Monday, February 10, 2014

Pius Origins: A Pius Legacy.

[Not many spoilers for A Pius Man. Really.  Oh, we did get a new review. It was good.]

Think of this as a continuation from my original Massive Origins Story.

The journey into A Pius Legacy starts with A Pius Man.  If you remember (and Lord knows it’s long enough that even I forget) A Pius Man was initially an 800 page monster of a novel that shouldn't have been published by a first time author. It went on forever.  Why? Because a character got away from me—namely, the villain—and the bastard wouldn't be stopped even by death. I did everything but drop a house on this guy, and he just wouldn't go down.

So, I let it ride. I wanted to see where it would go.

The answer is straight to Hell.

When A Pius Legacy opens, APM isn’t quite over yet.  People who read the book will remember that it opened with the murder of an academic doing research on Pope Pius XII.  There was also another researcher who was attacked, by the same conspirators and for the same reasons. His name was Matthew Kovach.  Kovach and his fate are the introduction to A Pius Legacy. And there’s still a boatload of blowback involved. 

Remember who the bad guys are from A Pius Man … no, not the gunmen, the people who hired them, and ran them.  How do you deal with people who are, essentially, governments?  You can’t assassinate them, especially not with the Catholic church involved. And if you did… well, that would make my Catholic thriller end like the Godfather, with massive assassinations scattered around in a montage-like sequence of death.

As I am not writing The Godfather, I don’t think so.

So, how do you bring justice to people like this?

Well, step one: how about we talk to the United Nations?

What if the people involved in the original conspiracy can buy off members of the security council?  Oops, didn't think of that, did you?  Remember, around 2/3 of the countries in the UN are not democracies. Remember when Sudan was on the Human Rights Commission?  Syria was on the arms proliferation commission? These are events that make you ask “For, or against?”

Oh, and here’s a problem: what happens when the bad guys strike back? If you have the right members of the UN, what can you do against a Church that has been loud, annoying, and inconvenient, speaking out against human rights violations of … wait for it … 2/3 of the UN General assembly?

This means war. Literally.  After all, the Church is such a small entity, comparatively, all you really need to do is deal with one man at the top, and how hard can that be?

If you've read the last book, you know exactly how hard that can be. We have a collection of international badasses that have already trashed an airport to stop these guys. 

A Pius Man was about history. A Pius Legacy is about freedom. What does freedom look like? What does it entail? And what price is freedom? What will you risk for it? Your life? Your friends? Your family?

Legacy is also a fairly political book. If you remember, APM was less about church policies and more about where it had come from. I thought it was highly political, though my best reviews/comments were from Stuart West, who is a Democratic atheist, and Daria DiGiovanni, a conservative Catholic.  And I managed three stars from -- that one's new, by the way. 

Can I hit the bulls-eye on the middle, or what?

Legacy is going to be a little different, though. I'll be putting the Catholic church on trial. Kind of literally. How does that happen? Long story. You'll have to buy it. 

However, my version of trial tactics I learned from Perry Mason. The best defense is an overwhelming, crushing offense that will humiliate and destroy the opposition, and I laugh in their faces, dance on their graves, and laugh like a lunatic as I do it....

Then I edit. A lot. I take out the straw men I've set on fire because it made me feel good, and I work a little harder at letting the other side get their say in. Then I strengthen the crushing offense that will humiliate and destroy the opposition.  Edit. Repeat as needed.

With Legacy, I may have done what I did with APM, and hit a political middle, but I don't know. Like I said, I thought A Pius Man was very political, but apparently not.

Thankfully -- sort of-- a lot of things I predicted happening in 2004, when I wrote the first draft, have already happened. Things that have happened with the UN, the World Court, with Occupy Wall Street... no, there wasn't an Occupy movement in 2004.  Funny that. I was ahead of the curve in so many weird, strange ways.

Why "sort of?" A Pius Legacy will end in fire, so I'm really starting to hate being right.  It was all right when I predicted a Jesuit Pope. That was fine. The rest is sort of terrifying.

How do these things come together? And how do you get a second book out of the middle of an 800-page novel? 

We'll discuss that tomorrow, when I tell you exactly how I wrote A Pius Legacy.

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