You've been very patient.
Very patient, indeed.
It's been almost three years since I've published anything besides a few short stories in several writers' anthologies. But, the time is getting near.
During all this time, I've been busy with life. No, not much fun, but necessary. It started when I drove to visit my father who lived 250 miles away. I got to the house and couldn't get anyone to answer the door. Dread swept through me. He'd been born in 1933, so the years had accumulated. I feared the worst.
Entering the house, I found a mess in the kitchen. A container of ice cream had melted all over the counter and was contaminated by a hoard of tiny little bugs, I was later to find out were flour beetles. I hollered out for him. No response. I ventured downstairs, a place he had made his home ever since his second wife had passed in 2016. I hollered again. Same result. I first checked the downstairs bathroom, hoping that he was there and simply having a hard time with the catheter he'd been told to wear by a doctor the previous week. Nope, not there. Then, a foreboding wave of reality hit me. I ventured to his bedroom. There, atop the covers, my father lay, his body showing the signs of several days of being deceased in a house without air conditioning in the heat of a July day.
The next few hours were spent with the County Sheriff Deputy, the county Coroner, and trying to shake the shock of my discovery. In looking through his home, I found he, who was once the world's most organized person, had become a massive hoarder. Several rooms couldn't even be entered further than the doorway as items had been piled up to the ceiling. In all, over 150 boxes of facial tissue, 200 packages of paper towels and another 200 of toilet tissue were just the beginning.
With the inconveniences caused by the Covid outbreak that had just hit its peak, it took me seventeen months to get the place cleaned out myself. Five huge roll-off dumpsters, over 38 huge garbage bags of clothes donated and given away, and over 1000 cans of food tossed as only 13 had allowable expiration dates. Three freezers in the garage, one with packages of strawberries dating back to 1976 had to be emptied, a task that required hand axes to separate the food. And, once the home had been cleared of the hoarding, the next task was awaiting.
I found paneling had rotted away and would have to be replaced. A plumbing system needed to be completely reworked, as did the electrical. Carpeting had rotted and needed replacing. I took some of the tasks on myself, even though I had never done any real carpentry work before. Alone, I tore down the old paneling and put up new. I ended up having to take a plumber to court as he'd collected money and never returned to finish the job (a situation that I'm still trying to get the money from him that he has promised the court he'd pay several times). I had to paint and reseal the basement to protect against any water leakage, a problem my father had told me about happening several times.
Finally, the house was completed. It was time to move all of our belongings from our home in Lexington, Ky. to our new abode, and begin repairing the old home before turning it over to the rental company. Two months later, I could sit back and look at all I had accomplished.
But, that isn't what you're interested in, is it?
The new book will be called Pumpkins On The Road. It is a cross between a Suspense/Thriller and a Slasher/Horror. It takes place in a small town in the Midwest, one in which is filled with simple people, as well as power-hungry idiots. With all its inner problems, a violent murder takes place, and then another one, and then another ... well, you get the picture. Advance readers have praised this effort of mine. I hope you will, too.
I expect to release the book as soon as I receive the hard copy of the copyright from the U.S. Copyright Service. I should receive it very soon. Hopefully, Pumpkins on the Road will be released before the end of April. Keep watching this page for further notices.
I do wish to thank you for your patience. Life is not always the way we want it to be. Sometimes, it has a way of interfering with what one enjoys doing. I'm back to writing. All is well!