Behind the Book



The title—A Time of Season—is a derivative of the title of one of my all time favorite movies, A Clockwork Orange, and though I've never read the book, written by Anthony Burgess, to me the movie illustrates the axiom that what goes around comes around. A Time of Season, however, embodies the dictum that says, "All things in time," and it strives to show that we accomplish our purpose in life whether we seek to do it or not and that to some, their purpose is given to know, which leads me to ask this question: How much of fiction is actually fiction?

Of course, only the writer of a given piece of fiction can answer that question, and I'm thinking that most writers would not answer it because of the effort required to infuse a work of fiction with at least a grain of believability.

However—and in violation of the edict don't justify testify, which was the watchword among members of the New Watts Writers Workshop to which I once belonged—I'll say that A Time of Season is at least 60 percent truth and 40 percent fiction, and that's not based on how many of the book's events are true verses how many are fiction, but on which has the greatest impact, those that are true or those that are not. As to what part is true and what part is fiction I'll leave to the reader. Sufficient is this word to the wise, that an open mind be kept—and choose well.

The characters in A Time of Season represent various aspects of myself. Vance Rance, aka Novice Young, reflects what I detest the most, not just growing older, but rather, being at the mercy of those who are younger, those who are able to get around, to see, do, and to speak of things, while I sit, ponder and reminisce, unable to replenish my store of experiences, a point that I hope to avoid reaching.

CarWren CarDavis, said to be abandoned by her mother, represents what happened to me, though I wouldn't say I was abandoned. Outsourced to others in the family and made a ward of the state at one time or other would be more exact. My mother was a good person but I don't even know what her maiden name was. As for my father, I believe having never known him has become my strength.

Caprell CarDavis, CarWren's beautiful, sexy, uncompromising mother, reminds me of Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada." Too bad I didn't think about that as I was writing the book because if I had, Caprell's characterization is sure to have been deepened, and perhaps she would have been made a little older than her thirty-seven years. Although still, Caprell is that part of me that'll never give up trying to do what I set for myself to achieve.

Steven Chillson is me as I might have been if I had gotten an education. He's smart, articulate, he appreciates the finer things in life, yet can also get down and dirty. At first, I had cast him to be a former Ivy League boxing champion who would goad Vash into a fist fight that Vash would turn into an octagon type brawl. That, however, would have meant making the book longer, and being an old guy, I need more time. Besides, as Steven King wrote in his Memoir of the Craft—Steven King On Writing: ...the shorter the book, the less the bullshit.

James Jay O'Connor, though an older man, is the younger me, womanizer, cheater, weak-willed and vaginally-oriented, shallow yet sensitive and remorseful. A man wanting to do the right thing, but finding the wrong things more enjoyable. Still, I like O'Connor, which means that, despite my shortcomings, I like myself.

Anon. I'll give a hundred dollars to anyone who can tell me what Anon's picture is made of. Oops, someone has. It's made of tree bark, and the remarkable thing is that on the day I took that picture I was certain I would find just the face I coveted. I was working security at a library southwest of downtown Los Angeles. A secluded place surrounded by a seven foot brick wall, it's open only to serious researchers, professors, scholarly students, and to all of them by appointment. I wish I could get in there and see if Anon's face remains on that tree, although I suspect Mother Nature by now has taken it away. A shame if she has because Anon is that desolate, paradoxical—want to be philosophical—side of me, desiring significant others, though loving solitude, etcetera, etcetera.

Jak Fridy is every slight, real or imagined, that I have ever experienced. Such as when I was told by a Veteran's Administration counselor that I should try for a career a bit more practical than becoming a writer, "Like a janitor," she said, which I did become. I was good too. Good enough that when I told the foreman I was quitting, and he then told his superiors, they said to him that he either retain my services or lose his job. I know that's true because he offered to trade places with me—to make me foreman and he the worker. Jak Fridy, to continue, was pure poetic inspiration in the way that he looked as he was awaiting the bus. Eventually, he stopped riding, and I wonder what ever happened to him.

Sand. Genuine, fun loving, and quick to smile. I see her now and then, though not since the book hit the shelves. She's the girl shy-guys think about later on in life and wish they had hit on in high school. I would like to think that I share Sand's guileless personality. She was a damn good bus driver too, as I think I was.

SyndLia Tehran. She's every hooker that I've ever dealt with. Not that she was a bad person but—'nuff said.

The Travelers. I can't help but feel that I will see them again...and that... maybe you should get ready.

Finally, I give thanks to acclaimed author Tom Wolfe, who once said, "There are lots of books about writers writing about writers writing about writers, but none of them ever do any writing." When I read that, I said my book would be about a writer who actually writes. I believe that with A Time of Season I achieved that, never mind that it took me 22 years to do it. My dilemma now is what now? I have told friends that I will not be writing another book though just the other day an idea for another book came from out of nowhere. "Death Insurance." A suspense thriller. I think I'll go and check out some Alfred Hitchcock.

 

__________Charles HunnaHustla__________