I have been writing for over 25 years; mostly essays and short stories. The idea of penning a novel has always intrigued me, though I was wise enough not to explore that terrain until I felt I had a theme worthy enough to justify devoting the necessary time. Disgusted at the escalating crime, drug use, and domestic violence in my hometown, I decided these were problems which I should in some manner address. I knew there was enough meat on that bone and enough passion within myself regarding these issues to have an honest go at a longer piece. In the latter part of 2006 I set feather to parchment, not knowing exactly what to expect. Three years later, to my delight and exhaustion, I had succeeded in producing a mind-boggling epic consisting of three weighty books, each one weighing in over 100,000 words.
My maxim throughout the affair of writing this story has been "Failure is not an option." My promise to my hometown is to build a library here when I strike it rich, as there is nothing in the area for adults or children, and nowhere to convene but the empty parking lots at night. I feel a library is a step in the right direction towards the goal of reaching people, many of whom are economically and educationally disadvantaged. These are serious handicaps which make the scourge of drug use, primarily prescription pill abuse as seems to be the trend, a most tempting escape. Until there is a haven here founded on learning, there will unfortunately always be casualties. Even in the span it took me to write these books I have lost several friends to addiction, prison, and death.
And for these reasons I have now come to find myself here at Authonomy.
A bit about my personal interests: I have always enjoyed the power of prose, of course. I am a serious film aficionado (Bergman, Kubrick, Roeg, Kurosawa, etc.). Love jazz, blues, rock and roll, and classical music. Loathe major political movers and shakers, believing their interests and agendas detached from that of the common people. Get a kick out of hearing children say, "I'm just a kid!" when inquiring as to their status of employment. Currently working on a fourth novel, being quite a radical departure from the epic as it is a straight forward drama. Spiritual, yet leery of orthodoxy.
Not a creature born of the computer age - yes, I still remember vinyl and party lines, as well as twenty pound typewriters which could only find use in today's culture as perhaps a glorified paperweight - I will nonetheless make the effort to be as active in this particular cyber-community as I possibly can. All I ask is a little patience. I am still learning the ropes here, as well as have many responsibilities in the non-pixel universe. This is what I'm staring at at the moment, isn't it? Pixels, right?
Anyhoo...If you care to peruse what I've been plugging to every Tom, Dick, and Harry I know as the first important piece of literature to come out in the first decade of the new millennium (I honestly can't say this with any real certainty as I only read the greats) and a true American classic for its time (of this I am wholeheartedly certain!), then be my guest and give my opus a look-see.
With the exception of J. K. Rowling's saga and the occasional Stephen King treatise, I generally adhere to the classics. My motto: If it has endured the ages, there must be some very damn good reason as to why this is the case. The majority of books published yearly merely wind up as unacknowledged ghosts in their brief lifespans. It may be idiosyncratic of my nature, but I tend to feel as though after slogging my way through fifty pages or so of what ultimately proves to be just contemporary tripe is unnecessary when there is so much out there that is time-tested.
Here is a list of some of the books, in no particular order, which are dear to my heart and have touched me throughout my life in one way or another.
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
The Odyssey; The Iliad - Homer
The Aeneid - Virgil
The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury
East of Eden; The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
The Plague Dogs - Richard Adams
Paradise Lost - John Milton
Winnie-the-Pooh; The House At Pooh Corner - A. A. Milne
1984; Animal Farm - George Orwell
Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Idylls of the King - Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
Tom Sawyer; Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Agnes Grey; The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte
Peter Pan - Sir James M. Barrie
The Hobbit; The Lord of the Rings trilogy - J. R. R. Tolkien
The War of the Worlds; Food of the Gods - H. G. Wells
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series - Douglas
Tess of the D'urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
Basically anything by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The Executioner's Song - Norman Mailer
The Mutiny On Board H.M.S. Bounty - William Bligh
The Demon-Haunted World, Science as a Candle in the
Dark - Carl Sagan
Danse Macabre; On Writing - Stephen King
The World As I See It; Ideas and Opinions; Out Of My Later
Years - Albert Einstein
The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin
The Holy Bible
The gnostic and heretical texts of antiquity
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