I was driving through the Adirondacks a couple of years ago. I found myself incredibly responsive to everything I saw and heard and smelled. The Adirondacks are very beautiful – but more than that, a palpably mysterious wilderness, a place full of dark secrets, history rotting in the forests. At least that was my sense of things. I saw a road sign: ‘Loon Lake.’ Everything I felt came to a point in those words. I liked their sound. I imagined a private railroad train going through the forest. The train was taking a party of gangsters to the mountain retreat of a powerful man of great wealth. So there it was: A feeling for a place, an image or two, and I was off in pursuit of my book. (EC, p. 40)