I followed Smithee down through the house and out the back door to a veranda. The long green lawn sloped away before me, and the cave that would be my home was just visible through the thicket of bushes and trees. A white rabbit was mounting a brown one a few yards away in the grass until the butler clapped his hands and they scampered off. “Sir,” he said, and it wasn’t “Sir, whenever you’re ready” so much as “Sir, can we get on with this,” so I walked down a short flight of steps and crossed the morning-wet lawn toward the outcrop of stones I’d seen from Mr. Crane’s window.

I have to confess, I’m concerned about this self-interview. You’re a long-winded guy, and I’m a long-winded guy, and we both tend to get easily distracted and ramble.

We’ll do our best.

 

Your protagonist takes a vow of silence early in the novel. Did that present a challenge as you wrote the rest of the story?