Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

Custom Search

© 1987-2017
Scott R. Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

Revenge of the sequel

As you may already know from reading my book blog, my third novel is being released this week. Or maybe you don’t know because maybe you don’t read my book blog. I guess that explains why I am telling you on this blog.

Lautaro’s Spear The new book is called Lautaro’s Spear, and it is the novel I had not actually planned to write. I had other ideas for other books and had not really thought about writing a sequel to Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead. Enough people, however, kept after me to chronicle more of the life of young, clueless Dallas Green that it forced me to think about what would have happened to him in the years after his teenage Mexican misadventures—and the next thing I knew, it was a book.

So, you know all those unkind things I have written over the years about sequels? Well, you can just forget all about them. Let’s pretend I—and everyone else in the world—never said any of that stuff.

One of the trade-offs I made in giving myself permission to write a sequel was that, if I was going to have to spend more months of my life with Dallas, he was at least going to go to a film festival. And not just any film festival but a French film festival. My first choice was, of course, Cannes, but that did not work out because the Festival de Cannes is held in May, which was the wrong time of year. So, instead, Dallas goes to Deauville in Normandy, which is held in September. And, of course, he meets a French woman and, of course, well, oh la la

I had a lot of fun researching Deauville’s American film festival for the year 1980 and imagining what it would be like for a young American to be there in the middle of it—not to mention getting the chance to indulge in a few film references. Some of the honorees and attendees of that event are now long gone. Others are still around and still active. As far as I know, the late actor Jeanne Moreau did not attend the Deauville film festival that year, but she is mentioned in my book a couple of times by name and, in fact, becomes rather symbolic in the culmination of the story. Recently departed filmmaker Tobe Hooper did have a movie at the film festival. I do not mention him by name in the book, but for alert readers there is reference to his adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.

Also, there was no way I could write about the film festival in Deauville without making a reference to what is probably the most famous movie ever filmed there, Claude Lelouch’s Un Homme et une Femme (A Man and a Woman), although that is a rather reckless thing for me to do. Who in his right mind deliberately invites comparison of his own love story to one of the most famous cinematic love stories of the 1960s, if not the twentieth century?

Perhaps a more important question is, where will I find a filmmaker to adapt this new book for the screen, thereby causing that poor artist to invite comparisons between his or her work and Lelouch’s? Fortunately, that does not seem to be an immediate problem. My phone is plenty busy these days sitting there waiting for those phone calls from Los Angeles (or Paris?) about my first two books.

-S.L., 25 September 2017

If you would like to respond to this commentary or to anything else on this web site, please send a message to Messages sent to this address will be considered for publishing on the Feedback Page without attribution. (That means your name, email address or anything else that might identify you won’t be included.) Messages published will be at my discretion and subject to editing. But I promise not to leave something out just because it’s unflattering.

If you would like to send me a message but not have it considered for publishing, you can send it to

Commentaries Archive