Way back in November, give or take, I may have said something about wanting to have a first draft of Parlor City Paradise, my second novel, completed by Christmas. I didn’t say which Christmas, and it now appears I’m shooting for 2015. It’s a good thing I wasn’t working on a hard deadline and that I’m my own boss. Otherwise, I probably would have been asked to clean out my desk months ago. So why the holdup? You might say I hit a bit of a snag. I am what’s known as a discovery writer and what I discovered is that I had no clue where the story was going. I spent some time driving in the fog, got hopelessly lost twenty or thirty times, but I believe I’m starting to get back on track.
Parlor City Paradise is about some fictional characters in a very real place. Located in a bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers, Binghamton, New York has, at various times in its history, been referred to as the Valley of Opportunity and yes, the Parlor City. It was a major manufacturer of, among other things, cigars, shoes and computers, and Binghamton was the birthplace of the first flight simulator. For nearly half a century, the area thrived on industries related to technology and defense. Then, the Cold War ended and many of those industries relocated or disappeared altogether. From 1990 through 2013, the Binghamton area lost nearly sixty-five percent of all manufacturing jobs making it one of the most depressed regions in the entire country. Revitalization efforts have been slow, and in 2011 remnants of Hurricane Lee topped flood walls and caused a billion dollars in damage to the Greater Binghamton area. Despite everything, roughly 50,000 people still call Binghamton home. I created a few characters representative of the struggles many Binghamton residents face. Some hope to improve their lot in life. Others seem bent on a path of self destruction. Parlor City Paradise tells the story of what happens when their lives converge. I can’t wait to share it with you. That day will hopefully come soon.
In the meantime, I have another book that’s still waiting to be purchased, read and enjoyed. That one’s called A Shot at Redemption, and if you’re unfamiliar with it, I invite you to join me May 1st at RiverRead Books on Court Street in Binghamton. I’ll be there in conjunction with one of Binghamton’s First Fridays events, a monthly arts celebration that brings a lot of people to the downtown area.
A Shot at Redemption is a thriller and much of the action unfolds at the Oswego Speedway. I’ll be on hand to talk about the book, sign copies of the book, and anyone who purchases a copy can win a pair of race tickets. I’m pretty excited about that but I’m also realistic. I know not many people will want to deal with the hassle of downtown crowds and parking simply for the likes of me. That’s why I’ve arranged to sweeten the pot even more.
My kids are both accomplished musicians and performers and they have a lot of connections within the Windsor school music program. For a small school, the Windsor music department is rapidly developing into something truly special. They have a chorus, a concert band, a pep band. a jazz/pop band, some smaller bands collectively known as Knights of the Rock Table, and as of this year, Windsor has a new A Capella group too. Members of that group will perform at River Read Books as will a number of other musicians. I guarantee they’ll put on a great show. Come for that and then do me the small favor of hanging around long enough to hear what I have to say. That’s Friday, May 1st beginning at 7PM. See you there!
If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Turn the Page book reviews blog. You can also visit michaelsova.com, or find me on Facebook, and on Twitter @Micsova. Please pick up a copy of A SHOT AT REDEMPTION, my debut mystery novel.