It’s been a long haul, but BLOODY POINT 1976 is finally coming ashore.
On Wednesday, May 20th, from 6-8 p.m., my friends at Fisherman’s Crab Deck will help me celebrate the publication of my new book by hosting the inaugural author’s signing.
I’ve been working on this book for a long, long time.
I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been reading. I wrote stories and comics as a kid. Wrote letters from an aircraft carrier. Kept notebooks and sketchpads while I floated around, in and out of the Navy. In the past 20-25 years I’ve written numerous newsletter, newspaper, and magazine pieces and I won a one-act play writing contest once. I’ve published two nonfiction books, Remembering Kent Island – Stories from the Chesapeake and A History of the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department, and since 2001 I’ve conducted scores of Chesapeake Bay-related oral history interviews.
This is my first novel.
And, man, that’s a whole new ball of wax.
BLOODY POINT 1976 takes place over the Bicentennial Fourth of July weekend and is about Tooey Walter, a young Eastern Shore waterman who is hired to retrieve big shot Harris Bradnox’s rebellious daughter Dee from The Block, Baltimore city’s grimy and notoriously dangerous red-light district.
Thrown into a menacing world of vice and violence, with hometown goon Clacker Herbertson on his tail, Tooey collides into a lineup of mind-blowing strangers, including: Salt Wade, Dee’s murderous “manager” and his mysterious case; Dr. Merriman, the fallen from grace, drug-addled “Block-doc,” and Amy Ruari, the red-headed waitress with a carbonated personality who knows more than she lets on.
A coming-of-age crime adventure mixed with an epic quest and garnished with a funky slice of Bicentennial Americana; told with fishhook-sharp dialogue and a boatload of twists, Bloody Point 1976 is a rowdy and racy tale of unforgettable characters born of voice, humor and truth, trying to navigate their survival in a changing time and place.
At least that’s what it says on the back of the book.
And that’s the truth.
But the deeper truth is that I worked really hard on the book. I studied and tried to figure out how writing a novel might actually work before I ever put down a word. I developed characters and I developed plot and subplots and tried to get some humor in there, and some tragedy, and some real life. I asked questions and sought help from friends and strangers, and when those friends and strangers shared their insights and opinions, I tried to listen.
I took writing the book very seriously.
I tried to write the best book I could write at this point in my life.
It ain’t gonna be everybody’s cup of tea.
It’s about The Eastern Shore, but it’s also about The Block in the mid-1970s.
On The Block in the 1970’s, wasn’t nobody in no malt shops sipping cream sodas through a straw with their best girl.
There’s violence and sex and drugs and cussing and all kinds of unsavory characters participating in all kinds of unsavory activities in the book.
But if you happen to like reading about any of that kind of stuff …I’ve got a book for you.
And even if you don’t like reading about that kind of stuff, I did my best, worked my hardest, to write what I know.
What you know.
Life is both funny and sad.
Light and Dark.
Life is all about contrasts and change.
Fisherman’s Crab Deck is located in Grasonville, on Kent Narrows South. The Schulz family and their management team led by Mary Lee Brown have always been among the most loyal supporters of my writing efforts, and there isn’t any other place I’d rather share with you the release of this new book.
My cup runneth over with the love and support I get from all my friends.
A portion of proceeds from books sold at the May 20th signing will be donated to the Maryland’s Waterman’s Association.
Bloody Point 1976 is now available on Amazon.