The Unpublished Run-On Preface
While writing my first novel, O Little Central Florida Town of Bedlam, reality seemed to mimic some of the chaotic scenarios in my book. It should have come as no surprise then when shortly after my completing a first draft of the preface for my follow-up novel, Tricksters, Crackers, and Gods (Roy and Judd’s Inferno and Florida Odyssey), coincidence left its calling card again. The original unpublished preface, eventually shortened from 6 to 2 pages, touched on a trip in my youth to the West Coast of Florida, specifically to Naples and Sanibel Island. Around the time I began to begrudgingly edit the piece, Hurricane Ian—the deadliest such storm to wallop the state of Florida since the 1935 Labor Day hurricane—began to form and take aim at the same areas.
I look at some of the pictures of the horrific devastation the storm produced and they give me pause to reflect on the chaos in my own life. You see, for the past 2 years I’ve been homeless. In fact, this next novel was written in one country, edited in another, and finalized and published in yet another. And, in that span of time I went from Greece to the UK, back to Greece, back to the UK, and then finally bottoming out back in the USA, where I was born. Rebuilding is the name of the game, both in respect to myself and the victims of Hurricane Ian. Speaking personally about my own Odyssey, I’m thankful I’m alive and still have the energy to complete this project despite the continuing fallout of my own crisis … but back to the preface of my novel.
Clearly it was too long in its original state, because the publishing mavens balk at a preface that exceeds 2 pages, so like George Washington’s cherry tree, I chopped it down, figuring I would publish it in full here as a lead into the release of the novel. Here it is in its full verbose, stream-of-consciousness glory:Continue reading