Lost Boys as name always reminds me of the 1987 movie about vampires and being forever young. I went to Santa Cruz in 1992 and saw the boardwalk, walked the train trellis—not that high above the river—and enjoyed the beach. An earthquake in 1989 still had the town looking a bit boarded up like a western and there were runaways, but it was not exactly the fictional Santa Carla, the murder capital of the world, from the film. In research for my writing, I learned a new coinage of the name, Lost Boys. The context in the true crime story of The Houston Mass Murders was of actual lost boys, some who were never found again and others whose remains were found in shallow graves. The tragedy struck me and peaked my curiosity as to how something so horrible could happen and be mostly forgotten. These thoughts swirl in my head as I relive the memories of writing a manuscript through a new edit.
Lane Bowden 1973 revisions are now complete. I went through and took another pass since the last one was six years ago. I also decided to go back and add some pieces, in between chapters, about crime statistics—asides of the real case to bring levity to the piece. My main characters are fictional, yet they are surrounded by reality. The story is a gay, coming of age tale with flights of fancy and a true crime backdrop. A tale that descends into the horror of the situation. The additions reset the tone, but is an interesting hybrid. During the course of the story, there are hints of darker happenings in the background. I feel the true crime tidbits make it more apparent to where the narrative is leading. The story would also work without the horror as Lane and James are unaware of the danger just like the real victims were.
Being a lifelong horror fan, I have always had the debate of whether a story should be a slow burn and set in reality or if it should be fantastic and action-packed right from the start. I personally like both methods depending on my mood. The slow burn takes patience but delivers in an emotional way, while the faster roller coaster vibe is fun but sometimes without deeper thought. Contextually, Lost Boys the film is akin to a roller coaster in contrast to a film like Interview with a Vampire which is more of a moody, slow burn. Of my unreleased manuscripts, I feel that Lane Bowden 1973 fits the slow burn template while Future-Thrill, my cyberpunk adventure, fits the rollercoaster one in nonstop action. I also feel that Lane Bowden 1973 is a truly transitional manuscript for me, a bridge between my past works and my Rebel’s Edge series.
Lane Bowden 1973 has been a long time coming. My goal is for a release before the 50th anniversary of the true crimes by August 8th, 2023. I am currently working on another round with my Rebel’s Edge series and hope to start the submission process anew and Future-Thrill will get a new draft after that.