Just because you get out of prison doesn't mean you are free.
September 2nd marked the second anniversary of the publication of my novel WHAT IT WAS LIKE by The Story Plant ... so it's the perfect time to announce the publication – also by The Story Plant -- of my new novel WHEN I GOT OUT in late 2017.
WHEN I GOT OUT tells the story of what happens when the ill-fated teenager in WHAT IT WAS LIKE, convicted of a passion-driven murder, gets out of prison after forty years. In some ways it is the conclusion of WHAT IT WAS LIKE and completes the "bi-ology." But it is also completely new ride. Will this "stranger in a strange land" be able to rebuild his life, redeem himself in a world he hardly recognizes?
Though knowledge of the first book might enhance enjoyment of the second, WHEN I GOT OUT is a stand-alone novel. Narrated by an older man, not a teenager – it explores one person's obsessions and his search for happiness, love, acceptance, and ultimately, forgiveness in a difficult world.
Some of the themes in WHAT IT WAS LIKE – money, romance, class, violence, the struggles of everyday life – are very much a part of the new book. But what happens is completely different.
Part of my joy – and struggle – in writing the new novel, WHEN I GOT OUT is creating a story that is different from WHAT IT WAS LIKE, yet complements, clarifies, and completes it.
I'm working harder than I ever have in my life to make this second book as good – and better – than the first.
When you have only a few years left, what's really important in life?
Will the boy who sacrificed his life for love find true love in the end?
Life outside of prison can be dangerous, too.
The first book went from Obsessive Love to the Gates of Hell. The new novel starts at the Gates of Hell and goes to....no spoilers.
It's kind of hard to write about a book objectively when you're still "inside" it, and I don't want to "give away" too much of a story I'm still crafting. But I'm absolutely consumed – cautiously excited -- by WHEN I GOT OUT and look forward to finishing this story that means so much to me and getting it out there for everyone to read.
To give you some idea of the areas I'll be visiting in WHEN I GOT OUT, here's a taste.
Guy Lombardo – "Mr. New Year's Eve"
Dylan Thomas – "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"
Marlon Brando yells for "STELLAAAA!!"
Marvin Gaye – "Trouble Man"
Laurence Olivier in "Richard III" – "Now is the winter of our discontent"
"WICKED" – "Defying Gravity"
The Decembrists – Down By The Water
City Island travelogue