Over the years on my own personal blog, I’ve talked a lot about how A Pius Man came about, and I’ve muttered about some of my research on it. I’ve talked about writing the characters, and their biographies, and their progress from being a biography to being a real person I play with in my head.
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my thought process behind the evolution of the novel.
You see, once upon a time, I considered writing a murder mystery in the Vatican. I made the head of security an Irish redhead who had family with the IRA. I was going to murder a bishop or a Cardinal or something like that. I had a Hispanic Pope named Hector (I don’t recall the Papal name), and a few other loose elements kicking around. I may have had a whole page of notes.
Obviously, when I started on A Pius Man, that project went the way of the dodo.
However, one thing that stuck was it was going to be a mystery. I wanted everyone to be under suspicion. I wanted everyone to look dark and sinister, and let the reader decide who to trust, and when they could be trusted. I wanted to cheat, like Agatha Christie, and make even the investigators look like they could be in on the plot.
I wanted it look, at first glance, like every other knock off of that idiot that shall not be named.
Not that anyone would know who that is.
Basically, I wanted it to look like X. Because, hey, if it looks like X, X is a proven formula. X is harmless. X is status quo.
A Pius Man is at once both subversive and superversive. Superversive in content, but I totally intend to subvert the status quo of X stories.
Obviously, as the first 4-5 chapters are released, you’re going to have to tell me how much I managed to make A Pius Man look like the stories we’ve all come to know and loathe, before the story kicks into high gear and becomes a knock-down drag-out thriller.
And of course, it spiraled. Mostly because character son of a bitch just wouldn’t die.
Again, what I intend may not be what you see, but then again, I’m the idiot who thought that Honor at Stake was a light, fluffy throwaway book before it was nominated for the Dragon Award. So I’m not the best judge of character.
But you are. Tell me what you think when you read it.