Remember how Alfred Hitchcock seemed to manage a cameo in many of his movies? I call those spots Hitchcockian moments. There’s a scene in Resolution 786 where the soldiers of Platoon 110 destroy a warehouse full of enemy explosives. One of the soldiers directed to “Put your grenade launchers on the warehouse” (reference page 84) is Mughal. That’s my Hitchcockian moment in Resolution 786. After writing it, I promised myself a cameo in each successive novel.
Last night, the evolving and creatively tortured draft of Christmas in Mecca finally got its cameo: Becca Gowetski is milling about in Alan Weinstein’s astronomical observatory, a recurring setting named the Octopus. She sees a loose stack of journal articles strewn across Weinstein’s many working tables. One of the articles, sitting wrinkled and ajar, winks its title and author in conservative, bold black font – “Biological Terrorism: Practical Response Strategies, by Mohamed Mughal.” Becca lifts the sloppily stapled sheets before her face, scrunches her small nose and carelessly tosses them back to the table muttering, “Oh, the pathetic way some men make a living.”
My second novel’s Hitchcockian moment is set and in place. Now to finish the damn book!