While holiday shopping at Urban Outfitters, Katie found a book titled 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. She thought it would be a great idea if the two of us started going through this book, picking topics on which to write. Katie writes with pen and paper. I write with a laptop.

Our first question is:

Write a letter to the reader of a novel you haven’t finished yet

which works for me for as of yet I haven’t finished the Book of Blues Prequel or Sequel and she wanted to know more about the unfinished works. My answer to her is as follows:

Dear, reader (Katie),

Thank you for taking an interest in my unwritten books of blues. Good to see you’re the one fan I have :-).

The prequel & sequel came about because the Book of Blues I wrote was so filled with information that it was spilling out the sides. There were two chapters in it – Chapter 2 & Chapter 42 – that were so overloaded with information that upon further study they both warranted their own foundation and prose if ever the time came about to finish them. Over time it became readily apparent that in order to properly tell the story, those two elements would need to be told. In order to tell them properly, with banter and descriptions and backstories, they would each need their own starting and stopping points from which a trilogy could be made. The best part of it all is that it means those Characters I spent years developing get to have a life beyond one book. I became so attached to them and if history has ever any better teller of truths than a singular existential moment, then it would show that glarings over my inability to let anything go – a righteous anger I’d prefer to call it – get to be rewarded for a change.


But the thought that those beautiful band of misfits, that island of misfit blues bands that grew their own legends in my own mind, the fact they get to travel more and play more and touch more people and create a little more mischief…well, that’ll be worth all the effort leading up to this moment. And if life is at all kind to me, I can get back to the Prequel by this summer and have it finished by this time next year.


Thank you for taking time to ask. And thank you for not snoring as I wrote this – not that you ever do. I will hold you to your response to the above question in the morning. And, by the way, Happy New Year, my love.


With a belly full of herbal tea and ice water,



These topics are going to be fun.

Your turn

What would you say in a letter to the reader of a novel you haven’t written yet?

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