The Value of Friendship
Thank you so much, Teagan for inviting me to be a guest on your blog. Before I begin the discussion, you’ve asked me to address, I must take a minute to thank you for encouraging me to turn the background story of Zach and Billy’s lives, into a separate book.
For many years, I have considered this to be the place the magic happens. I am honored to be on the same blog as Pip, Granny Phanny, Brother Love, Emeraude, Dilly, and Cornelis Drebbel. And now, with the recent release of The Veil – the final Journey in the Dead of Winter series, I need to include Emlyn, Osabide and the other members of Deae Matres.
Now, for the readers interested in learning a bit more about Knuckleheads.
Teagan has given me an interesting challenge for a promotional post during a book launch
“For Knuckleheads, I want you to elaborate on ‘Enduring Friendship.’ Particularly how those friendships help us deal with antagonists.”
The simplest answer I can give to satisfy the “particular” aspect of the question, is that people involved in an enduring friendship have established a level of trust and an understanding that permits them to operate without fear. There’s no need for the pretense of being in control between friends like this.
I realized that Knuckleheads needed to establish the friendship that had endured for over 50 years at the point of the second book in the series. Zach and Billy had to be friends who would support each other without question. They had to be friends who would put their friend’s needs ahead of their own. They had to be friends who knew each other well enough to know how they would react in a situation. These were the qualities of the friendship that formed when they were children.
Billy’s concern for Zach is illustrated in the following excerpt.
Billy’s mother has died, and Zach’s parents are taking him to the wake. At the time, Zach could only visit places in his dreams if he had been there in person. Zach is worried that he might return to the funeral home in a dream. Zach’s father shares his concern:
As we entered the parking lot of Fitch’s Funeral Home, I saw Billy standing outside next to the two big guys in black suits, ushers, I heard my dad call them. I wasn’t sure what was going on. We parked, collected ourselves, mom checked my appearance one more time, and we headed toward the door. Dad made the move he had been planning. At the last minute, he said, “Zach, you can wait outside with Billy.”
That solved the problem. I wasn’t going inside, so I couldn’t dream myself back inside. He waited until the last minute so my mom could not challenge him. He knew her so well.
I walked over to Billy, and we stepped away from the ushers. Billy said he knew I was coming and figured I didn’t want to go inside.
While the boys are reluctant to use their abilities to help themselves, they don’t hesitate to use them to help each other. This friendship continues throughout the series, when serious threats emerge, when their lives are in danger. But this friendship began in fourth grade.
Explaining how this relationship formed over time is one of the goals I had while writing Knuckleheads. This conversation begins as a result of Zach’s daughter Abbie inadvertently inviting Billy to the surprise retirement party she arranged for her father. The conversation that begins with a simple bit of confusion continues throughout the book.
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Good luck with Knuckleheads and the rest of the books, Dan.
Everyone, thanks for supporting indie authors. Hugs on the wing!
Dead of Winter: Journey 14, The Veil (conclusion)
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