Back at the State University of Binghamton, where I was a creative writing student in the mid-1990s, I wrote a short story called “Shakespeare’s Night on the Town”. It wasn’t a very good story–overly moralistic (hey, I was raised Catholic!) and slightly naive. It was also a very long story. I told my professor, Liz Rosenberg, that I struggled to write short stories. “Maybe you’re a novelist,” she responded. I have never forgotten she said that. It resonated at the time, and it continues to resonate now.
I’m a huge Star Wars fan and it was a big deal when Disney, which owns the rights to Lucasfilm, released Rogue One last December–the first Star Wars film that wasn’t part of one of the trilogies. I thought Rogue One was pretty fantastic for two reasons: one, because the characters had distinct lives and identities of their own, and secondly, because the story ties in closely with the original Star Wars film, “A New Hope”, that came out in 1977. In that film, of course, the Rebel Alliance destroys a planet-killing space station known as the Death Star. Luke Skywalker, the Rebel pilot and Jedi Knight in training, pulls the trigger that does the deed.
One wonders how the evil Empire could have constructed an engineering marvel such as the Death Star while leaving such an absurd flaw that leaves the entire station exposed to the devastating impact of a single shot. That story is the one told in “Rogue One”. My novel, Green Bay Outsiders, has something in common with the relationship between those two movies.
A huge thanks to everyone who contributed feedback on the three proposed cover design options for Green Bay Outsiders. In all, more than 30 people offered really great and insightful perspectives. Admittedly, the favorite book cover design among my readers was almost neck-and-neck between two of the three proposals. With that said, the final choice is the result of suggestions made concerning ALL three covers. So with that said, here’s a list of choices I made based on reader feedback:
The publication of my next novel, Green Bay Outsiders, is only a few months away, and I have decided to share the first scene with you. Read on for the link.
As with any shared scene released before the publication of the novel, a few items may change here and there. But the overall themes about growing up and struggling to learn how to be an adult will remain.
Hello, rocking readers. I’ve decided to make you more than just readers today. I’ve decided to make you watchers. I’m not sure that’s a real word but to bring you a little closer to my personal world, I’ve decided to post an occasional video from Facebook Live including the one in this post, which tells you a little bit more about my next manuscript. Take care. Jay
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Since this post was published, one story intended to appear in Three Billy Maddox Stories, “Green Bay Outsiders”, has subsequently grown into a novel. Three Billy Maddox Stories will no longer be published. (5/19/18)
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.