Detroit, Michigan, United States
(Contact me through my website) Spring cleaning in the basement is like being an archeologist on a dig. The layers fall away slowly as the souvenirs of lives both lived and forgotten make themselves known once more. The most recent memories lay on top when I lived in Paris. They are books in French, research materials, and notes scrawled on cafe napkins. I was there to research my current novel-in-progress, a romantic Detroit vampire story set partially in Paris during the revolution in the 1790s.
After more digging, I found the shreds of another life lived five years ago. I owned a Gothicesque nightclub/coffeehouse called Ascension UK. The club was an unmarked nightspot that lay deep in the heart of Detroit behind the facade of a boarded up Chinese restaurant.
More digging ... ten years ago, a corporate public relations job with a large publishing company. Fifteen years ago, college.
Then twenty-five years and with it a lost treasure preserved on twenty old sheets of notebook paper torn from its spine. The "book" was "The Mystery of Moonlight Manner" starring Jerri Daryls, a Nancy Drew-inspired high school detective. The author was a ten-year-old version of me. The book had about five chapters, clues, suspects and a logical chain of events. Not a bad effort for a ten-year-old. And this was the sign of things to come.
There is always a story in my mind whether short in the genre or long in the novel. My first novel-length manucript is "Beneath the Velvet", a fictional look at anti-glamour and the down side of fame and success seen through the eyes of three young people in Detroit. It's not a book about drugs, but rather the lifestyle that goes with it, delusions of grandeur, perception-vs-reality and finding spirituality in odd places. BTV is currently looking for a publisher while I work on the second book.
After all of the years, there's still a place in my heart for Jerri though it's crowded with other characters now. Some stories come from where I've been though the action takes them to places independent of me. My influences rarely come from other authors, but rather from the inspiration of life itself. Maybe they are the dark streets of Detroit where J. O'Barr's characters probably roamed in "The Crow." Or the Leland City Club, an unmarked Goth club still running after more than 20 years. Or the old music of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Or entire blocks of abandoned buildings slowly rotting away while Mother Nature triumphs over man.
Otherwise, there isn't much more to say because everything else I discovered in the basement was pretty boring.
Published writer: Yes