Friday, December 7, 2012
Prodigal Sons: John Caine by Charles Knief
I've been trying to find Charles Knief since the start of this blog for my Prodigal Sons feature. I loved his 3 John Caine novels when the came out. They were all great mixes of Travis McGee and Spenser and I read them together with my first Lee Child novel. Charles didn't get the huge sales Lee did but John Caine will always be a favorite.
I found Charles on Facebook and he was happy to answer why he hasn't written about John Caine for some time and if John might return. Here's what he told me...
My life has been very, very busy since 2001. Part of it was the design and building of some very special homes in Rancho Mirage, California, made from special building materials, the first and only in California. I designed them, built them, poured all of my money into them, and then lost them due to the housing crash in 2008-2009, losing all my money, as well. That took four years of my life and it was a very creative, rewarding (except for the money) time. You can see some of them in my photos and Timeline, as ABC did a story on the houses.
To survive, I took a contract with the USMC at 29 Palms and worked for a year there, making great friends and doing something I felt was important. I wrote then, but have yet to complete the rewrite. Always said that Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center is one of the nastiest places in the world, but has the greatest people in it and I was lucky enough to become friends with many of them. The temp fluctuates from 20 to 120; there are dust storms, mud storms, rains storms, wind storms, insect storms, hail storms, ice storms, and then it's just plain HOT for half the year. I once saw a sandstorm in the middle of a rain storm. After I did fairly well there, I was asked to take a contract with AF's Space Command as a program manager, and I worked there until 30 November 2011, when the contract ended.
After that, I delved into many different things, none of which I can talk about right now, but all of which have been interesting. It looks like I'll keep on doing what I'm doing now until I get too old to cross the street or feed myself.
John Caine is in a novel I wrote in 2000, but have yet to complete, called THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT. He is a minor character there. The new novel, with no name, takes place in 1911-1912. It will be completed this year and I suppose I've got to find a new editor and agent, as both of them have died since I last wrote.
Thank you for your interest. I don't think about writing much these days, but lately the Muse awakens me at 0400. I've got some things going now that take up all my creativity and energy, but come February, they should be over and I'll complete my two unfinished, unedited novels and see who wants them.