Today is a happy day for me as it was 2 years ago my novel Southbound was published. I’ve been fortunate to get to do some cool things in my life. I’ve travelled and seen most of the country. I’ve gotten to host radio and tv shows. I’ve recorded a CD with my band Stabone, and gotten to announce horse races for a living. But of the things I’ve done, Southbound is probably the thing I’m most proud of. Not because it’s some great literary accomplishment, although I do think it’s a good story. But because it was something that I set my mind to and accomplished. It was a 3 year process from when I first started typing it up to the publication date. Which I’m told is actually not that long in the book world.
The first draft poured out of me. 82,000 words in just three and a half months. My fantasy at the time was to run away and become a full time gambler, even though I knew it would end badly. But I had quit gambling 7 months before I started writing it and honestly it was all I thought about. Southbound changed quite a lot from first draft to publication. The great people at Pandamoon Publishing offered tremendous insight and ideas. The biggest change was the original ending to the one that is in print. Southbound was originally a suicide note of sorts. Not necessarily of life, but of a lifestyle. It was me putting the bullet in the head of the gambler in me. It really did start out just as a therapeutic exercise and turned into much more. A bit of an irony is that my original ending had the character perishing in a cheap hotel room as that’s always how I saw that fantasy ending. And I’m typing this from a cheap hotel room 🙂
I could go on and on about Southbound and what was happening in my life during the writing, editing and eventual publication. Things were not good. It was a painful time for me. But part of what helped get through that time was Southbound. It was always there for me. I remember sitting at home the day it was published and thinking “What the hell am I going to do now, I have nothing to work on?” For three years I had a project to focus on and now it was done. It was a strange feeling. But I love you Southbound and am as proud of you at 2 as I was the day you were born. Thanks for being in my life.