Do you anthropomorphize trees? I do. Can’t help it. Madrones. Redwoods. Maples. Birch. I’m so in love with trees that I’ve named the maples outside my home after my novels. Not sure what will happen when I’ve written the next novel and I’m out of trees. Traveling is great for a writer because it alters your perceptions and perspective. Home is good too, because it grounds those travel experiences. I like to travel and write, then come home and edit. I’ve kept track of where I’ve written every novel. Wild Blue Yonder began on my deck in Lexington and ended here, too, but a lot of it was written at Squam Lake, New Hampshire. A major draft of Madrone was written in Santa Cruz. Much of Bridge Across the Ocean was set, and written, on the island of Magong, off the coast of the island of Taiwan. The entire first draft of Anarchy was written in Port Launay, France (land of revolution and anarchy). Books are made of trees, and one hopes they will be as intellectually sturdy and long-lived as their forebears.
Set amid the tumultuous days of American dissent against the Vietnam War and worldwide student protests, Anarchy brings Tim Rosencrantz, from Wild Blue Yonder, back into Nathaniel Hawthorne’s life with evil and disruption. Tim, an SDS member, avowed communist and anarchist, has had a transformation on the bombed-out streets of New York and is now a full-fledged member of Weatherman. Bent on bombing America to its senses, he wants Nate at his side. Nate, although anti-war and intellectually sympathetic, is unwilling to participate in Tim’s anarchy — until, that is, Tim blackmails him. Their lives become an antagonistic pas de deux as the stakes rise: They try to remain collegial while despising each other’s lifestyle. Unknown to Nate, the FBI has Tim and Crystal, his naive teenaged moll, under surveillance. As Tim and Crystal plot the bombing of a Bank of America, everyone realizes this cannot end well — but just how badly they cannot imagine.
Anarchy brings the Nate Flowers trilogy to a dramatic, intense, and violent close, but wait – there will be a fourth book. You can learn a little more about that in this video clip from Jack’s Cary Library presentation on American Literary Trilogies.