Hi. Remember me? I’m the guy who used to blog on a pretty regular basis, someone who is dual diagnosed (with depression/anxiety and alcoholism) and the author of Conversations Among Ruins and the soon to be re-released religious thriller The Brothers’ Keepers.
I haven’t blogged in a long time. Why, you might ask? Part of the reason is that I simply fell out of the habit of blogging. It is easier not to do something than to do something, and the power of inertia, in itself, is often seductive.
Another reason is that I reached the conclusion, however wrong-headed, that my blogging didn’t really make a difference. There are so many blogs and bloggers out there, what impact could I possibly have in the infinite galaxy of cyberspace?
But I’ve come to the point where I think that view rather selfish; for if I can help just one person then my efforts are vindicated. I’ve also featured some incredibly talented writers on this blog and I want to continue to do so. Please let me know if you’d like to be interviewed by commenting below or by sending me an email.
An even bigger reason I’ve stayed away has to do with embarrassment, on my part, and feeling like a failure. Let me explain.
In February of this year I started volunteering at a substance abuse clinic. My goal was to attain the hours necessary to become a substance abuse counselor. The staff was wonderful, and warmly welcomed me into the “family.” I was placed in group therapy sessions as an observer and read a great deal of the literature on various aspects of substance abuse and its treatment. From the beginning, however, I experienced a great deal of anxiety and depression. It became increasingly difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning and calm myself down enough to drive to the clinic. After about a month, I reached a place where I was barely functioning, and at that point, made the decision to stop volunteering.
I felt like a failure, and still do to some extent. But I’ve come to realize that what happened is nothing to be ashamed of. I went through a difficult episode and I managed to get to the other side without picking up a drink. That is really the most important thing—that I didn’t drink. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned over the past several years is that as long as I don’t drink I still have a fighting chance at this thing called life. The fact is I make the decision every day not to drink no matter what, because there’s nothing in this world a drink will make better. Sobriety must come first, and that sometimes means other things must go. That’s just the way it is. But I know I’m not alone: it’s the hard reality of all alcoholics who make the decision every day not to drink.
In terms of writing, I’ve been doing some, but not nearly enough. My religious thriller, The Brothers’ Keepers, is due to be re-released in July of this year by Melange Books, and will be available for the first time in both e-book and print formats. Here’s a blurb:
When Jesuit religious historian Nicholas Branson is brought into the FBI’s case of the murder of a U.S. senator in a confessional, he becomes involved in a web of political and ecclesiastical intrigue and a search for an eight-hundred-year-old treasure that will shake the foundations of Judeo-Christian civilization.
Publishing the novel through Melange Books has allowed me to become a member of International Thriller Writers, which I’m very excited about. The group includes top writers in the genre, such as Steve Berry, Lee Child, James Patterson, and R.L. Stine and does a great deal of charitable work in support of literacy, public libraries, and many other worthy causes.
In addition, I’ve recently completed an epistolary novel with British author L.T. Kelly. Take Me Home is a love story involving a British divorcee stationed in Iraq and an American ex-pat widower and novelist living in the U.K. We hope to find a home for it soon. Working with L.T. Kelly was such a pleasure that we’ve decided to write a second novel, a thriller, that promises to be just as controversial as The Brothers’ Keepers. If you’re not familiar with L.T. Kelly’s work, please do check out her wonderfully crafted tales of contemporary romance (Kissing Cassie and Kissing Katie) and paranormal romance (Falling to Pieces and Falling into You).
I’m also close to finishing the second Branson novel, tentatively entitled The One Called John. Please stay tuned for more on that.
Finally, I’ve adapted Conversations Among Ruins to the stage. I thought the story’s treatment of dual diagnosis (i.e., a mood disorder accompanied by chemical dependency) might find effective expression in the theater. I’ve submitted the play to the John Gassner Memorial Playwrighting Award Competition and will know the results in October.
That’s about it on my end. It feels good to blog again. I apologize for not blogging for such a long time. Please continue to let me know if I can be of service in any way.