Willie Nelson sang "Turn out the lights the party's over". Willie reassures us that tomorrow we will start the whole thing over again. God I hope so!
2019 was a pretty good year. The really important stuff, family, friends and loved ones made it that way. Without them in my life this would all be a moot point.
Also I was able to live a life long dream of becoming a published author. The handwritten messages on the coasters at Tortilla Flats (affectionately referred to as Tequila Flats by some) 20+ years ago don't count...though they were a lot of fun.
In 2019 The Off-Islander was published. Also I published a short story in Alfred Hitchcock Magazine, which was a sort of prequel to The Off-Islander, involving its protagonist Andy Roark. Suspense Magazine named The Off-Islander one of its Best Debuts of 2019...so all of that is pretty cool. I started to blog...which is weird to me that anyone who isn't related to me would find this interesting. I started a Facebook Author page which has been really cool because people reach out to talk about the book.
Through my Facebook Author page I received feedback from a couple of Vietnam veterans who liked the book. One of whom was part of the little known, secretive part of the war that Andy Roark was a part of. That was a high point of a very good year.
I was also gratified by all of the friends who read the book. They recommended it to their friends and nominated me for the Suspense Magazine award. They have been supportive beyond words. They have put up with the laptop coming out while on our summer vacation. They have read and offered insights, read and edited the first draft, answered technical questions about bullets, bombs and cars. They bought me drinks and shared them with me and in some cases acted like I had actually done something a little bit great.
Last night we turned out the lights on 2019. That was, for me, a great party. Willie Nelson was spot on. Today is the first day of 2020 and I can't wait to start the party again. The sequel to The Off-Islander should come out this fall, it is tentatively called Back Bay Blues. I am looking forward to its release and seeing what everyone thinks. I am looking forward to starting the whole thing over again.
Peter Colt and translator "Sammy Chai" in an abandoned amusement park Kirkuk, Iraq 2008
Photo by Ron Labrecque.