I’m a little surprised that I’m almost ready to publish Cronic. I finished writing/editing it about seven years ago and eventually, due to lack of interest from publishing houses, set it aside. I remember spending a lot of time working on it, researching, editing, and listening to tons of Springsteen. I’ve written maybe four novels since then, but this is the one that my wife remembers. She’s encouraged me so much over the years, and graciously puts up with my mental absence when I’m writing, and my muttered curses when it’s not going well. She enjoys reading most of my stuff, but Cronic was and is her favorite. So I thought about it, opened up the document file, and started reading. And it still holds up… a pleasant surprise! The language is a lot rougher than Ordinary Handsome, and there are a few graphic (and violent) sexual scenes that I honestly don’t remember writing. Seven years is a lot time, and my voice has become quieter and calmer. I’ve become more introspective over the years, and the difference between the two novels is very obvious.
Stephen King said that his Richard Bachman books were “Stephen King without a conscience”. He felt he could write more freely under a pseudonym, without any of the expectations or prejudices of his mainstream work. I guess I could say that Cronic is an angrier, more terrifying book than anything previous or since. Me without a conscience? Sure, why not?
I’ll post some excerpts over the next few days before launching. I’m still reading it and doing some fine tuning, but I don’t want to change the tone or flavor of it. Mostly it will remain as I originally intended: raw language in a violent Springsteenian (?!?) world.