It’s been awhile since I posted anything on my blog, so I thought I’d take a moment before the holiday weekend to give everyone a small “thank you” for being so awesome.
In honor of Independence Day (the day when Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum defeated the aliens and drove them from our planet), I’m giving you a little something for free: a cut scene from The Alchemist’s Notebook.
If you’ve read my novel, you might recognize the name Clyde. He was Malcolm’s dear friend and mentor, mentioned in passing as the original owner of Mal’s beat-up old van. That’s the only reference to him now. But in the beginning, he was a crucial part of Malcolm’s backstory.
When I first wrote The Alchemist’s Notebook, I included a series of flashbacks to 2005, when Malcolm first left the Ardennes Forest and returned to America. He was in Savannah for a while, and met Miss Shaniqua, a psychic who told him to “follow the lines.” That led Malcolm to meet Clyde, and the start of their adventure together.
I loved writing him. Clyde was an optimistic old man who saw the good in everyone. He wanted nothing more than to help others, and took it upon himself to help Mal transition to life in the modern world.
Unfortunately, sometimes a good scene, even a good character, has to be cut from a book if it will help the story. My editor, Sara, was reluctant to recommend that I cut all the flashbacks, but we both agreed the novel worked better without them.
I have hopes of one day revisiting Clyde, but it will have to be with a new story. I hope you enjoy this never-before-seen excerpt from The Alchemist’s Notebook.
Miss Shaniqua directed me to a place on the other side of town called Exotic Destinations. I expected a small office, filled with ringing phones and overenthusiastic travel agents. Instead, I walked past the glass door through a smoky cloud of incense. The alchemist in me assumed it was a cleansing ritual, but the cynic in me wondered if it was there to mask other smells that might interest the local sheriff.