First presented as the play Desert Wolf by the Interact Theatre Company in North Hollywood, CA., Podgorski adapted the play to a novel to delve more deeply into the relationship between Luke Stone and his nemesis the black magician Armand Jacobi.
Desert Chimera, explores the master/follower relationship as does the Oscar nominated film The Master starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman (best supporting actor) and Joaquin Phonenix (best actor).
Indeed, when Podgorski was first developing the material, she read biographies on L. Ron Hubbard as well as Anton LaVey (Church of Satan) in developing the character of Armand.
“Who has dominion in these kinds of relationships?’
The book also delves into Luke’s paranormal universe, his psychic visions, and his powers of healing, as well as his budding relationship with one of the fellow travelers Armand Jacobi holds hostage in his attempt to exert his will and power over Luke, Consuelo Arroyo.
“Throughout the book, throughout his journey,” Podgorski continued, “Luke struggles with the concept of good and evil, and perhaps the even larger question, why should he choose good?"
Not unlike the questions ordinary people face every day, but on a rather magnificent scale,as the book is set in the heart of Death Valley in the midst of a torrential rainstorm. As the battle builds between the two rivals, Luke is faced with the full horrors of his past, horrors he’d thought he’d escaped.
"But you can’t, can you?" Podgorski mused. "No one can run from his past. No matter how far, no matter how fast you run, your past will always be there to meet you, whether it be around the next corner, at the tip of the next rocky mountaintop, or in the heart of Death Valley.”