One Happy Podcast, Aruba

Recently, Curtis from One Happy Podcast contacted me for an interview. His podcast centers on all things Aruba, so I was thrilled for the opportunity to share my experiences of the island. Here’s the link to the interview:

Curtis asked some great questions and has the patience to let me ramble on about writing, Aruba, and various other things. His podcast is a great way to get first-hand info about the island, so check in frequently.

Bon dia.

Published in: on April 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Facebook at last!

It seems I’ve finally entered the 21st century. Despite my affinity for fountain pens, slow flying airplanes, and traditional story-telling, I have relented and a Facebook author page is now available. This is a good thing because many of you are on Facebook and it will be very convenient to find The Bent Page, my YouTube videos, my website, and the latest about my books. You’ll also see a steady stream of updates on what I’ve been doing (getting in trouble) lately.

So, here’s how to find me on Facebook. Log in to your Facebook account like always. Copy this link:

and paste it into the URL window at the top of your browser and it will send you to my page. It should look like this:

When you click on the thumbs-up “like” button, you’ll be taken to my page with an update on the new book, Dark Currents. Alternatively, you can search for Daniel Putkowski, and my page should pop up. I’m looking forward to connecting with more people in this newfangled way. All the best, and happy reading!

Writing With A Soundtrack

Music has always played a significant role in my writing. Not long after I start composing the main passages of a story, a theme song will work its way into my mind. In the case of my novel, An Island Away, the song was Soy by the Gypsy Kings. For my next book, Bonk’s Bar, it was Roadhouse by The Doors. These are two very different stories as are the songs. Each one shares the tone of the accompanying story. When I read passages, I compare them to the music and see if they mesh with it. If not, well, there’s something wrong.

Lately, I’ve been working on Under A Blue Flag, which is the sequel to An Island Away. The theme song for this book is Tobaco y Chanel. (There are several versions of this song. My preference is the one recorded by Bacilos.) The song begins with a violin solo that evolves into the first verse. The violin then plays counter-point to the words, dipping into the lower regions of the instrument’s range. The same violin is played pizzicato-style for transitions into the chorus. It also punctuates key lyrics from time to time. Throughout the song the percussion instruments maintain a familiar rhythm even as the violin roams about, seemingly doing it’s own thing, but all within the context of the overall theme.

So it is with writing a novel. There are those characters and events that form the background and foundation of the narrative. Then there are others that pop up, injecting elements of contrast or surprise. When mixed together they provide tension, conflict, and ultimately a satisfying resolution. Of course, if the author did a good job, the reader (like someone listening to a song) doesn’t notice these elements as distracting parts but rather a single flowing experience that sounds right.

At least that’s how it works for me.

Fiction Becomes Fact

As the newspaper below tells the story, fiction has become fact. Dechi Bislip, a local fisherman here in Aruba, was separated from his boat off the southeast corner of the island. Bislip comes from a family of strong swimmers and fisherman with roots in the town of Savaneta. Lucky for him. He swam and drifted along the coast of the island, eventually managing to save himself. In my novel, An Island Away, there is a scene where Captain Nathan Beck finds himself adrift at sea a bit farther away than Bislip. However, Beck’s course follows one very similar to Bislip’s. Beck ultimately comes ashore in Savaneta, not far from Bislip’s family homestead. Here is the cover of the Diario that related Bislip’s adventure.


It’s quite amazing when you think about how some people manage to survive. The warm Caribbean is pleasantly inviting, but it can turn on you. Be careful out there. Stay close to shore, beware of currents, and don’t over exert yourself. As Nathan Beck’s grandfather told him, “Always wear your life preserver.”