It is such a simple word but the worlds that revolve around it are complex.
For example, here we are in the week between Christmas and New Years. It seems like a dead zone between the two holidays, like some kind of time vortex or something. I think that is probably because I usually take the entire week off … in fact, a lot of people do. This notion of taking this week off was a convenient concept when I was working out the plot elements in The Fever because the character Sam Milton was just a regular guy who needed a long block of time-off from work for his latest adventure. For that reason, the climatic scenes of the novel take place right about now.
You see, Sam isn’t a gold miner, he is a part-time treasure hunter and in his ten year search to uncover the meaning of Slim Longo’s cryptic last words he has failed at every turn.
When he finally thinks he has solved one of the clues revealed by the dying man, he knows he will need several days to renew his search. For him, that means using the week between Christmas and New Years. But this past week’s winter storm in west Texas has emphasized one of Sam’s biggest concerns, especially with winter hikes: the unpredictable Texas weather.
He always said he wouldn’t go out in the winter because it was a bad plan. Ah, but at this juncture, when he is on the brink of solving one of the clues, he decides he must go out as soon as possible, despite the season. Why? Well … because he is caught in the grips of Gold Fever, and for Sam that trumps common sense. Sure, he says he’ll abort the trip if the weather changes, but will he?
It isn’t even about any actual gold at this point. It is about the thought of gold. The potential for a nugget or a few specs of color in a pan is all he can think about and the details get lost in the dream and when that happens … well, isn’t that why we keep reading … to find out, right?
How would you feed YOUR Fever?
There will be many cold winter nights ahead, warm up and read The Fever and find out how Sam got to this point in time and what happens next.
Many thanks to the Freddy Dodge Gold Recovery Facebook page for graciously granting me permission to use a photo of some awesome gold nuggets along with a few flecks of “color” … that’s the real thing, folks … “the stuff that dreams are made of …”