn without a great wait staff and environment in which to serve it all up (also known as “the front of the house”). The front of this house – Cemetery Dance Publications – sets an amazing table. With original illustrations by the great Vincent Chong, and a haunting cover, this little novelette is a bargain for collectors and casual readers alike. Check it out! (Click image for ordering information.)