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The Wrong Places (WP) is a comedy of manners masquerading as a mystery. Written by the point-of-view character, Marcel Maki, it is the story of a few weeks in his life, and also the story of his life. No, I'm not Marc. His style isn't mine, not at all.
The novel started as an unabashed effort to write "product", a commercial novel--crap of the sort sought by the big New York publishing houses. I couldn't do it. Guess I'll never be a "real" mystery writer; it takes a particular turn of mind, and judging from WP, mine twists instead. The underpinning of WP is an outright steal. My apologies to Shakespeare. No, I'm not saying which play--that would be giving things away, like maybe the ending.
While I'm not him, like Marc I'm a bit on the lazy side. I spent years creating Noronto, the city in "The Image of Christian". Kind of liked the place so I just outright stole from myself, used and added to it. Since writing those books I've given up the clever masquerade and openly write in Toronto, with a few neighbourhoods, buildings, people and gods added.
Some people have accused me of writing a "literary mystery". That I deny. If you must stick that label on anyone, reserve it for P.D. James. WP is the antithesis of literary--it's "R is for Repetition" meets Monty Python. If your university puts WP on the curriculum, demand a refund--of your tuition that is, not from me. I am not responsible.
WP was "easier" to write than my first novel, The Image of Christian (IOC). Only three complete rewrites and endless fiddling with some bits. Its structure is not as complex and I did have a rough plot outline before I started--not that I actually kept to it. Also, some mistakes I made with IOC I avoided the second time. WP isn't as over populated and not as many of the characters insisted on being someone other than the person I wrote.
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