In the Beginning

Like many novels, I suppose, Blood Money began as an affair of the heart. Unlike most, though, the roots of the Mackie McKay series are anchored in academia.


When I was young boy of six, still enamored with Star Wars and Legos, my father dedicated a book to my siblings and me entitled Coronary Artery Disease: Recognition and Management. Even as the text of the thick green book remained largely inscrutable, the idea of being an author’s son enchanted me. Often during my formative years, I would remove the tome from the shelf and simple hold it, feeling the weighty importance  of bound words. Only later would I appreciate the process of producing such a work.


Twenty five years later, in the early-morning hours of infancy, I abandoned the hope of more sleep and began to write. I was no more prepared for the disciplines of authorship than those of parenting, but I pressed forward anyway. I soon realized that my muse would meet me after diaper changes and often stay until sunrise. At the quiet kitchen table in our Cincinnati home, disparate chapters accumulated. By the time our second child was born, I had completed what I thought must be the next great American novel.


Enter the heart again.


An author and cardiology colleague of my father’s helped me interpret the meaning of a first draft and the importance of revision. Sending me to meet with a team of seasoned scribes in Santa Barbara, I learned how to polish that first manuscript and where to search for the next novel within me. My wife indulged my fictional fantasies, quite certain that the words “author” or “re-write” were never even whispered during our courtship.


Like so many affairs of the heart, this one is only possible because of the patience and persistence of those who’ve shared this journey with me.


And it all began at home.


Thanks, Dad. This one’s for you.