Autumn is my favorite time of the year. Shortly after the equinox, it truly began in the town of Naperville, Illinois. I felt it with the moon rising as I waited in line for an event on the campus of North Central College. Only a little warm outside, yet the falling leaves and wind brought a welcome psychological chill. The town felt like Haddonfield, the fictional one from the Halloween film, and I could picture Laurie Strode babysitting Tommy Doyle in one of the nearby houses, not knowing that Michael Myers was stalking her. These thoughts passed by with a faint echo of the John Carpenter theme as the line progressed into the auditorium. The real excitement was seeing one of my childhood heroes in person. Stephen King and his son, Owen did a reading and Q&A about their new book, Sleeping Beauties. I never dreamed, when I was a teenager reading his horror novels, that one day I would be a writer and would see him in person. The thing that made the event perfect was right before I got to witness my own book, Anarchy - Strange Tales of Outsiders, on the shelf at the Nichols branch of the Naperville Public Library. Time goes on, yet sometimes life brings back something from the past in a new way.
I am a proud member of the Horror Writer’s Association and would be remiss if I did not mention how they are celebrating the month of October. All month long they are spotlighting horror author’s works with a daily blog about Halloween. My contribution, The Spirit of Samhain will be on their site on October 15th, 2017. I wrote about the feel of the season reflected in a walk through Graceland Cemetery on the North Side of Chicago. There is something about the change in temperature, the colored leaves, and the dying season that invigorates the senses that are attuned to horror. Here is the link to check out all the posts: http://horror.org/category/blog/
The trials and tribulations of releasing my previously published works came to a head with Escape from Dolphin Street. The paperback was released on September 27th, 2017 to be mysteriously pulled on the night of October 3rd. It was an unexpected ordeal and I had to prove that I am the rights holder to my own works. Thankfully, my prior publisher, B.K. Wright, was gracious and cooperative in helping to settle the matter of rights reversion that officially had happened in August of 2016. My journey through self-publishing has been quite the learning experience. In the future, I will take further measures to solidify my claim to my works. Writers beware the importance of copyright and publishing rights. Escape from Dolphin Street will be available in paperback and e-book today, fittingly on Friday the 13th.
The moody cover was created by artist and musician Keith Brimmer whose band’s, Atticus Brimmstone’s, album Beautiful Women, Broken Windows & Poisoned Scotch contains a tract titled, Dolphin Street.
The book cover depicts Jason and Adam from the story along with the street punks in the alley. Below is the link and description.
Jason dreams of skateboarding away from his dead-end life in suburbia to find his missing brother. Cutouts from the local newspaper inform him of a gang of misfits and a strange place on the streets where anarchy rules. Jason wishes he could overcome his weakness, stand up to his bullies, and be true to himself. Fighting his insecurities, he realizes his one chance to escape and learn the truth is to cross the line and make contact with Adam, a punk he has a crush on.
Jason jumps at the chance to go when his only friends, Kelly and Tanya, decide to runaway to escape an abusive home and an unwanted baby. On the streets, they encounter the vicious gang led by Liev, a pseudo skin adorned with a tear drop tattoo, and consisting of his followers: strange, trench coat wearing Knappy armed with a blue lightning stun gun; butch Hex along with her red haired firebrand, Syd; and a hulking, mute giant simply called Hound. The street punks taunt them with mischief, violence, and animal sounds. Thus begins a sadistic game of sharks and dolphins, of predator and prey, as the runaways are hunted down through the street surf.
Amidst the chaos, Jason must choose between the safety of his friends and his desire to find his brother as he is drawn to Adam and the dark world of Dolphin Street, an abandoned area where the punks go. There are no rules on the streets, only a living nightmare leading to an abandoned house and the crawlspace underneath — a horror he may never escape.