Thirty years ago, a woman disappeared in the Angel Peak Forest Preserve, from right under her fiancee’s nose. Decades later, her remains are found washed up on the banks of the river by forest ranger Zoe Budd. Everything points to the forest preserve and the river that runs through it, where terrifying hooved tracks are found, and a strange pictogram depicting three dancing hares is carved into the trees. Zoe is determined to find the end of the river’s path, but what she finds might make her deeply regret looking…
Where will Zoe’s determination to solve this thirty-year-old mystery lead? Franklin Schneider, the author of Zoe’s journey in ‘Headwaters’ and I will chase a little of this mysterious path today, but first, we will explore the origins of these secrets of time. Franklin, what were the original thoughts behind this book?
I grew up on the Mississippi River, and when I was a kid I explored plenty of creepy coves and caves. I guess the image just stuck in my head.
I like the idea of taking snippets from childhood to time when life was often simpler. Which vivid thoughts or images were the ones that you drew on most for this book?
My childhood ramblings along the river, and my experiences with various Midwestern weirdos.
An inspired combination! And once you had this combination of ideas, you no doubt need some strong literacy locations to unleash the combinations upon. Have you made journeys to any of the places in this book?
I walk past Henry Miller’s childhood home in Brooklyn every few months.
That’s really neat to be able to walk past a house and see a physical location that directly relates to the formative years of your characters, it must make the characters feel more alive. Looking back, how did the characters come to life?
I just imagined the sort of characters I’d always wanted to see in a book, but never (or rarely) had.
Was it important to you that these characters uncovered or convey important ideas to the readers as the mystery tale progressed?
This book is meant to be pure entertainment, so no important messages.
As the objective of the book is to entertain, what did you reflect on, or at least kept in your mind as you wrote?
I imagined the ideal reader; someone slightly more intelligent than me, and viciously critical.
How has your writing changed to cater for the ideal critical reader?
I’ve grudgingly begun to exercise some restraint.
*Laughs* It’s great to hear that there are other people in the world who find the idea of exercising restraint less than appealing at times. But restraint can be good at times, especially when you apply it to things you shouldn’t do it again. So, what have you learnt about something that you wouldn’t do again?
Drinking more than eight cups of coffee in one day can result in heart palpitations.
Eight cups! After that, you’d be lucky to sleep again in the same week! With that much coffee, I have to ask, do you find writing exhausting or energizing?
Writing exhausts me, but not writing exhausts me slightly more.
In that case, we’d better start wrapping up this interview so that you can return to writing your next project. Can you toss us a little taste of what eager readers can look forward to after they’ve finished ‘Headwaters’?
A revenge thriller about a garbageman.
Revenge of the garbage man! I have to say I’m backing the garbage man! Franklin, thanks for sharing the mystery of ‘Headwaters’ with myself and the readers today, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one looking forward to your upcoming thriller.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Headwaters ( ASIN: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079J64RZ2 )‘.
Want to find out more about Franklin Schneider? Connect here!