I have a book coming out FALL 2018, Cloud of Witnesses (Golden Alley Press) about a 14 year-old boy growing up in a bookless home in the foothills of the Appalachians in southeastern Ohio. This isn’t exactly an autobiographical novel—though I tried to write what I knew. I was in teacher training at Ohio University in Athens and was sent out into the county for student teaching assignments.
Working on edits and promo for the book has reminded me of books in our home. My parents had a weird collection. There were show books with elaborate illustrations probably produced and sold as a subscription. I remember being intrigued by a title and the surreal illustrations: Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. I couldn’t for the life of me understand what the book was about. My father had a basket by his chair stacked with a couple random mass paperbacks, popular back then: The Moviegoer, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and Slaughter House-Five, The Naked Ape???
I never saw my father read. Mom would start reading and immediately drop off asleep. She preferred series romances. I flipped through them a couple times, thinking these seem super easy and uninteresting.
I have a strong memory of ordering a book through Scholastics. I was probably just 5 or 6 and in kindergarten, just learning to read. Flip, about a foal who eventually got over his fears and learned to jump a fence. I read it to myself over and over. I might have memorized it, because I’m not sure I could even read. I definitely understood the story from the pictures. Anyway I asked my mom what the words in the front were. She told me it was a dedication and explained what that was. Without a doubt, I answered her: When I write my first book I will dedicate it to you.
I was reminded of this this past week as I worked on the interior of a CreateSpace edition of the first book I published, Beyond Paradise.
This book is now available through Amazon—if you want to order a copy and check out my dedication.
Ready! Beyond Paradise is in paperback