Where did you get the idea for Trial of Tears?
It started off a few years ago when I had a block of time on my hands. The idea of having the protagonist running a rehearsal studio seemed like a good start, because I knew I could go almost anywhere with this. I’ve been playing in studios since I was a kid and you see all sorts of characters coming in and out of the different rooms. I’ve always enjoyed stories that have intertwining narratives, so I started off with the villains perspective and started building and layering from there. Being a Met fan, the idea of redemption against long odds has always appealed to me.
How much plotting and outlining is involved?
Very little, and intentionally so. I outlined a few characters and a few situations, but I’m very happy to open the cages and let the inhabitants of this story do what they’re going to do. It’s like jamming in music. There’s a loose structure, but the best things that come out are all improvised. There’s a map with a few destinations marked, but how everyone gets there is up to them. Alice wasn’t even a planned character, but showed up in chapter 5 and has kind of taken over the show. When you’re done and start the editing, you wonder where the hell all this came from, but somehow it works (IMHO).
How many of the music stories are true?
None, really, though they are all possible. Every band has its own ‘Spinal Tap’ moments and it’s always fun to chat with other musicians to hear what things have gone horribly wrong at gigs and rehearsals.
Is Trial of Tears a stand-alone story?
Funny you should ask. I’m a few chapters into the sequel that picks up the story about a year later. Once again, I know a few landing spots and situations, but I’ll let the cast decide how it get there.
Are you still active as a musician?
Yeah, I can’t see the day that I’ll hang it up. I just love playing too much. My band, Three Way Crash, plays gigs around New York. We’re a trio, which is my favorite band configuration, as everyone has a lot of space to play in. We’ve been playing together for ages and the guys are great friends as well as being great musicians. Too bad we don’t get paid by the note, or we could all retire. My solo stuff, under the lewscannon heading, is active too, though time restraints have moved the recording of the 4th CD to the backburner as I try to get the literary career off the ground.