This morning I stood at my kitchen window and looked out at the gray and blue world with the snow covered mountain behind sleepy houses. The beauty and peace of the wintry view pulled at me. But when I ventured out, the veneer of beauty vanished and the bitter cold wind smacked my cheeks.
That is one reason I set Cold Pursuit in the winter—in a town that seems peaceful and friendly until sinister forces threaten not just Suzanna, and those she cares about, but also her sense of her hometown as a safe place.
When I was a child I had a paper route. So did my brother and sister. We’d dump our piles of papers onto the living room floor, sit with crossed legs while we inserted the ads and then tri-folded the papers. Our hands became black and rubber bands snapped our flesh if they broke. Finally the finished logs were tucked into the canvas bags. While we folded, we talked about the people on our routes, the hazards (dogs), and climbing a trellis to get a paper off the roof of a trailer. Then we shouldered our packs and set out in three different directions.
My route was comprised of apartment buildings and a trailer court. Most of the apartment people were never home when I went to collect—many moved. It was not my most profitable venture.
Years later our son had a paper route. I figured since we didn’t live on a farm, it was good for his character. He wasn’t so sure. Still, he learned hard work while he was young. By the time he was fourteen, he was ready for a job as a waiter / dishwasher.
Our world is changing. Non-electronic newspapers will be foreign to my grandchildren. Their parents will have to find other ways to torment them. It’s not just newspapers that are disappearing as industries adapt. I no longer dream of a huge library with rolling ladders and balconies. Now I listen to audio books from my phone during my commute. Emotionally, I am an ebook resister,
and at the same time, I have embraced the new technology.
That’s why I designed Cold Pursuit the way I did. You’ll have your choice: an interactive ebook for reading in the dark under the covers, or a physical book you can take to your back porch and read in the sunlight. Where do you stand? Do you prop you library open with a foot while reading from your electronic reader? Do you have blackened fingers from reading the newspaper, or do you scan headlines and link to the ones that interest you?
When gas lamps first came out, people were resistant and afraid. Later, another generation complained that electric lights were too harsh. I love new technology. But I also love my books.