What’s the book about?

It’s about a boy’s grand adventure. It’s a generational history. It’s about who we pretend to be or wish we were while we fumble our way down the path to discovering who we really are. It’s about experiencing a life lived beyond the ordinary, realities that are there for the taking, worlds rich in magic, mystery and romance.

Why did you write it?

I began the project with a desire to write a tall tale, a “Big Fish” story, a sort of memoir. I hoped the book would be something my children’s children would read to their children. I wanted to be remembered as more than a face in an old photograph album. I wanted to express my gratitude for the life I’ve been given and the opportunity to share that life with those who have traveled with me along the way. I completed the novel because, before she died, the girl I will always love made me promise I’d finish it.

What’s in it for the reader?

I think the reader will enjoy the twisty mystery, the cameos by iconic characters of the period, the mix of the real and the unreal. I think the antics and mishaps of the characters will provide a chuckle or two. In the end, what I hope the reader will do is step back and wonder if, maybe, it’s possible that “coming of age” is something each of us has the opportunity to do in every decade of our lives, that it just might be worth it, no matter how old you are, no matter what the circumstances, to dig deep and “take it to the limit one more time.” I wanted to propose a concept, a point of view that might carry the reader through the highs and lows of life, namely, from moment to moment, life seems to constantly flip-flop on itself: It’s all about “now you see it, now you don’t.” It’s good, it’s bad. It’s common, it’s sublime, hilarious then tragic. Slapstick then sacred.

A bit of verse: A Dewey “Doc” Ruggles poem, 1960.

Don’t leave the theater.
Stay one more moment.
You’ll witness,
be able to pet,
the sable-soft pelt,
the notorious ears
of the impossibly pink rabbit that pops out,
(all smiles for you)
from the magician’s empty hat.