February CSR Discussion Day: Crisscross Moon by Rich Eisbrouch
Did you ever think you so strongly did something, you didn't even worry about it? Well, I've been doing the CSR blogs for over 10 years (Yes, I checked, they started in Jan. 2013!) and was sure I'd sent Rich his interview for Crisscross Moon. I did not. Sorry again, Rich!! If he gets his (very late) interview back to me, I'll add it here, but for now I wanted to feature the thoughts of some readers who enjoyed his story so you can also share yours below! Plus a graphic because that's also what I do!
Ironic character choice in fiction?
I’m not entirely sure what this question means. A character I created that turned out to have ironic repercussions in today’s world, or a character another writer did that seemed to predict or parallel the future? Since I write pretty lightweight stuff and try to stay away from politics, I can’t have much impact on the world, except to try and distract from its frequent complications.
Do you eat your fruits and vegetables?
Oh, yeah, partly out of laziness. I used to eat big salads in the summer, when it was easier to make them than to cook, but when I moved to Los Angeles 30 years ago and realized it was always summer, I pretty well quit cooking at home and ate salads. And I eat a lot of apples and toss dried cherries and cranberries in my breakfast cereal.
What’s one location you’d love to go (or have been) to research for a story?
Since my stories are so people and dialogue centered, the locations become far less important, as long as I don’t get them wrong. And, actually, the caves in Crisscross Moon are the product of research, remembering my trips to Carlsbad Caverns, and walking and light hiking done in the domesticated, suburban, Los Angeles parks, particularly in the Santa Monica mountains. So it might be fun to explore the area where Crisscross Moon is set and correct what I got wrong.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
He Thinks He’s Being Funny. It will be chiseled on my headstone.
What brought you to GA?
I was searching the Internet for a good website to post on and Gay Authors came up. I posted an early book as an experiment, got the spacing wrong for that and several others I next posted, and I slowly go back and correct that between other projects. But the site has been a very good fit for me, I have a handful of interested readers who sometimes even stay through my personal projects, and I like what other people are posting. Still, I’m afraid to read too much fiction because I’m always worried about unintentionally plagiarizing, so I can’t read as much as I’d like. But someday, when and if I retire from writing.
What inspired you to do a parallel historical/modern storyline in Crisscross Moon?
It was actually a response to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. As mentioned, I don’t read a lot of fiction, popular or otherwise, but that one was really popular, and one of my friends had a copy, so I borrowed it from her, read it, and thought, “I can do that.” I had a different idea in mind at first, using a series of iconic American landmarks, but eventually, that evolved to focusing on the Cliff Dwellers, which I first learned about in high school. Research showed me how little I knew about the subject, but it also gave me more to work with. The title, by the way, was lifted... er, inspired... by the Hardy Boys book, The Crisscross Shadow. See what I mean about plagiarism? There’s also the structure of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, which also has antecedents, so I felt less guilty about borrowing it.
Is there a favorite line or scene in the story for you as the author?
In my books? Nothing in particular. In all of literature, fictional or otherwise: Way too many. There are so many really good thinkers and writers.
After posting, where there any reader reactions or insights that surprised you?
That they held on. This book isn’t quite as weird as the Alan Danshroeder series, both in terms of content and form, but there is a lot of back-and-forth that people have to be patient with. I was surprised they were. Also, the parallel isn’t exactly right, and I keep meaning to go back and try to fix that. It should be two guys in the present and two guys in the past. But I can’t get the details right, so I leave the book alone.
Can you sum up Crisscross Moon in one sentence for prospective readers?
Two guys in the present try to unsnarl a mystery in the past—and there are bears.
Will you share something about what you are currently working on or any future projects?
593 Riverside Drive. I’ve been patiently finishing The Waldron Police stories so I could get to this, which is both personal, family inspired, and almost completely fictional. My sister found the transcripts of our great-aunt’s mid-1920s divorce trial, but when I read them, I realized they made my great-aunt too helpless. I needed to fix that. Plus, I needed to narrate the book by my mother, so that meant a bit of juggling in time. It’s kind of fun, but I’m not sure how much it’s going to get read on this site. I’m hoping for my usual 100 readers.
On 7/10/2018 at 1:56 PM, jt15136 said:
@RichEisbrouch Excellent story thanks for sharing with us!!!
On 1/23/2019 at 7:39 AM, Jaro_423 said:
Very intriguing story. Love the way you told the parallel stories and brought them together in the cave at the end. Very nicely done and most entertaining.
On 2/7/2023 at 12:35 AM, PBax said:
There is something about the rhythm of the dialogue you created with Cory that immediately wanted me more (edit: I meant to say: "that made me immediately want more"). I was ready for the fun--simply because I loved the dialogue you gave me in the first couple chapters. Are they people I know, or want to know, I don't know; I was there.
Our parallel duos are remarkable as well. The impossibly, unknowable realities that generate myth for generations could cause confusion and doubt for anyone. But you show us possibilities and that is our best hope. For me, this part of the story is more difficult to follow--but I'm not sure why it should be clearer for me than it was for Cory.
I enjoyed the read! I'm off to look at your other stories.
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