Crypt Complete in the Great Outdoors
Posted Sun, 08/11/19
I finished writing The Crypt Artist at precisely 3:11pm on Monday, August 5, 2019. As usual, I celebrated with a cigarette and a nip of hooch.
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Above: Writing and completing "The Crypt Artist."
I'd been camping for four days and had spent much of it scribbling in my notepad, more focused than I'd been in many months, probably due to being completely out of cell phone range. However, the serene beauty of the location was not lost on me. It was quiet and secluded, and for the majority of time without interruption from a living soul. It also helped that I was staying in an extremely comfortable trailer, which is about the size of my former apartment.
Above, left to right: Beautiful pond located in Murdock Basin, Utah (2); riding an ATV and flipping the bird; by the campfire with hot toddies; sudden storm clouds the second day in; and Hot air balloons on Parley's Summit, Utah. Click on images to view larger sizes in a new window.
I did manage to take a break now and then, such as riding an ATV on rocky roads and through water and mud puddles, star-gazing at night by a campfire with a whiskey hot toddy, and watching dark thunderstorms roll in at a moment's notice. I never thought I'd like the great outdoors to such an extent - until now I've thought of myself as an air-conditioned hotel room type of gal - but actually enjoyed myself immensely. Food even tastes better in the wilderness, as does that first cup of coffee in the morning when the temperature dips below 40F.
Above, left to right: "Roughing" it in the Uinta Mountains, and breakfast in the great outdoors (Potatoes O'Brien, turkey sausage and scrambled eggs). Click on images to view larger sizes in a new window.
Back to The Crypt Artist . . .
Aside from inserting some extra scenes already written weeks ago, The Crypt Artist is complete. The book took me about two-and-a-half years to write, from start to finish. If I can keep to my self-enforced schedule, estimated final manuscript stage after the editing process should come by October at the latest - unless there are any changes or last-minute brainstorms, which has been known to happen on occasion.
There are three people I'd like to thank before everything else gets lost in the shuffle. The Crypt Artist would have never come to fruition without their suggestions, encouragement and friendship. For that, I am deeply grateful.
First, thanks goes to my longtime friend Tracy Jon Powell. Some of his ideas brought forth my inspiration for The Crypt Artist storyline. While I did all of the writing, he also deserves credit for giving me initial brainwaves in the first place.
One day a few years ago, Tracy - a Native American artist of great talent - talked to me about a book he was writing. The story involved the many months he spent homeless on the streets of Salt Lake City. Somehow or other, our discussion led to fiction writing, which is when he gave me the initial idea for The Crypt Artist. He suggested a story about a starving artist making a living from doing replications. We tossed about ideas for a few days before I actually started writing the beginnings of the story, and then my imagination took flight.
The scenes and dialogues came fast and furious after that, such as adding a selection of eccentric ghosts (four of which were also artists with one Irish poet), whose main purpose was to help the main character overcome some of his personal demons. I researched different areas and decided SoHo, New York was the best setting for the story. The main character's "loft" had all of the charm of a dumpster, yet still remained the perfect setting for his creativity and the creatures surrounding him (human and non-human alike).
Special thanks also goes to my dear friend Brendan Gallagher from Birr, County Offaly, Ireland. He gave me several quirks for the character Malachy O'Leary (including the basis for his drunken lamppost scene). Brendan's humorous "ideas" came from incidents he witnessed with real characters in his hometown of Birr, making them all the more hilariously funny. His re-telling of them put me in stitches.
For example, Brendan sent me a photo of a man talking to a lamppost in England, where he now lives. Brendan had been waiting to catch a train, and a man who was three sheets to the wind approached him, asking for a cigarette. And then proceeded to have a conversation with a nearby lamppost. I was on the phone with Brendan at the time, and heard every word of the exchange. This is what inspired a similar scene with Malachy O'Leary in The Crypt Artist. Click on the images below to view their larger sizes in a new window.
Above images (C)Brendan Gallagher.
And last, but not least, thanks to Jerry Dalton for guessing female ghosts are subtly more viscous than their male counterparts and for giving me the idea for Malachy O'Leary's pet feline Hissy Pissy (pictured below), who happens to be real and very much alive.
If anyone ever wondered about my use of the writing pseudonym Deidre Dalton, now the truth is finally revealed. ;)
Above: Hissy Dalton.
Although these aforementioned people are diametric opposites in personality, and would probably hate each other on sight, I'm grateful to all three of them in so many different ways. Each one has been a direct positive influence on my life over time, which is something I will never forget. And I sincerely hope they remain part of my life for many years to come.
Above, left to right: Tracy Jon Powell, Brendan Gallagher and Jerry Dalton.
I have quite a few things on the back-burner as the editing process for The Crypt Artist gets in motion, including Glinhaven, Bloodlust, Blood & Soul, and In the Shadow of the King. I've also had some general conversation with my publisher about a sequel to Celtic Remnants. So if my stamina holds, next year will be quite busy indeed.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
*Related Blog Posts: Crypt-A-Coming (10/07/19); Crypt Final (10/06/19); Writing, Editing, Et Al (08/16/19); Crypt Complete in the Great Outdoors (08/11/19); Release Revisions (11/29/18); Crypt Writing (06/10/18).