What’s Tom Been Up To?

Although I’m certainly not of Stephen King fame, I do have quite a few reader friends out there who from time to time want to know what I’m working on. So today I thought I’d put up a short update.

I’ve always been a one-book-at-a-time author, but somehow I now have four potential books in the works. That’s not including the horror novella I was working on with my wife, Blanche, but have temporarily abandoned.

What I have my sights focused on now is a novel that might ultimately be titled The Roar of a December Lion, The December Lion Roars, or maybe even Like Steinbeck and Charley. No matter what I call it, though, it’s the story of a sixty-six-year-old man, who like John Steinbeck in his non-fiction book Travels with Charley, sets out to drive across America for two reasons. One is that his heart has been acting up and he doesn’t know how much time he’s got left. The other reason is that despite all the negative changes he’s seen over the years, he still has this urge to go out there and become reacquainted with his country and its people. So, against the worry-filled wishes of his family, the aging widower says chuck it all; puts a mattress in the back of his old van; equips it with a camping stove and everything else he’ll need; then sets out on the road trip he and his deceased wife had dreamed about for years but could never afford. And wow, I’m at the hallway point in the story, and it’s turning out to be one wild and woolly journey.

Two of the other three books I have in the works are also novels. One is about a well-to-do executive who loses everything, including his family, and finds himself living on the streets of West Palm Beach, Florida. Bad as that experience is though, he isn’t living in “the rough” for very long before he gets a huge break. He’s taken under the wing of a street-savvy homeless man the local “houseless” people call “The Prophet.” An imposing figure at six-and-a-half-feet tall, The Prophet is an ex-professional basketball star that has long been wanted by the law for assaulting a man—an off duty cop, who was unmercifully beating up his wife in a garage. The main character’s hope is that someday his estranged wife, and their daughter, will have him back. The only other thing keeping him going is his plan B. He and The Prophet are trying to put together enough money to buy a used mobile home and set it up in a hidden, desolate, jungle-like area down in the Florida Keys.

The third novel I’ve started is the sequel to my already published, A Second Chance in Paradise.

The fourth book is a memoir and I have been adding a little to it from time to time. Although it’s about my coming-of-age years—when I was growing up in New York with my mentally-ill mother, I just might extend it into the years that followed.

So that’s it, gals and guys. That’s what Tom’s working on. And believe me, he is working.