William Deverell — Novelist

The official website of William Deverell, Winner of the Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in North American Crime Writing

Guess Who Just Hacked Your Blog…

Guest Blog by Bill’s Best Bud / April 2, 2015

That’s your parting shot? “I’m going off to commune where there’s no phone, no Internet, no email.”

You’re off to commune with whom, some hippie muse? Shit, man, we must have missed each other by a crotch hair.

Maybe that was you getting on the ferry as I was getting off. I said to myself, that can’t be Bill. That wild Einsteinian jungle of hair, the cheap sunglasses, the shirt half tucked in. No, couldn’t be you, I decided—you were always a snappy dresser. Back then. In those times of yore.

Don’t bother scrolling down to see who hacked into your blog—yes, it’s me, Bry Pomerantz, faded wunderkind of the big screen, your long-lost, long-ignored side kicker.

So now I guess that was you packing your bags onto the boat to Vancouver, to catch your flight to wherever the hell you’re going. A scruffy, rustic, yokelized version of you. I didn’t realize your breakdown was that severe, Bill. I read about it in the paper, how you went off the deep end and joined a hippie commune.

I assume you didn’t recognize me either. I was the Cool Hand Luke in the rattletrap truck, who having befriended its stoner owner got dropped off at the local mall, whence I made my way by foot to your house, hefting a pack with forty pounds of essentials. Cigarettes, beer, an illicit over-the-counter envelope of Captagon, and—in case I was invited to stay overnight—fresh gonches and socks. My MacAir and a script I’m working on.

I well remembered your place from when you were building it—that house-warming! a donkey roast, man. That was in ’79—you’d launched your first book, Needles. I brought along my old Needles file, btw, hoping to remind you how we had such a blast collaborating on it. There’s an old snapshot in it, you and me from the seventies. Arms around each other’s shoulders. Like brothers, man. If we were any closer, we’d have been gay.

Imagine my disappointment to find you’d taken a bunk. I was anticipating that delicious moment of recognition at the door, your shock, dismay. “Old soldiers never die, eh, Bill?” You would have responded with something like, “Yeah, but they don’t seem to fade away, either.” I would have explained, to your vast relief, that I’d popped in to your hokey little island only for the day. Just time to share a fast brew, that’s all, and to check on you. I was worried—I’ve been there, I’ve had breakdowns, some lulus. And I felt a need to reconnect with you, Bill, so we could mend our wounds, align our minds, bring back the old days, the creative sharing, the trips, the plots, the games, the laughs.

I would remind you how we brainstormed Needles. Remember that snapper I pulled out of my ass, making the hero a junkie? And how I came up with that twist for Chapter 15, the undercover hooker. (I picture your face darkening. A tremor, a twitch. Fear and loathing on Garibaldi. Oops, wrong island.)

Anyway, I found your house locked up tighter than Aunt Penelope’s anus, so I wandered around your forested hillside, checked out this cute little cabin buried in the forest above your house, which turns out to be your studio. dog cabin

Key under the mat—clearly an invitation from an upholder of the great Canadian tradition of hospitality, permitting wayfarers a respite from their arduous journeys, an escape from the bitter cold and shrieking gales. This is not hyperbole—I have known bitter cold and shrieking gales, much of which inclement weather came from the cold front known as Sue. (I still love you, Sue, if you are reading this.)

So if you don’t mind, I’ll crash here for a bit. Pretty basic, but beats my East-end hovel. Lots of stacked firewood for your old pot-belly, a sleeping loft, and you’ve got this beat-up old desktop, and you’ve got Internet. What you don’t have is a shitter. Ah, well, I can do as the Pope does.

Unfortunately, because of your current unreachable state there’s no way I can thank you.

Couldn’t believe you’d leave a scribbled password where any asshole could find it, taped beneath your keyboard. A password that got me into both the computer AND your blog. More soon. Off to grab a bite and a beer, if I can find a liquor outlet on this rock.

Happy Easter, btw.

Oh, and congratulations on the new book…

Posted by Bry Pomerantz on April 2, 2015