April Fools’ Day Means A Lot To Me
I’ve recently started drinking coffee. I’m 47 and have never liked it (except the smell, I’ve always loved the smell of coffee), but last May on my Backroads hike through the French Pyrenees, ending in Spain’s Rioja, I started drinking Café con leche. Now I’m partial to a mix of 1 part coffee to 3 parts hot almond milk and a dash of Stevia. But this is not the point of the newsletter. The point is after sipping my coffee and waking up more quickly than usual. it hit me HARD that April 1st is an extremely important day in my life. One, it’s the due date for me to finish the second draft of In the Doghouse (Book 2), and two, it’s the day the story of Tiger Drive begins:
Hello, my name is Harry.
Saturday morning, April 1, 1989Harry opened his eyes and waited for his vision to clear. He was dressed and lying in bed—his bed. He recognized the quilt pattern on the damn twin mattress Janice had moved into their room six months before—and after seven kids and thirty years of marriage. The finality behind her action had made it one of the worst days of his life. They hadn’t slept together since.
So he’d made it home, but how and when? He rolled onto his back and stared at the bedroom ceiling.
What did he do last night? Or was it more than one night? He was no stranger to drinking binges and running blackouts that could last up to a week at a time. They had become part of his genetic makeup and bad habits over the past several years, increasing at a disastrous rate. He looked at his watch: April 1. So one night was lost forever, and he was waking up on April Fools’ Day.
He was a fool.
What had he done between the blackout and bed? Part of him wanted to know, and part of him didn’t. Nothing good ever came out of being so drunk he couldn’t remember a damn thing.
I’m a writer. I should never default to “I don’t have the words to express,” and yet, I don’t have the words to express or explain why it means so much to me that I subconsciously picked a due date for Book 2 on the same date that Harry’s story begins in Tiger Drive.
Tiger Drive has changed my life in so many ways. I wrote the first draft in 2011, and the characters haven’t left my brain and heart since. Since the book published last month, I’ve been flooded with emails, private messages, and some public Facebook posts from people who have read Tiger Drive and are relating to the characters or in some cases, empathizing with a lifestyle that’s been foreign to them. Even my mom had an epiphany while reading Tiger Drive. And on March 26th, I did a Facetime with the first Tiger Drive Book Club*. The discussion with these smart ladies in San Diego hasn’t left me. Being a published author has been surreal, to say the least (again, as a writer, I should never default to “say the least” and yet…). Writing is humbling. It’s rewarding. It’s scary. Wait, it’s frigging terrifying at times.
I have another book to “live up to.” That’s what is running through my mind as I sit down to write this newsletter and then turn to finishing the second draft of In the Doghouse BY APRIL 1ST: I have a book, Tiger Drive, to live up to.
Within the next few weeks, I hope to tell you more about In the Doghouse and share the cover and back of book description. I can say that I’m having a blast writing Skip’s story. In the Doghouse is much lighter than Tiger Drive. The main character is a Wolador–a Timber Wolf/Labrador-mixed family dog. But the books have something in common–a theme. Just like Harry, Janice, WJ, and Carrie in Tiger Drive, the characters of In the Doghouse want to know they matter.
The theme of all my books (at least the ones in my head waiting to be written–there are two more brewing) is that people (or a dog in Skip’s instance) want to matter. In fact, my tagline on my website is: Writing stories about people who want to matter (with a healthy dose of laughter tossed into the mix).
Time to get back to Skip and his canine identity crisis (and my impostor syndrome and anxiety). Let me know what you’re up to. Are you a prankster on April Fools’ Day? Until next time, thanks for being you.
* Book clubs, contact me if you’d like to do a Skype (schedules permitting)
Tiger Drive is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Ingram. A portion of the proceeds will help fund the Tiger Drive Scholarship. And if you read Tiger Drive, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads. Your opinion will help readers decided if Tiger Drive is right for them. Also, please tell your friends about Tiger Drive. Word of mouth is everything.