If you’ve been on my mailing list for any amount of time, you know I’ve been working on a collection of stories intended to be compiled into a book-length collection entitled Three Billy Maddox Stories. The second story in particular, “Green Bay Outsiders”, has been in progress for some time. I just wrapped up my first draft the other day, and the thing clocks in at over 300 pages. That’s novella-length material, boys and girls, which wasn’t exactly what I was intending.
Still, the subsequent good news means that Three Billy Maddox Stories, when it’s finally published, will be a decent length. The first story, “Billy and Darla”, is around 70 pages and I just banged out the first 800 words of the third story, which is tentatively entitled “God’s Fiery Touch”.
This final story won’t be as long as “Green Bay Outsiders”. I’ve written an outline and envision five major scenes to the story. So I know what’s going to happen. As a result, I am now in a position to begin some of the planning activities for the book launch. When will Three Billy Maddox Stories publish? I expect sometime in late fall.
I’ll still relatively new to this game so I don’t want to commit too quickly to a specific date and end up losing my credibility if I can’t make the deadline. What I have done, though, is develop a book blurb, which is essentially sales copy I would post with the book cover on Amazon and other online retailers to interest readers. I’m including it here for the purpose of getting your opinion.
What are your thoughts? Does this sound intriguing? Does it seem dull at all? Interesting? Please feel free to comment below this blog post. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Three Billy Maddox Stories: A Book Blurb
A talented, young woman in Green Bay neglected by a boyfriend’s indecision. Another girlfriend intentionally abandoned for an affair with a fickle, though physically arresting, trouble-maker at a Motel 6 in Tucson, Arizona. The desire to leave behind family and hometown following the influence of an impressionable Vietnam Vet uncle. And a quest for spiritual fulfillment after the death of a younger brother on the southwestern border of the United States.
These are the clumsy, wayward experiences of Billy Maddox and Carl Daniels, struggling through the final years of childhood on their individual and painful journeys to adulthood. Three Billy Maddox Stories, a collection of three long short stories, restores readers to the worlds of the two young men who first appeared as Border Patrol agents in Billy Maddox Takes His Shot (2016). Before taking on the “guns and greens” of law enforcement in Arizona’s bleak Sonoran Desert, both experienced hard coming-of-age moments fraught with poor if well-intentioned choices, struggles with personal uncertainty and devout searches for assurance from mentors and religion.
Three Billy Maddox Stories opens with “Billy and Darla”, the dark tale of an impulsive, jealous beauty seeking empty entertainment for a night by convincing the adolescent Billy Maddox that his current girlfriend does not want to stay with him. Only when law enforcement gets involved does Billy see the danger of her vision. “God’s Fiery Touch” finds Billy, a year beforehand, pushed into participation in a weekend youth church retreat. Having experienced nothing of physical contact but the back of his father’s bitter hand as a result of the untimely death of Billy’s younger brother, Billy learns from other troubled teens that the human touch can heal as well as hurt.
Finally, the centerpiece of the book is the novella-length “Green Bay Outsiders”, featuring 22-year-old Carl Daniels. Raised in the Allouez neighborhood of Green Bay, Wisconsin with the potential for a practical career and opportunity for family, Carl nevertheless finds himself impressed by the experience of his uncle, a Vietnam Vet who fought in Khe Sanh in 1968. The rewards of a suburban lifestyle seem safe and appealing, but Carl continues to struggle with a drive to leave love, family and home behind for the world of greater life experience.
Fear. Questionable judgment. Survival of adulthood’s painful rites of passage. Three Billy Maddox Stories will soon be available for pre-order from Amazon and other online retailers.
So there you have it: the book blurb for the upcoming short story collection, Three Billy Maddox Stories. Your thoughts? Feel free to comment below.