The Lost Chapter (and a Brief Journey into the Subconscious)

While working on the first draft of my new Las Vegas ghost novel, The House Always Wins, (release date: Oct. 1, 2017), I experienced every author’s worst nightmare: I lost a chapter. After breaking out into flop sweat, hyperventilating to the point of hallucinations, pacing the room like a death row inmate, and kicking a few inanimate objects, I calmed down enough to recreate it as best I could. I accomplished the task under great duress, but in my mind it was never as good as the original which, I had come to believe, was quite possibly the best thing I’d ever written.

Fast forward (I’m still an analog guy in a digital world) a couple of months later. While looking for some mundane work-related file, I stumbled upon the original chapter. Before replacing the imposter with this far superior version, I decided to do a quick compare and contrast. What I learned was both comforting and startling—the two were damn near identical. And by damn near, I mean ninety-eight percent, right down to the word-for-word dialogue. Which leads me to believe that the neuroscientists, and the disciples of Freud, and the yogis and soothsayers have been right all along. The subconscious mind doesn’t forget a blessed thing.

The moral of the story? Trust your brain. But save your file in the correct place.