A Day in Fall and Other Updates
It's been a while since I've posted an update on this forum. Life has been busy despite the ongoing pandemic, and to be quite honest I've been thinking long and hard about what I want to say in this space and the kind of information I want to impart.
This site has always been about promoting my upcoming books and any and all exciting new projects. I want the blog to compliment and bolster that objective in the most efficient way possible. It's a learning process. Thank you so much to everyone who reads and subscribes. I promise there are exciting things to come in the future.
To date I'm somewhere in that gray area of having finished writing a few (6) books but never having officially published any. I am working hard to change that, and I expect my first published title (if all goes well) to be A Day in Fall.
A Day in Fall is a topical thriller in the same vein as sophisticated spy thrillers like the Gabriel Allon series that pits a talented but unknown cog in the U.S. Intelligence wheel named Michael Larson against a far-reaching plot to sow discord among the American people and spread extremism. When this comes to light he teams with a man on the outskirts of politics with very grand ambitions that could either lift America - and the world - to new heights, or destroy democracy in one fell swoop. As Michael Larson tries to bring down a corrupt regime the very fate of America hangs in the balance.
Now, this thriller is inspired by real life events and forces at work in America right now. I confess I developed the idea not long after a certain president was elected back in 2016. American novels don't typically pose the holder of the land's highest office as an antagonist. That may have played into the original idea, but that is not ultimately what A Day in Fall is all about. The fictional president in the final version of this thriller is not supposed to portray a real political figure, and is mentioned only in passing by other characters. His presence may loom large, but ultimately it is other villains who Michael Larson must attempt to bring to justice.
I wrote A Day in Fall chiefly to speak on the perils of misguided extremism. America and Western Europe have been experiencing a dangerous wave of right wing extremism that is not only alarming in its very existence in 2020 but fear-invoking in its lack of humanity and backward objectives.
I want to be clear that I am against extremism in all forms. Right or left, such radical positions only serve to form a schism between us like a spike pushing each side further and further apart as it's driven downward. What follows is a dehumanization of the other side, a transformation from fellow humans to enemies that must be defeated at all costs. The aggression rapidly surpasses politics. The most radical extremists readily kill for their cause. Whether that means detonating a suicide vest, or more recently driving to a neighboring state and murdering those you don't agree with in cold blood.
While Islamophobia still runs rampant, it is right wing extremism that has been by far the most deadly in the United States for close to twenty years. This novel is a testament to the fact that what happens right here at home is often far worse than what we fear abroad.
Division and discord were popular tactics employed by the defunct Soviet Union and are still widely used by Russia against its western enemies. To recently see those same tactics so eagerly propagated by custodians of America's well-being is just another cause for unmitigated alarm.
I believe the pen can be mightier than the sword. Ideas and information are the new currency in today's world. I believe books are needed to stand up to tyranny and speak for what's right. I do not want to live in a world where extremism turns humanity into warring factions and the rich profit from our mutual destruction. I feel very strongly about this issue. That's why I wrote A Day in Fall.
Whether this thriller will be published traditionally or by a (self) publisher of my own creation is something I hope to have sorted out in the coming weeks. A release coinciding with the upcoming elections would be ideal. In the sluggish literary world I doubt that will be feasible. But I am determined to get this book out however possible, mostly because I believe it can provide value as entertainment while still having something worthwhile to say.
And while topical thrillers aren't necessarily my favorite thing to write, there are three sequels in the works. Click here to read the opening chapter.
A dysfunctional family with a dark past. Rumors of a violent centuries-old curse latent in the bloodline that may or may not have finally manifested in one of their own. A new home in burgeoning Greenville, South Carolina with its own troupe of misfits and colorful characters. And a sinister religious network determined to persecute the family out of existence.
Dark Satisfaction blends all this with a travelogue style that paints Greenville as a lively, upcoming town just starting to get the recognition it deserves. Several winding, frequently intersecting plots come together to tell the story of a charming place with darkness hiding just beneath the surface.
This is a manuscript I hope to publish traditionally under the pseudonym Cole Ridge (because it is so unlike all my other work). A nagging idea that refused to go away, I'm extremely excited about this book someday coming to life! If you enjoy outsider fiction with a twist of suspense it will be right up your alley.
Alexandria, Egypt was once the academic and cultural hub of the ancient world. Some of the most gifted and brilliant minds of all time convened in the Great Library and Mouseion to deliver revelations that have proved critical for life ever since. One of those men, a father of Christianity named Origen, could have had a much more lasting impact on the world's largest religion than anyone has ever known.
Terrorists have gotten their hands on a powerful bomb. Untold destruction is imminent. Somehow, Origen and a series of nearly two thousand-year-old events thought to be lost to the sands of time are the keys to saving the world. Too bad no one knows where to find them.
Pharos is a mystery thriller cut from the same cloth as Dan Brown and James Rollins' epic chases. I'm very excited about this one. More details to follow.
I recently discovered Wattpad, a site where writers can publish stories in serial format and link with readers to form a social community. I found the premise intriguing. And then it struck me - I have a somewhat fleshed out idea with a dope title (that won't be named here because I don't want anyone stealing it) that's been accumulating equal parts detail and dust for the last few years. It takes place all over the continent of Africa and I know the general direction I want it to take, but a lot of the finer details and characters have yet to take shape.
Long story short, I'm considering writing a series of short stories set in different regions of Africa that evoke different authentic local myths and legends (with some twists, of course). Each will use the same central characters and follow the rough path I wish this book to take, kind of like chapters. This will give me a chance to workshop the story and hopefully get some reaction, though like this blog I expect limited readership at first.
Breaking the novel down into a serial format might make it easier to tie the whole thing back together when the task is finished. That's the hope, anyway. Whether or not it will actually work out that way is always an unknown. But I'm hoping using a new format like Wattpad might give me the inspiration needed to get the ball rolling on this project.
Sneak Preview: Let's just say it involves a young boy forcefully adopted by one of the most dangerous and cruel men on the continent. On a journey for power and riches, this figure travels Africa leaving devastation in his wake. He's been likened to a lion that developed a taste for human flesh. The young boy is his captive, but also the son he never wanted.
I genuinely appreciate everyone who has subscribed to this website and finds the time to read these updates. Comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! And be on the lookout for more updates about A Day in Fall.