I began to sketch the preliminary concept of a suspense novel when we were at sea for twenty-eight days straight, sailing from the Galapagos Islands to the Marquesas. Thirty-five feet of fibreglass - our floating home, Namani - doesn’t leave a lot of room to pace, but plenty of room for an imagination full with observations on the unique lifestyle of cruising sailors. The rich experiences and mini-adventures we amassed while sailing both coasts of Panama were fresh on my mind, and it seemed the perfect recipe for what I wanted to combine: fascinating, sometimes funny characters; the worlds-within-a-world in multicultural Panama; and the unique lifestlye that comes from a life afloat. My archaeological background threw a real Peruvian treasure into the mix, and a story was born: a quest for an illusive treasure pursued by various adventurers over several time periods, from colonial Panama to the heady days of building the Panama Canal to the present. The idea perculated for months before I sat down to write it on the other end of the Pacific, during our down season in New Zealand.
I’ll be writing more about the genesis of The Silver Spider on this blog, not only reporting on the writing experience but providing background information and facts pertaining to “The Making Of” The Silver Spider. Stay tuned!