Tom Avitabile: Right on the tip of my brain

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TOM_CMYKIt’s happening… I’m starting to not know the difference between my imagined stories, characters and plots and real life.  The other night I was wracking my brain to remember who it was who was on a train when it derailed.

This was in response to the awful news that a Metro-North commuter train derailed on a curve at the foot of the Hudson River in the Bronx this weekend. Four people lost their lives and other’s had their lives changed forever. At the time of this writing it seems the train hit the 30 MPH curve at 82 MPH.  H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E.

Yet, for more minutes than I wish to admit, I sat there trying to remember whom it was who was on a train that derailed.  I clearly remembered what she said, how she said it, I even recall how the scene was described.  It matched almost word for word what the survivors of the Metro-North crash had reported on the news.

You surely must know the feeling. When the answer is right on the tip of your tongue. Yet for the life of me I couldn’t remember who it was that was telling me their experience.

Then it hit me. It was ME! One of my characters in “The Eighth Day” is in a tragic Metro North commuter derailment.

The satisfaction I felt of having solved something that was bugging me, even for five minutes, was tempered with the fact that in the end, the answer was a character I made up! Not a real person, not a real event.  I had stored the whole fictional event from my book somewhere in my brain where I store real things that have happened. (Which, oddly enough, is also a major plot point of the same book: i.e. Brain mapping.)

Is this Alz-author-hiemer’s?

By the way, I hope I meet Brooke Burell(*) someday. I read somewhere, but can’t remember where, that she is one incredible female!

* Editor’s note: Yes, former FBI agent Brooke Burell is one of Tom’s main characters in his Bill Hiccock “Thrillogy”


Hammer of God front coverTom Avitabile is the author of The Eighth Day and The Hammer of God. You can learn more about him at our website. This post originally appeared on Tom’s blog.

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On January 7, 2014
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