• Eyal Kless

How I began to write

From the moment I could read, I wanted to become a writer, or at the very least, create more exciting adventures for my favorite heroes of the children books I loved (I learned much later in life this is called ‘fan literature’).

Then came the moment I discovered the roll playing games, or more specific: Dungeons and Dragons and that was pretty much IT for me. To my parents growing anxiety, I spent my days and nights writing adventures that my co-gamers kept utterly spoiling most of the times (oh, but there were those glorious moments when they went along with it). I just loved to sit down and draw maps, create whole worlds, invent mythologies, hammer down magic items, weave experimental spells, discover new races and sometimes just write silly stuff. I grew up a daydreamer, seeing from my peripheral vision goblins hiding in plain sight and dragons whizzing from above. That led to some embarrassing moments...

Computer games, career, several girlfriends with a firmer hold on reality and the fact that my co players were getting embarrassingly younger made me fold my Dungeon Master’s screens and retire from the game. Funny how things turn out, because around that time I met a friend of the family who was working in a small publishing house. I remember her asking “you told me you wanted to write, do you have something interesting?”

“Of course,” I answered without thinking, “I’ll send you something by tomorrow.”

I rushed home, hastily typed three chapters down and sent it without thinking much about it. In retrospect, knowing the amount of work that goes into a workable manuscript, not to mention a full published work, this was as rough as you can get, I still shudder at the memory.

A few weeks went by and I logically assumed that I blew my chance, but I kept on writing the story, just for fun. Then one day, I got a phone call to London (where I used to live) and my friend told me ‘if you can finish the book by July, we’ll print it.’

“oh, it’s almost done’ I lied. I had maybe ten raw chapters, no idea about the ending, and less than three months to finish. Nothing like a deadline and a chance for fame to get those inspiration juices flowing.

And thus “Rocca’s Violin” (Hebrew, Koriim publications) came to the world. It is a musical comedy thriller about a failed violinist, who falls in love with an old instrument he got on loan. When the owner is found dead under mysterious circumstances he decides to keep the expensive violin with him for one last concert. The book came with an attached CD recording (It’s an old book, okay?) – I called it ‘the book’s soundtrack’, to be played in different scenes as the story unfolds. A neat idea which did not really catch on much.

The book came and went, making waves mostly in small pond of the Israeli classical music world (basically, a lot of people I knew stopped talking to me). The book did not launch my career as an author, simply because I did not define myself as one, not yet. I saw the whole affair as a fluke, a chance gone right, something, like my Irish standup comedy career, you do once and quit while you’re ahead.

But the writing bug did not die. It lay in the darkness, waiting for the right opportunity…

Several years ago, a Facebook friend named Dina was so insistent in her calls for more of my writings I simply dug out an epic, far reaching, way over my head Sci fi/fantasy novel I had been writing on and (especially) off for years and began sending chapters to her, one by one, editing as I went along. After a while I realized I was running out of chapters and needed to finish this novel or Dina would get extremely frustrated with me. And thus, The Lost Puzzler was born.

There is a whole story about trying to find a literary agent, getting scores of “no’s”, and just before losing complete faith in myself get noticed by the one and only Rena Rossner of the Deborah Harris Literary Agency. But that is such a romantic cliché, we’ll skip it, okay?

What is important to know is that The Lost Puzzler is coming out with Harper Collins Voyager in January 9th 2019 and the sequel “Puzzler’s War” is being slowly but surely weaved into existence.

It took two years of editing and rewriting with the best people in the business to get the Lost Puzzler right and I am simply delighted with the outcome.

Rocca's Violin

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