So, the poll results were unanimously in favor of ‘my friend’ revealing his identity. The comments on Facebook, however, strongly advised against it. They also didn’t bother pretending ‘my friend’ wasn’t actually me. So, what does that tell me? It tells me I have a lot of great friends, family, and supporters who are kind enough to indulge my occasional bouts of artistic uncertainty.
When I was eighteen, I didn’t secretly and slowly gravitate towards the mind of a writer because I thought it would one day provide me with financial stability (thank GOD!). I wanted to be a writer in those days because it would allow me to express myself. As you get older, your priorities shift, and you soon discover, as much as you hate to admit it, you make decisions for financial reasons. I’m no different than every other adult on this planet trying to pay the bills and contribute to his or her family’s wellbeing.
With those financial obligations comes the erosion of artistic conviction. Your fear of offending someone and losing their support trumps your desire to take risks. In a lot of ways, I’m fortunate because I pushed the boundaries with my young adult material from day one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by people in the know that I need to change the first line of my first book because it’s offensive. Of course it’s offensive. It’s supposed to be.
But speaking to young adults using frank and even shocking language to get their attention is completely different than allowing my sometimes cynical and inappropriate adult voice to infiltrate my writing. I recognized with the writing of Two Notch that I liked playing with ‘adult’ themes and after publishing that book I knew I wanted to dive deeper into that style. I also knew I didn’t want my young adult readers rushing out to read that kind of material just because my name was attached to it. Having a need to express myself in a sometimes ‘vulgar’ (Think George Carlin as a hillbilly) manner doesn’t mean I’m willing to be irresponsible and shirk my accountability as a member of the global community.
Where does that leave us with ‘the reveal’? I am as conflicted as ever, but I am going to reveal the title of the book… eventually. Before I do, I’m going to share two of the reviews that will give you, my R.W. Ridley readers, an idea of the content, theme, and tone of the book. I’ll follow with a post with detailed information about the book. It will not be my practice to post about this book or future books under this pen name on this blog. I have a separate blog for ‘him.’ That blog will mostly address the things that tick me off and the tasteless things that make me laugh. I’ll even touch on political and social issues that put me at odds with a lot of my Southern brethren. I want to keep the two worlds separate, but I also don’t want to be accused of ‘hiding’ something from my readers. Having a secret identity is cool in some ways, but it also makes you feel like a bit of a liar.
And now the reviews:
From the UK
Could this book start off a craze of what can only be called Appalachian crime noir? Meet E. R. Percy, mountain man and the brewer of the best moonshine you will ever sip. Life has always been hard for the mountain folk, but illegal stills and their product is nothing compared to the drugs trade. When E. R. first refuses to work in the drugs business he is at first threatened, but this escalates to a feud. Throw in a mysterious mountain of a man that suddenly appears in his brewing shed and you find there is a lot of comedy to what would otherwise be a bloody and dark tale.
Fun to read and hard to put down this is a great tale of hillbillies and their culture versus the modern drug lord. The characters come to life in all their glorious eccentricities, from a man mad seventeen year old girl to the corrupt reverend. Unfortunately this book will probably get overlooked, which is a shame, as it is such a great read and should appeal to a lot of people.
…Certainly original, this is full of violence and humour, and certainly a thing that Quentin Taratino would love to get his hands on.
From the US
(Author Name withheld) thriller took me back to my favorite Robert Mitcham movie of 1958. “There was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil’s thirst”.
(Title of book withheld) is one fast ride for sure! E.R.Percy and his fat cousin Crick are a pair to draw to but then toss in a naked giant, a too sexy for her own good jail bait teen, a demonic drug Lord and you have a potent 190 proof white light in showdown breaking.
The lingo is country fried as you would expect in a story set in the backwoods where E.R. , a Junior College graduate, is considered a mountain Einstein of the art of Copper Pot Chemistry cooling up the best white whiskey some declare to be in the entire country.
E.R. is content with his wife Rose and his baby until the meth deal in Milo jumps ugly and covets E.R.’s whiskey business and wants to turn all his whiskey customers into meth addicts.
Milo thinks his big city gangster rules will work for him in the backwoods on these hillbillies. Well, you’ll just have to read and find out for yourself if E.R. , cousin Crick, and the Giant survive to supply Mountain Falls with the best whiskey that ever soothed a troubled soul. Buy this book, and pray that Brother Caldwell will keep us supplied with simple good stories from out the backwoods.. Wish I could have given this one 10 Stars!
I chose these two reviews for a reason. They are incredibly flattering (Hey, I do have an ego, you know?), and they perfectly encapsulate the tone and content of the book.
More to come.
BTW: I’m aware that I’ve provided enough information for anyone to easily find the book via a simple Google inquiry. I thought about ‘redacting’ the obvious indicators, but that would have made this post look like an NSA document. That’s an association I’d like to avoid, thank you very much!