Behind the Scenes: Narwhal Operation

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Johnson reading Saints’ note.

The first thing I should say about this tale is how thrilled I am about this amazing and cool drawing. It took me a while to do it, but eventually I was able to ilustrate Narwhal Operation just as I had pictured it.

So now, I want to explain the title of this great story. This tale is one of the main ambassadors of the Crime Fiction genre within Red Sheets, and it has a “bittersweet ending”. I hold Narwhal Operation with a special fondness, Since the original idea that led me to write it came to me when I was seventeen years old. Said idea was the note hidden among the toilet paper foldings that Johnson finds in the initial crime scene.

Over ten years ago, I made my first attempt to write this story, but I could never finish it. As I was writing it, I realized that I had no idea to where I was heading nor where I wanted to get. I simply had a trigger to my tale but no point of arrival.

While I was moving forward, I didn’t have the name for the story either. Considering it all began at a public bathroom, I titled it “The Last Screw-up” (which makes way more sense in Spanish, “La última cagada”), a pretty horrible name that went along with my idea of writing short stories using argentinean slang.

You see, “cagada” means literally “shit”, but in my country it is used as an expresión that means “screw-up”. And as soon as I named it that way, I stopped writing, mostly because I couldn’t come up with anything to keep on going; but I always wanted to use that trigger I mention, that little piece of paper widden within the toilet papper.

When I took the decision of finishing Red Sheets and I had to come up with new tales for the collection, said trigger came to mind instantly. But this time I forced myself to plan the story ahead, so I wouldn’t have to improvise nor squeeze my imagination in order to write it down. It was in the middle of this planning that I thought of the name “Narwhal Operation”, and I admit that I have no idea where did I get it from… It simply came to me, and then the rest of the tale was way easier to handle. And personally, it’s one of the titles that I liked the most, since I think it has its own “personality” and it says nothing about the story itself, but it’s intriguing enough to invite you to read it.

Nothing more to say about this amazing tale. Just get Red Sheets and read it, I promise it’s an amazing story! Hope you enjoyed and I’ll be seeing you soon!

Duilio Giordano Faillaci

High Fantasy and Crime Fiction Writer. I love writing. I love Warcraft games. I love pasta.

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