It is no secret that I have a love for Shark Week and, well, sharks in general. I’ve always found them to be fascinating creatures. Despite several of them appearing frightening and the stories that you hear on the news, they are only acting as animals act. There is no brutality specifically directed toward humans, and nothing evil about them. To quote Richard Dreyfuss’s character in “Jaws”, all they do “is swim, and eat, and make little sharks.” But that’s really the nature of any creature: self-sustainability, preservation, and survival. Sharks have evolved from creatures that used to live in the upwards of 420 million years ago. There has to be some respect towards an animal that has managed to survive and adapt in its environment over such a long period of time.
As a kid, I was always reading about sharks, and crocodiles, and wolves… I had some strange fascination with these apex predators which may or may not have influenced my writing in the dark/horror genre years later. I grew up reading Crichton’s Jurassic Park and watching Speilberg’s adaption of Benchley’s “Jaws”. And for years, I’ve wanted to be able to write my own “creature feature” book. With time, I’ve come to realize that both of these books treated the animals with a level of reverence and didn’t make them out to be just monsters. It’s the mistakes of humans, whether it be tampering with genetic engineering or placing oneself in the feeding territory of the animal, that caused the events to perpetuate. And so, I have silently for about a year, been working on an idea to write my own shark novel.
What does this mean? It means that eventually, when all of my current projects are completed (ie: The Wild Dark; Tenacious; Night Time, Dotted Line 2; etc.), I’ll be devoting more of my time to trying to complete this book. As can be imagined, the plot is still far from being figured out. I have a hazy idea of where I’m going with it, certainly involving a lot of media frenzy and including a small-town atmosphere. I’m not even sure what type of shark/sharks I’ll be featuring in the book. I’ll let the story write itself. My protagonist waltzed into my head last summer although she doesn’t yet have a name. She’s in her fifties or sixties and is on the brink of putting her life back together following a messy divorce and several other unscrupulous events in her life. She’s sassy, blunt, and doesn’t take crap from anyone. I picture her as a Susan Sarandon or Jessica Lange type of gal.
As I’ve said, the ideas are very rough and will need lots more fleshing out. It’ll probably be a year or more before I can actually donate a sufficient amount of time to it. But, now you know that it’s in my head and it’ll happen eventually.
Stay tuned for more as we celebrate Shark Week!