They say you should never give up on your dreams. Amen to that.
I write these words as my first novel, Frankenstein’s Witch: St. Lizzie, Pray for Us, is slinking forth into the world. For a long time, despite a good track record in non-fiction, I’ve wanted to spread wings and write a novel. Behold, it’s finally happened.
When constructing a novel, they say, use what you know. This book combined my longtime research into the history of Golden Age Hollywood (notably the production of Frankenstein in 1931) with the "Summer of Love" (which alternately fascinated and repelled me when I was 16-years-old in 1967). Added was a large dose of the more baroque aspects of my 16-years of Catholic school education, including the horrors suffered by the Christian martyrs...one in particular. Toss in a variety of other obsessions, ranging from World War I biplanes to favorite songs from my teenage years, and the novel took form.
I must thank Ben Ohmart, of BearManor Media, who graciously took a chance with this book; John Teehan, who expertly laid it out; and Kerry Gammill, an extraordinary artist who made my idea for a cover work with all the sinuous temptation I’d hoped it would possess.
Most of all, I thank my wife Barbara who, in addition to all she did to keep the project on even keel, lived this work with me through the eyes of the characters in it, discussing with me the vibes and motivations of the major dramatis personae. This couldn’t have always been a joy - she’s a very kind person, while several of the characters most definitely are not - but she did so, devotedly and sensitively, despite a barely perceptible tremor or two. The novel would never have happened without her.
If all goes well, there will be more “Porter Down Hollywood Mysteries.” Indeed, the second novel in the series is wrapping up, and will be heading to BearManor this summer (for more information about other plot ideas that I have percolating in my imagination see the "Novels" section of this website).
I’ve loved this experience. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the book.