Long-time readers will remember that I used to live in a remote cabin atop a mountain along the banks of the Susquehanna River. That changed during the winter of 2013/2014 when several severe storms, brought on by the Polar Vortex, rendered the property (and many surrounding properties) uninhabitable. Indeed, here’s a short video I made back then in the aftermath of one of the storms.
Living in a devastated remote cabin and roughing it is one thing when you’re by yourself. It’s another when you’ve got a young child living with you. And being a prepper (a trendy word for what we country folk just call “being prepared”) is all fine and dandy until a falling tree smashes your generator into scrap metal.
In early 2014, my youngest son and I moved into town. Specifically, we moved into an apartment complex. The time spent living there inspired my new novel, THE COMPLEX, the hardcover of which is on sale now (but only until Tuesday night, so you’d better hurry if you want one). I think THE COMPLEX is one of the best things I’ve written in years. The folks who’ve read it in manuscript format seem to agree. One of them called it “a vicious, violent, conscienceless bastard of a novel — the kind you used to write all the time.” And he’s right. It is all those things and more — a desperate, harrowing, bleak novel written during a desperate, harrowing, bleak time in my life.
Suffice to say, I’ve hated living here in The Complex. I’m a country boy, and in the country is where I belong.
Which is why I was elated last week to find a place available back on the river, now that the recovery in the area is finished. And when I say this place is on the river, I mean on the river. The Susquehanna is thirty-two steps from the front door. There are five bald eagles nesting in a tree in the front yard. There’s a vast expanse of woods out behind the house. There’s a boat dock, a room for my office, and a room for the podcast studio. To find out how this move will impact the podcast for the rest of the year, tune in to this Thursday’s episode (when we will also be remembering T.M. Wright and interviewing Robert Ford).
In the meantime, please pre-order a copy of THE COMPLEX. Remember, you only have until Tuesday to do so. After that, pre-orders end and the books ship — just in time for Christmas. I think you’ll enjoy it. And when you read it, know that you’re reading a chapter of my life. A chapter that I can now, thankfully, close the book on.
(And for those who just can’t economically justify a signed, limited edition hardcover, there will be paperback and digital copies of THE COMPLEX, but not until mid-2016 — and trust me, you don’t want to wait until then because all your friends are going to be talking about it when they get their copies later this month).