2016 for me was “The Year of Two New Books.” I'm nearly done with revisions on my second novel, and I’m finishing up work on my co-authored nonfiction book.
Dusk and Ember (novel, working title)
My second novel, Dusk and Ember, is a prequel to my first novel, There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes. The story takes place over one night in December 1981. 19-year-old Richard Issych works the graveyard shift at a local foundry—a hellish world of molten metal, back-breaking work, and no prospects. Drawn into a downward spiral of easy drugs and strip clubs, Richard is on the cusp of making the biggest decision of his life when one friend is murdered by another friend. Now all Richard wants is to get to the wake to pay his last respects. But a lot of life can be lived in one car ride in one night, and Richard is about to find out how much.
Never Stop Dancing (nonfiction/memoir, working title)
My nonfiction book, Never Stop Dancing, is a memoir-by-interview with my good friend John Robinette. Developed from our recorded conversations over 12 months, this book is about John’s life during the year after his 42-year-old wife, Amy, was killed in a pedestrian traffic accident in Washington DC on April 29, 2010. It’s a heart-wrenching and unforgettable account of a man living through unimaginable loss and grief, but also learning how to live a new life, even reclaiming life, for himself and their two young boys. It is also the story of another man’s search for clarity, trying to comprehend that loss and that journey in his friend. Never Stop Dancing captures the essence of modern male friendship, where two friends explore what it means to love, what it means to grieve, and, ultimately, what it means to live and laugh and love again.