You can read and/or download the first 29 pages of the book by clicking here.
Funny, when I sat down to write it, I had no idea I was writing a vampire novel. I didn't even know they were there until I'd excavated the first fifty or sixty pages or so. What I did sit down and write were a number of things that had happened to me or that I'd witnessed growing up.
Within the book are the echoes of friends and relationships of my youth, some that I reflect upon and smile about every day, others that I hadn't thought about in twenty or thirty years.
One of the things I'll never forget from my youth was a kid in my high school class who lived "up back" in Sumner Gardens, and who for years delivered The Boston Globe to most every house in the neighborhood.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that this kid was just about the best newspaper boy who ever lived; be it six feet of snow or pouring rain, there was no keeping Paul from his appointed rounds. And when he got too old for it, his younger brother Jimmy took over and didn't miss a beat.
And so I was delighted a few months ago to see on one of my blogs a comment from Paul and Jimmy's father, who had recently read "Sumner Gardens" and wanted to tell me he enjoyed it. He mentioned too that Paul was reading it.
I smiled when I wrote back that if Paul (who I haven't talked to in literally more than thirty years) liked "Sumner Gardens," he was sure to like "Applewood." I only hope he does. Not sure I've met anyone in my professional life who ever did his job better than Paul did when he was a kid.
So not everything in "Applewood" is either from or about me. Some of it is Paul and Jimmy delivering newspapers in the snow, and my buddy Tommy who took me up to his family's house in Maine, and my brother Brian, who took me to see "Carrie" one Halloween and scared the daylights out of me, and dozens of others that I'll share over the coming months, if you'll indulge me.
Anyway, I'm rambling now. But I can't wait to talk more about it.
Even more, I can't wait for you to read it.
When a mutilated body is found in the woods near the central Massachusetts town of Grantham, Scott Dugan comes home for the first time in more than twenty years. He returns to the decaying house where he'd grown up, one of many derelict homes in the long-abandoned neighborhood of Applewood.
More than two decades earlier, Dugan and his tightly bonded group of friends had been struggling with the same pains that plagued millions of teens like them--bullies in school, broken families, money problems, relationships. But the evil that revives to spread through Grantham confronts them with a far darker and more destructive adversary. In 1861, Grantham sent its own home town war hero, Colonel Alexander Pope, and a company of locals to fight for the Union cause in the Civil War. Marching through the isolated rural regions of Georgia, the Colonel and his soldiers discovered a horrible secret hidden behind the lovely facades of the plantation mansions. When the veterans of Grantham came home, they brought something else with them.
Now that something else has awakened once more to grow and feed. Dugan and his friends are among the few who realize what's happening to their town. They band together to ferret out information about the history of the Colonel and to fight the threat. But victory, if it's even possible, will come at a terrible cost. Some, like Dugan, will never be the same.