One year ago today, on Thursday, May 20, 2015, we celebrated the publication of my first novel, Bloody Point 1976, with a launch party at Kent Narrows’ Fisherman’s Crab Deck.
The event was a great success and I’m still overwhelmed by the fantastic support shown to me that evening by my family, friends, and supporters.
We all had a great time, me most of all.
As with my previous writing endeavors, when Bloody Point 1976 came out, I felt privileged to garner such enthusiastic support from my community.
In the long run, even if the racy and rowdy nature of my book wasn’t exactly what some readers might have been looking for, I got the sense I hadn’t completely lost many of those folks who’d stuck with me for so long, and I actually may have increased a readership interested to see what I might try next.
Attempting something different comes equipped with worries and anxieties that the same-thing-as-before rarely does. Bloody Point 1976 was a story I had to get out of my system. It was about a very specific Eastern Shore time and place. Some folks seem to think I nailed the bullseye, while others may believe I shot myself in the ass. Either way, it was a story I had to tell, so I told it.
I have other stories to tell.
One of the coolest things that happened after my book was published was when my friends started sending me unsolicited pics from all around the country:
Another highlight for me were the great reviews. Amazon reviews are the number one thing a reader can do to help a writer he or she likes. Sure, Bloody Point 1976 ain’t everybody’s cup of tea, but it is somebody’s, maybe even a few somebodies’, including a number of local literary figures I have great respect for. One of my favorite reviews is definitely from the great Helen Chappell who wrote:
This tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll ricochets between the Eastern and Western Shores of Chesapeake Bay in a multi POV thriller in the Carl Hiaasen style of breakneck pacing, vivid characters, sense of place and plot. A naive watermen who’s rarely been outside Kent Island is recruited and sent to Baltimore’s notorious Block by a local Silverback to retrieve his wayward daughter Dee from a life of prostitution, coke and a smarmy pimp named Salt. Shadowing Tooey, the naive watermen, is a hulking guy named Clacker, short on brains and big on brawn, who provides the muscle. Somewhere along the way to the notorious red light district in it’s heyday, Tooey meets a nice girl with artistic ambitions and very little hope. When Salt, coked up and nasty, loses a mysterious box, and comes after Tooey, Clacker and Dee looking for it, the action explodes off the page. A tightly plotted caper with a strong ambiance and a cast of film noire characters that would thrill Robert Mitchum.
So, all in all, it’s been a pretty awesome year for Bloody Point, 1976.
Being able to share all of it with you on easternshorebrent.com has been another great pleasure.
I hope to have more news soon about what I might try next