In lieu of some weird shit off the endless horror stories of the nowadays, we’ll again try this Sunday afternoon to persuade you few readers out there with yet another plea to please, please buy my novel, and help an old guy who didn’t plan whatsoever for his retirement make a few extra bucks.
In the course of literary art, this solicitation to purchase “Brown-Eyed Girl With A Cold Cororna,” published last year by Outskirts Press, has become a semi-formal event here at Compatible Creatures — this the seventh such appeal (the last one in February) and will most likely continue as I also have no plan in the marketing angle of publishing, either.
‘Fast paced, chilling and hauntingly lovely’
Not since the Time Travelers Wife has a story tugged at my heart, f*** with my head, and left me so chilled, haunted and thoroughly impressed. A vivid, romantic and ultimately chilling debut, I sincerely hope this author doesn’t stop here. A new, genre bending talent has been unleashed and I personally can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Nothing at all in the pipeline right now.
Although ‘Corona Girl‘ is a murder mystery/romance/fantasy/horror hybrid, its story gives the reader a good look at life in a California beach town in the mid-1990s during Spring Break. I wrote the first draft in the summer of 1994 and the lay of the novel is my life at the time, just hyper-tweaked for drama. As I wrote last year: ‘If my memory is correct, by mid-summer (of ’94) I’d enough of a manuscript with characters and storyline to come-up with a title, “Brown-Eyed Girl With A Cold Corona,” and with continual editing, expanding chapters, segment revisions, the final version was copied/typed from my notes onto clean, easily-read hardcopy pages in late 1999. And for various reasons and circumstances, then spent more than 20 years languishing silently in a cardboard box from Poor Richard’s Press.‘
Summary from the Amazon page:
Spring break mid-1990s in a small California beach town. A middle-aged man suffering a ‘mid-life crisis’ meets a young woman while out barhopping with a friend, and in less time than it takes for a few strokes of a Corona bottle, she creates an emotional whirlpool that will threaten his sanity. Yet will eventually lead to uncovering a murder.
Narrated in nearly-stream-of-consciousness by the man as he spends the next couple of days floating through a movable bubble of strange, but wondrous daydreams beyond his imagination, spiced by illusions of the young woman. Engulfed within those hallucinatory outings still churns the ‘crisis’ he is experiencing — divorce after a longtime marriage collapsed, then financial ruin, followed by guilt over not being there for his children, chaos made the worse by booze.
A mental state also intensified by his desire to creatively write again, dabbling even in poetry, a literary form he hadn’t messed with for near two decades. And also discovering he can cry too easily.
Instead of employment at a level with his age, his life’s work, and education, he’s chief night cook at a popular Italian pizzeria in Pismo Beach, an old, old guy compared to his way-youthful co-workers. However, he develops a knack for the phrase, ‘Yeah right,’ and the music of 4 Non Blondes.
Spring break at a pizza joint is beyond the concept of pandemonium, yet he handles the pressure, though, in a whining-like poise. Despite the restaurant getting slammed, and all the rush, disorder, and craziness that comes from it, the young woman makes two visionary visits, once playing out the scene at the bar — near-insane situations he conceals by playing dumb, which as it turns out, is quite easy.
Along with the cook’s job, he also occasionally prepares legal documents for his friend from the bar, a lawyer who’s reeling through a similar ‘crisis’ of divorce, and child guilt, who can’t seem to stay sober. In a short time, the two had developed an intense camaraderie of oddball misery — listening to their conversations one would think they were illiterate rednecks, cussing everything, and using the most-horrible grammar. Nonetheless, they’re ‘best buds,’ so in the words of the cook/writer’s 15-year-old daughter, with whom from time to time also shares a toke or two off a joint.
Two days following the meeting in the bar, and after a county courthouse visit to file a motion in a nasty divorce case, he encounters the young woman on the sidewalk, finds her to be much older in age, and too, carried a long-forgotten footnote tied to his distant past. A sensual trek through a seemingly hallucinogenic-like wormhole into a nostalgic neighborhood fabricated from a youthful, maybe more-secure time, generates an unraveling criminal scenario.
In like manner, he faces an abhorrent sacrifice in obtaining justice for that story.
A mystery is a mystery until it’s not. Visually written, “Brown-Eyed Girl With A Cold Corona” is a quick-paced exploration of life and love through the years, even beyond murder, with knowledge of the crime elucidated by the murder victim.
Despite me still thinking the project was really originally a kind of therapy, and maybe should have remained unavailable to the general public, but yet here it is and just an easy click away.
As a reminder — the Amazon ordering page is here.
There’s a preview tease of the first couple of chapters for the Kindle edition. Check it out.
And for your edification, the front/back cover:
As a literary-charm device, or not, once again here we are…