I have just finished reading an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of my next book, Behind the Redwood Door, forthcoming from Oak Tree Press on November 22, 2011.
I am pleased.
I’m pleased with what a good-looking novel this book is. I haven’t seen the cover design yet, but the design of the text pages is elegant. Somebody named Linda Rigsbee designed the text with care and talent.
I am pleased.
I’m pleased with the story. This is a novel full of big issues—sibling rivalry, a multi-generational family feud, a newspaper war, small-town politics and corruption, and ethnic conflict. But it’s also a novel of love and humor, populated by fleshed-out people who are lovable, detestable, wise, dumb, annoying, and amusing.
Who just said all that? The author, of course. This novel’s biggest fan.
Why do I like this book so much, aside from being its parent? Well, for one reason, Behind the Redwood Door takes place on the North Coast of California, up in Redwood Country, not far from Oregon. This is where Susan and I have lived for the past eight years. The town and the county of the novel are fictitious, but the scenery and the weather are real. The interludes of historical background are fictitious, too, with such fictitious themes as mistreatment of the Native population and exploitation of the land’s natural riches.
This book is the third, and final, Guy Mallon mystery. I think it’s the best of the three. The first Guy Mallon book, The Poet’s Funeral, was a frothy send-up of the publishing industry in general, set at the 1990 ABA convention in Las Vegas. The second, Vanity Fire, was a darker, Faustian tale of how even a small-press publisher in beautiful Santa Barbara can risk his soul.
This new one, Behind the Redwood Door, set in 1999, is about the same man—feisty, pint-sized Guy Mallon—who has given up publishing, has moved to the quaint and quiet, lovely and rugged North Coast, but still hasn’t learned not to step into steaming piles of trouble. Since this book doesn’t involve the book publishing business, it can and will be read as a standalone novel.
The Redwood Door won’t be coming out for another four months. Don’t worry, if you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’ll be hearing from me again when the book is published.
This is just my chance to share a bit of my pride and pleasure during the publication process. Oak Tree Press has been a pleasure to work with, I’m learning how to be less shy when it comes to promoting my writing, and I want to share with you my pride and my pleasure.