Author’s Note for Mexico Fever

Posted: April 29, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Mexico Fever

Here’s the Author’s Note for Mexico Fever. The book is coming soon. Look for it this May.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

I’ve taken a number of trips down into the interior of Mexico, interspersed over a great many years. My first excursion was in 1991, around the time I got married for the first time. That one was a simple border crossing, and my fiance and I enjoyed a meal in Nuevo Laredo at the famous Cadillac Bar. That one sort of doesn’t count, you know. I was never more than a stone’s throw from Texas, and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were waiting for me there in the middle of the Rio Grande. Many years later, around 2004, after I had moved to Austin and gotten a different wife, we took several trips down into the interior of Mexico. The first was a road trip to San Miguel de Allende, and we spent a week there. That’s the Mexico I know and love. If you ever get the chance to go to Mexico, go to San Miguel. It’s unforgettable, and you will likely fall in love. Since that time we’ve only been to Gaudalajara, a city with the largest concentration of American expatriots in the world. But Guadalajara is…Guadalajara. It’s not what you’d call a tourist destination. It’s raw and unforgiving. It is, simply put, Mexico.

I approached my decision to take Bill Travis out of Texas—and to drop him like a fish out of water into Mexico—with no small degree of trepidation. First of all, it would have to be real, and I knew I would be drawing on every experience I could recall. Second, I am not so fluent in Spanish as I should be. Chalk that one up to—as is the case in many things—me never finding the elusive Round Tuit, as in “I’ll get around to it.” No, I have a number of books and cassette tape courses on learning the language, but can you see me even for a moment tooling down the Interstate conjugating verbs in Spanish? I can’t, and maybe that’s part of the problem. You see, like most people, I walk around fooling myself. “Oh, I want to do this thing here. Oh, I’ll do that!” Right. Best to smile and nod, and quickly move on to another topic when someone starts talking like that. You know—and deep down they know—it’ll never happen. All by way of saying, “Nope, I haven’t learned Spanish. This is gonna be interesting.” So, to compensate for that, I had to keep the Spanish references down to the common ones that most people—especially yours truly—could wrap their wits around. Second, Bill knows no more Spanish than I do, so I decided that, as a writer, I would use that deficiency in the story. I would make it an asset, which calls for no slight measure of literary legerdemain. Oh, the possibilities that went flitting through my head as I began.

There’s another thing I try to do when I’m writing. I try, at every turn, to only use those places I have actually been in the story. For instance, when I wrote Caddo Cold, Sallie and I had to make three trips over that way. And yes, I did change the physical universe around just a tad to make it conform with the story, but at the very least, I had been there, and I knew what those changes were. But while Sallie has decidedly been down to Cancun and to the Chichen Itza site, I haven’t—or at least not during this lifetime. I don’t know what you believe on that score, and I don’t really care, but I do remember. I remember far more than I care to. And no, I don’t really care to return. There are too many negative associations with the place, and most of us don’t like returning to a place that once brought us great pain. That’s the nature of living life, and human beings are at least predictable in that respect. So, no, we didn’t go to Chichen-Itza before I wrote this book. It’s about the same reason I’m reluctant to visit the Alamo. Will I never see Chichen-Itza this lifetime? I’ve found it’s not a healthy thing to go around saying, “Never.” That’s usually where the trouble begins. So, my apologies on that score. I didn’t go. And I don’t plan to. Sorry for having to say so. But—and this is a rather large ‘but’—I’ve discovered that Bill Travis is no less than my avatar. I can send him places I no longer dare to tread. It’s true, many of the situations in the earlier adventures were situations I have been in (for instance, I have landed a plane with the wind, instead of against it, I have been in some knock-down drag-out fist fights, and prior to my current marriage, I have been known to dive into relationships on the first date). But for once, why not break out of the box—the box in this case being Texas—and send Bill abroad? Why not send Bill to Mexico? And doing so, why not give him the best reason in the world for jumping in an airplane in the dead of night and heading out? And while we’re at it, why the hell not make it the greatest white-knuckle adventure of all time? There! The defense rests!

You know, this one sort of makes Bill an international man of mystery. Just sayin’.

Since we’re down the list on book twelve at the moment—and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you hanging with me for this long; I mean, that’s a special kind of devotion, and I am forever indebted to you—you have by this time noticed that some of these books are “a bit out there.” As the famous mystery reviewer, Kevin Tipple, said when he reviewed Ghost of the Karankawa, “Often he gets into cases where one can almost hear The Twilight Zone theme music playing in the background…” and “George Wier again strains reader suspension of disbelief at a couple of points, but the read is very well worth it.” Yes, guilty as charged, and I throw myself on the mercy of the Court. I confess that I do love a fantastic tale. They attract me, they pull me right on in, and I have no power over them. (For instance, I just got back from a trip last night to San Antonio, where I got to meet Charles Hall, the author of the Millennial Hospitality series—five books, thus far, about his experiences with the Tall White extraterrestrials while serving in the Air Force. Goodness Grief, it’s wonderful stuff, whether you believe him or not!) So why should I not include the fantastic in my own fiction? For those of you who don’t write, I offer the following explanation: a good writer doesn’t choose his story—the story chooses him! That’s right, you’d think I’m the arbiter of this particular universe; the world where Bill and Julie move around and have their being, and where Jessica is on patrol with the Sheriff’s Department, and where Perry Reilly is yet again hitting on his new young receptionist, and where Hank Sterling takes up karate. No. I don’t have much say there. Don’t look so surprised. You sort of knew it all along. The truth of the matter is these books write themselves. I’m just the conduit. Is this actual channeling? I dunno. I sure hope the hell not. But it is, at the very least, honest work. It’s like…it’s like Bill. He says no more and no less than what he means to say. And that makes me glad.

Okay, that’s about it. That’s about all I have to offer.

I hope you like book twelve, and I hope it doesn’t overly infect you with Mexico Fever. Or at least no more than you can easily ward off by diving into another book and leaving this one behind you.

All my best to you and yours.

George Wier
April 29, 2016
Austin, Texas

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