Note from Michael Walker
(*with italicized comments
from Patrick Boast)
*In the novel, Promisetown Tales,
Patrick Boast is the Pulitzer Prize winning author
who was once the lover of Cynthia Wiles Hemingway.
In May of 2001, a series of personal and
worldwide events convinced me to stop writing the on-line
novel, Promisetown Tales. Some of these included the
sudden and unexpected death of someone dear to me, various
and sundry political events, and overwork (I was then
writing a weekly real estate column, working a day job,
and a few other Herculean tasks.)
Without any advance notice, I ceased
writing on all fronts and closed Promisetown Tales and its
characters from my mind, the world, the ethers.
Or did I?
Since that time, wounds have healed
(leaving the expected scar tissues), I started to slowly
understand the futility involved in worrying about things
I have no control over, and I managed to begin and see the
launching of my website, dreamwalkergroup.com.
But the most important thing of all is
that the characters in Promisetown Tales had started to
rattle the chain link fence that was separating my mind
from my muses.
Cynthia, Maxwell, Ruby -- and even the
mysterious Patrick Boast, wanted their stories revealed.
I ignored them at first, these vermin,
relegating them to the back burner of my conscious mind.
But every day, for months, I'd wake up to discover that
they had managed to shift the pots and pans of their wills
to the front of the stove top, closer to my conscious
And later than sooner, I came to
understand that they would not be ignored.
Now, as a writer, I generally have a
hate/love relationship with my fictional characters. I
somehow create them from some place within myself -- or do
I simply just acknowledge them? -- and before long they go
from being my creative creations to demanding, insistent
offspring. In my last novel, for instance (Cherished
Foes), I took four chapters to introduce the buggers, to
set forth their character traits and hint at their
motivations, After that, they took over the story and not
even I knew where it would take me.
For this writer of Promisetown Tales,
the characters also began as rather passive entities --
after all, I was their Creator. But many writers will
concur that this honeymoon stage doesn't last long. Not
long at all. Before I knew it, each character began to
reveal things about themselves that surprised even me. And
like egotistical children, they began to become overly
In my Pulitzer Prize winning Big Foot,
the main character, Ames, began as a mere pencil sketch on
a bar napkin. When I started the actual writing, I
casually filled in that stick drawing of an idea with
color, form, and personality (though certain critics
suggested that Ames lacked personality -- and I dedicate
my Pulitzer to them). Again, by Chapter Four, I was as
surprised as the readers to discover Ames' startling
secret. In Pock Mark, my novella written from the point of
view of the moon's surface, each character seemed to
materialize out of nowhere, like gnats. The beautiful Hawk
Kincaid was the worst -- but I eventually came to hate
Personally, I don't know how I felt (and
feel) about my four (for now) protagonists. Love, hate,
admiration, loathing, awe, delight, or ... But I knew that
if I started writing Promisetown Tales again, it would
have to be under their terms. And so it shall be -- and
understandably I'm a little afraid.
I know now that they are the ones in
charge -- that I am nothing more than their vehicle of
opportunity (to them, my spawn, any writer would do just
as well). And my acceptance of that fact, even if
reluctant, has been the key to my continued success.
The characters in Promisetown Tales are
all creative sorts -- and are each quite capable of
expressing their creativity through the written word -- in
one form or another. Last week, as another year rattled to
a close, they four -- Cynthia Wiles Hemingway, Maxwell
Wellington, Patrick Boast, and Ruby-Less-Begonia --
approached my psyche with a novel (and challenging) idea.
Since they're each writers, they wanted a piece of the
proverbial pie. When I asked them for clarification, they
made it very clear that the only way they would
collaborate with me on this book was if I would give them
a free rein, including the right to spin their own tales.
Impossible, I argued. But the only way
they insisted in unison.
And so, with great apprehension on my
part, Promisetown Tales continues . Wish us well
(especially me) as the stories set sail once more.
Pick Up Where We Left Off (Bit 14,
Max loved his work)
All characters depicted in
Promisetown Tales are the property of
These characters and events are fictional and any
resemblance to persons living, dead,
or fictional or situations past, present, or fictional is
purely and completely coincidental.