If we were having coffee today I’d have to mention the treasure hunter. Why? Because my two novels are about a treasure hunter. Me? Naw, I’m not a treasure hunter, I just acted upon an idea I had like thirty years ago.
Anyway, six months after the publication of my novel, THE FEVER, I spotted a news story about a missing treasure hunter. A somewhat clueless guy set off to find a treasure based on vague clues and disappeared. That is the basic plot point of my novel. Of course, there was no cross-pollination here and this is a very tragic story. A guy died.
I based my story not on something real, like this, but on an idea. A “what if” scenario. A tragic outcome was always a major possibility in the story and Sam, the hero of THE FEVER, always made sure certain people knew where he was going and when to consider him overdue. He comes close a couple of times but … well, no more spoilers … that’s why you have to read it!
Why do I bring this up? I was writing a pitch to a radio station today and I thought the real-life story might be a useful sidebar to the information about my own novel … and found an update I didn’t know about. The guy’s body had been found about six months after he had disappeared. It’s a little too close to home and frankly the coincidence of the two stories still kind of freaks me out.
Here’s a link to that story: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/26/randy-bilyeu-dead-new-mexico-treasure-hunter
People say, art imitates life, but I always say it is a two-way street.
Thomas Fenske is a writer living in NC. More information about his books (and about him!) can be found at http://thefensk.com