Subscribe to email updates

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Big Nod to John D. MacDonald and his Travis McGee Series

From time to time I get on a re-read kick and the last week it took me back to John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series. Reread five in about that many days. I don't know why I do this. We had a wonderful spell of weather here in KC and I could sit outside and read and sip, along with Travis, Boodles gin on the ice.

That series was good. I had enough distance (and poor memory) to forget the details of many of the plots, but what I enjoy every time is re-encountering Travis and his milieu.

He creates a reality for the reader so easy to enter and be enraptured with. Creating reality with words is what this fiction thing is all about.

If you haven't read him, do try to go through the McGee series in order. The last five that I re-read were: The Empty Copper Sea, The Green Ripper, Free Fall in Crimson, Cinnamon Skin, The Lonely Silver Rain. All titles, obviously, have a color in them.

During my ventures into fiction, I wanted to create my own Travis type of character. His name is Philip McGuire. Instead of a beach bum who lives on a houseboat in Florida and makes money doing various kinds of salvage work (and most of that salvage for Travis was healing people), my guy is a burnt-out foreign correspondent who gives up journalism to return to his college town to buy and run a bar.

The thing about MacDonald's McGee series for me is that I read another book not  to get into another plot, I wanted more time with Travis. And that's what I tried to accomplish with my Philip McGuire.

I have two books about ole McGuire: "Heal My Heart So I May Cry" and "A Heart to Understand." I think I will issue them simultaneously. In this day of epublishing, if someone likes one novel, they then may want immediately to be able to get another one.

True story here: I was driving in the car and listening to the radio news when an AP report told me that:  "Travis McGee, the creator of the John D. MacDonald series, died today." I kid you not. My God, how both the creator and the created would have loved that.

1 comment:

  1. I have been slowly collecting this series when I can; it sounds great. I'm not sure how many I have, but i'm fairly sure I don't have the first ones yet, or I'd have tried to read them.

    I look forward to seeing the McGuire series - I'm SO looking forward to reading "A Heart to Understand"!