There’s still time to subscribe to the newsletter and get your Turkey Day mailing of the first 30 pages of my forthcoming YA fantasy, The Dream Palace. The first one page chapter titled “The Door” that I posted yesterday sets the mood, takes you to the threshold of The Dream Palace and introduces our first protagonist and the story’s narrator, Chris Sullivan. The second chapter, “Daisy” brings you into the Sullivan household and kicks off the action.
A bit of backstory here: I began The Book of Paul two years before I met my wife, Ariane. At the time, I had no children nor any interest in becoming a parent. But all that changed when we connected and…presto!…we had a son, Nicholas, followed eighteen months later by a baby girl, Emma. I LOVE being a dad, and love my family more than anything, as anyone who knows me well will attest. Nonetheless, I came from a very dark place and I continued to write about all the creepy, traumatic, highly sexual and violent material that fans of The Book of Paul have come to love and loathe. But as my children grew, it became increasingly clear to me at bedtime that I wouldn’t be reading any story of mine while they were still children. So, I decided to write a book for my kids that they could read before they were old enough to vote.
The theme of the story and the impetus to write it came when our daughter turned 4 years old, two years after she had been diagnosed with autism. Like many parents who receive such news, the “experts” inform parents about the “tragedy” of autism — and basically scare the shit out of you. I knew nothing about autism at the time, so I dug into the internet while Ariane read every book ever written on the subject. The news was not good. No one knew what autism was, what caused it, or how to alleviate the more difficult manifestations (I never use the “cure” word anymore for reasons I’ll go into at a later date). At this point, Emma had lost most of the language she had, was making very little eye contact and had obsessive/compulsive behaviors that could be dangerous to her.Read More