Author of the week
Novelist Marcus Sakey has some strange luck, said Hillel Italie in the Associated Press. Back in 2003, after 10 years of working in advertising, the Flint, Mich., native had finally gotten up the courage to quit and pursue a career in fiction writing when he pulled the boss aside and was told he was being let go. “It was a bit of a karmic kick in the pants,” Sakey says. Four years later, Sakey published The Blade Itself, the first of 10 novels to date, including several best-sellers and one, Good People, that became a Hollywood crime thriller. Now 43, Sakey is currently working on a screen adaptation of his latest book, Afterlife, the seed of which he traces to a dream—a dream in which he had died but was wandering around an abandoned Chicago.
Sakey had to do more than merely transcribe what he’d seen while sleeping. What interested him was that he wasn’t scared until he woke up next to his wife and imagined what it would be like if he, once dead, could see her but no longer communicate with her. He knew immediately that the dream was “juicy” enough to give birth to a novel, but he wasn’t sure how to get the feeling it gave him onto the page. “It took months of banging head-shaped holes in the wall before I found the answer,” he says. Afterlife is, in The Hollywood Reporter’s summary, about two romantically entwined Chicago FBI agents whose pursuit of a serial killer “takes them into the afterlife, where souls in transit face off against an army of evil cannibals.” Says Sakey, “I didn’t want to write a dream—I wanted to write a myth.”
Ben E. King, The Brothers Castle ■