For day 2 of my narcissistic, self-serving posts about my books comes The Best Light.
The character of Frank Hemsky appears in two short stories you can find in The Carnival Papers. I liked the character enough that I thought of making a novel centered around him.
Of all my books this might be the one I did the most research for. I bought a book on the nature photography business so I might not sound like a complete idiot. I also read a biography on Ingrid Bergman, who's the idol of the girl in the book. I watched a lot of her movies too. And I walked around a lot with my digital camera to take pictures of scenery. Some of the locations in Maine were based on a trip I took there while the town in New Mexico is based on Tucumcari, which I visited a year after the fact but I did plenty of research on Google and stuff. Tucumcari is on the old Route 66 so there's a lot of stuff dedicated to that and also a lot of tacky souvenir stores and such. I didn't visit too many of those, but I did walk through some residential areas to kind of see what the neighborhoods were like and I had to stop at Radio Shack for some batteries for my camera. The big box store there is still KMart, where I was lucky to find a DSL cord for my laptop because for some reason in 2006 all the motels in New Mexico used DSL hookups not Wifi.
Anyway, so the town in the book is called Little Mesa (which is actually a town from the Robotech books) and it similarly has a lot of tacky souvenir stores and such. Though the big attraction is a giant hole in the ground. People speculate on what caused the hole, whether it was a meteor or erosion or maybe even aliens. The woman Frank loved dies by falling in the hole. Frank spends a lot of time interviewing people about her and trying to decide if she fell or if she jumped. Then kind of like Hollywoodland it's left for you to decide.
After all that research all I have to show for it is a review by an idiot saying, "Duh, this isn't my kind of book..." You know, cuz it ain't got no pictures in it.
While I have pictures of Tucumcari, the one I used for the cover is from a weird sunset in Williams, Arizona (a town a little south of the Grand Canyon) because it was higher resolution owing to a slightly better camera. This funky sunset came after a thunderstorm had blown through, which I'm pretty sure that storm happened right as I got to Williams and then of course it probably cleared once I'd gotten all my stuff from my rental car. You know, because that's how my life works. BTW, Williams sucks. It's a rundown shithole from what I saw when I walked around for a couple of hours before the train showed up. Though not as bad as Detroit, maybe one of those suburbs right outside Detroit like Hamtramack or something.
This and the rest of my books are available at the new Planet 99 Publishing site!