For those of you out there who don't know what a musky is, here are the basics.
Known as "the fish of 10,000 casts," the muskellunge is native to freshwater lakes in North America. Since 1955, it's been the official state fish of Wisconsin, and if you've ever spent any time in the Northwoods, you know that even just catching a glimpse of one leads to sweaty hands and heart palpitations.
Muskies have elongated bodies, flat heads, and mouths full of scary, needle-like teeth. They're smart, stubborn, and gutsy, and they'll pursue preys that are much larger than most other freshwater fish.
Muskies are also notoriously difficult to catch. They require special tackle, unique strategies, and boatloads of patience.
People who fish for musky are hardcore, which is exactly why I wanted Clare, my main character in Crossing the Pressure Line, to go after one. She sets a goal and doesn't back down, even when she's tired, hot, and frustrated. Most people think of musky fishermen as retired guys with lots of time to kill, but I wanted to turn that narrative on its head.
I don't fish myself (for muskies or otherwise), but I'm obsessed with watching other people do it. I worked so hard and did so much research to put myself in Clare's position that I can practically feel the rod in my hands and the panic and elation that come from hooking something gigantic.
If you watch this video, you'll understand that Clare's endeavor is realistic as well as exhilarating. (To be honest, it brings me to tears.)
I want to give nine-year-old Logan a big bear hug and tell her thanks. Not just from me, but from Clare, too.