Book #6-The Cobalt Legacy

Shit, man. I don't know about you, but just blogging about the books I've written is exhausting. It's a good thing I never knew how much work all this would entail, back when I was 15 and shiny-eyed, or I might have just gone into marketing and hauled in the big bucks until I hit my mid-forties, realized the soulless nature of my life while sipping cognac in my Martha Vineyard summer home, and laughed my soulless ass off.

So, my sixth book, The Cobalt Legacy. I started with the premise of a young man recovering from a shattering instance of domestic violence (his father killed his mother, then himself) and this young man inherits a castle. Yes, that's right. A freaking castle. In the woods of western Pennsylvania. Did you know there are over 120 castles in America? Not ancient castles, but there are castles nonetheless. I wrote The Cobalt Legacy as my master's thesis while at Hamline University, and while I thought it turned out pretty good, it seems that's it's a tough nut to sell on the old publishing market. So it'll probably just stay in my backlog, and hopefully it's the last book I ever write that doesn't get published, because this one was a lot of work, a lot of castle-based research (I even went to England, Ireland, and France, where I toured me some castles). This book also featured two lively Russians, Nikolai & Fenya, caretakers of Cobalt Castle.

From The Cobalt Legacy:

We found a diner called The Bear Trap. Exactly the dive I had hoped for. Nikolai sniffed the smoky air like he didn’t like the atmosphere, but I could already taste boysenberry syrup. Our hostess seated us in an orange vinyl booth. I took out my pack of smokes and offered one to Nikolai. He shook his head no. I shrugged and smoked without him as we waited for our waitress. “Flies,” Nikolai said, leaning toward me. “It is January, and there are flies in this restaurant.”
“So?” I tapped the ash off my cigarette. “Flies add to the ambiance of a good greasy spoon. Without flies, this place might as well be a bland, strip mall restaurant.”
“Flies are not clean. Every time they land, they shit.”
“Don’t we all, don’t we all.”
Our waitress appeared. Fresh pink face, blond hair tied back in a ponytail, and sleepy green eyes. She looked around eighteen, nineteen years old, and even though I was only twenty-five myself, just looking at her made me feel like a rusted-out old man. Had I looked that young only six years ago? Jesus Christ.
“Miss,” Nikolai said, tapping the table with one of his thick fingers. “There are flies in this room.”
The waitress cocked her head. “Flies?”
“Flies,” Nikolai said. The waitress glanced around the restaurant as if she’d never seen it before.
“I don’t see any,” she said. “Are you, like, ready to order?”
“Sure,” I began, “I’d like Pigs in a Blanket—”
“A fly sits on your head as we speak.”
The waitress took a step back from our table. Nikolai was right. An obese housefly was sitting on her head, nestled in the golden strands of her hair. Nikolai sighed.
“A fly shits on your head, and you only stand like statue.”
The waitress swatted at her head with her ordering pad. The fly didn’t move. In fact, it looked even more resolved not to move.
“That fly shits on your head, and soon it will fly back to kitchen, where it will shit on all our food. Your food, too, perhaps. You will see.”
The waitress glanced from Nikolai to me. “What? What the heck is he talking about?”
“Don’t worry about it,” I said. “He’s been eating too many hot dogs. Could I have Pigs In a Blanket and a cup of coffee, please?”
“Sure.” The waitress scribbled on her note pad and peeked at Nikolai.
“I want nothing from this place,” Nikolai said, raising his big hands in the air. “It disgusts me.”
The waitress fled towards the kitchen, her blond ponytail swishing the air behind her. “She did not listen,” Nikolai said, sitting back in his seat and crossing his arms. “She does not understand about flies.”
I stubbed out my cigarette.
“What’s your fucking problem, man? She’s not running this place.”
Nikolai hunched over his coffee. His blue eyes gleamed. I thought of Grigori Rasputin, the mad Russian monk who refused to be killed.
“That is no excuse,” Nikolai said. “Any job worth doing is worth doing well. I would not be surprised to find hair in our food, maybe spit even. They do not understand Decay. They do not understand laziness is allowing Decay to creep across our world, to enter the cracks left open.”


Blogagaard said...

The Cobalt Legacy is also the only book I've written with a first person narrator. The "I" voice is very hard to maintain over the entire length of a novel, especially for me. The whole time I just want to cut loose with smart ass comments.

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