The Death and Life of Red Henley

By Philip Wilding

A contemporary noir novel set against the decaying façade of 1980’s New York and a religious commune staked out in the Tennessee countryside. But what connects them both and who killed Red and why?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

She lives!

It seems odd to be poring over the bones of New York City in 1980 when I'm sitting on the slowly lifting and falling dock of a lake on a still Canadian morning. I'm not sure how many years it's been now since I started The Death and Life of Red Henley (three, four?) but I do know that it, like CCMS, started out as a completely different book. Different characters, different ideas, just the notion that it had to be set over one year and be a more linear book than the first one (the first book's structure had confused some readers, poor lambs). That said twelve months became 13 with a new Solstice interlude voiced by a dead girl, so, you know, nothing's ever too simple in my books. Anyway, Red lives now, even in death. I'll write more about the process soon, if you can bear it, how the first edit made me almost junk the novel, and how it all came back into being again. I'm already getting that strange feeling of apprehension, dismay and elation at letting it go, but I'm almost sure of the highs and lows to come, this, as you may or may not know, isn't my first rodeo. See you soon, for now I'm going back in the lake, head first.

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