More Lessons From Writing My First Novel – Almost Human

Photo By Gail Fisher, LA Tiimes

Photo By Gail Fisher, LA Tiimes

It is really gratifying to be contacted by so many readers (many are fellow writers) requesting the background story on Almost Human. As a writer, it is a humbling experience to realize your work is reaching out beyond the private and often lonely effort of putting the words on the page.

Recently, I received an email from a reader in Russia (Russia!) who asked were I got the inspiration for Chapter 3, Lester and Girlie. That chapter is based on someone I knew years ago when I worked in the motion picture business who had a unique relationship with an aging chimp. He was an animal trainer in his late seventies or so. The old man and chimp, were a real odd couple, who I enjoyed visiting from time to time. The trainer was old Hollywood and claimed to have worked on many classic movies of the 30’s and 40’s. Also, he claimed that the chimp was Cheetah. Unfortunately, most of us in the animal world questioned the validity of that, but it made for a great story just the same.

Putting his claims aside, their actual relationship was touching. The chimp had the run of the trailer including her own room. Very often she even brought the old trainer coffee. The old man had the endearing habit of talking to her continuously. Their relationship was tender and loving. Clearly, they truly cared for each other in a way that blurred the line between what seemingly should separate them. He saw his chimp as a non-human being, but a being never-the-less.

I based Chapter 3 on this relationship. We, as writers, are hunters and gathers of experiences. We gather and store what we live, waiting for a time when we can re-work and insert those experiences into one of our stories. Simply, I believe a writer must live in a way that gives him material to gather, with the purpose of using it later. We always want to tell, “just one more story.”

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9 thoughts on “More Lessons From Writing My First Novel – Almost Human

  1. Reblogged this on Baja Moto Quest!.

  2. Your stories is always an experience!

    • Coming from you that’s high praise. Many thanks. You have a wonderful eye.

      • I always enjoy a good story. I read a lot, and when I was in school I wrote a lot of short stories..in Swedish. I am trying to improve my English. It is a little challenging to write in the colorful way that my thoughts ran 120mph..lol. Working on it 🙂 You’re writing is good inspiration.

      • Tammy and I be traveling up north on a book signing tour. I managed to talk my agent into sending the books to the different venues so we can ride our motos. I’m calling it “From Baja to Billings. It would be great to stop for coffee if we past your ways when you’re around. Thanks for the kind words. I am inspired by the amazing eye you have. ken

      • YES, please come by!

        Thank you 🙂

  3. I came to you by way of the bookblogger if Matt says something I stop and listen
    I am following you
    From the looks if things I will be back
    As always Sheldon

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