I had lost my way for a while, not realizing it as it was happening. I think the only life I allowed myself was through writing. I am not saying I did not live just not to the fullest while I hunkered down and wrote Rebel’s Edge. All three manuscripts were completed as I travelled for work. The chaos of modern life was forgotten as I remembered a punk life once lived and a teenage self lost to time. The relief and emptiness of finishing the three books and the curse of not being able to share them due to the reality of the submission process drowned me in buried emotion. The hard work and time it takes to create takes a toll on the mind and heart, but damn it is so much fun.
Now, I find myself altered after a break. I feel more in touch with myself and experience the wonder and turmoil of change. Writing has a life of its own. Like the film, In the Mouth of Madness, a writer cannot escape what he creates. The characters and situations are alive. What makes Rebel’s Edge different is that it is all based on true events. In other fiction, I may base a character on an acquaintance or a place on something I have seen. Colorful renditions of truth permeate all fiction. Writing a manuscript that is real is a completely different and draining experience; it is like seeing myself as character and feeling like I did when I was a teenager, divorcing myself from all the life I have lived and learned since. The journey was hard, yet worth it. Someone once asked me questions about my earlier work, as if it was also true. I have not experienced the horrors of Dolphin Street or of Anarchy, the street life of Where the Road Roams, the western world of Wild Boys, or the anthropomorphic lifestyle of The Trouble with Furries. I have worked in a bar, ran away as a teenager, and watched every horror film since an early age; those influences show up in my work and some real events, like the death of my mother, are mirrored in Lane Bowden 1973 with its true crime meets fiction genesis. What I am saying is all fiction is grounded in something real, but it is still fiction.
Even my true life adventures of Rebel’s Edge are tweaked with small fictions of timeframes, omissions that distract from the narrative, and some composite characters. A regular biography could not capture the feeling of youth as I remember it: the angst of suburbia and wasted years. Everything was about the moment then, the consequences came later. I needed to write my story as an encounter set in the eighties, rather than a list of events; I need it to have its own truth. One of my favorite punk bands, D.I., sums it up with their song, “Johnny’s Got a Problem.” My fictional altar ego is similar in being out of control with static on the brain.
Having finished a lengthy era of stories from the hardcore to my version of YA, I feel alive again. I cannot wait to share my second wave of novels, Lane Bowden 1973 and the trifecta of Rebel’s Edge: Suburbia, Punks, and Over the Edge. I hope they show the change in my style over my past works. Writing is a drug with the highs and lows on the page for the world to see from the first time with Wasteland Press in 2009 until remastering my existing catalogue in 2019. The next novel I am writing is dark, dystopian science fiction in the vein of punk fiction about future life with the feel of the past and a faster syntax — my Future-Thrill.
October also starts a change to my blog. Beginning on Halloween, I will start posting two blogs a month. One on the original date, of the 13th of each month, that I have used since creating my website in 2017 and the second on the last day of the month, the 30th or 31st (or 2/29 - 02/28).
P.S. One of my teenage dreams has come true! In the newest issue of Fangoria (Vol 2 #5 / 353), I have a line in the Classified Ad Vault. “Since 1984, FANGORIA has inspired me to write punk fiction and horror. - David S.”