Reading and camping go hand-in-hand. There are few things in life more satisfying than an engaging story, well told, after dark. One of my wife’s favorite evening pastimes is to settle down with a good book. (That’s usually when I’m working on our website.) This year, one of her marquee Christmas gifts was an e-reader — a gift from my mother, who is herself also a voracious reader.
I’ll always remember the first time I read Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. I was a summer kitchen employee at Yellowstone National Park. In those days I was employed by Hamilton Stores, an organization staffed mostly by retirees. The retirees liked to take long afternoon breaks (we’re talking 3-hour siestas from 1 until 4) so I often found myself with a few hours to kill in the middle of the day. My companion was Hemingway. I loved that book, and will always pair it with the experience of being in Yellowstone at that time.
For most of my adult career, I have been classified as “writer.” Even when designing websites or short films, the ultimate job description is to write. And so I have finally tackled the Mount Everest of writing tasks, and produced my first novel. It’s called “The Lost Spyder,” and is available now on Amazon KINDLE (CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON KINDLE).
Electronic readers like Kindle are a godsend for RV campers. Now we can carry an entire library’s worth of books without worrying about storage space! And the electronic format means lower costs for books.
This story is mainstream contemporary fiction, and has nothing to do with camping (although a silver trailer does briefly appear in the first chapter). Instead, it was inspired by the world of exotic car collection. A few years ago, long before our Airstream was a twinkle in my eye, I was addicted to all things automotive. Yes, I am a recovering car addict. I started this book as a way to explore that passion in creative form.
If you read the book, you will learn a little more about my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Believe it or not, Birmingham is now home to one of the world’s premier European-style race courses and is a global hotbed of exotic motorsport activity. The Porsche factory even operates its own racing school in Birmingham. So these real world developments provide an authentic backdrop for a fictional story.
If I had to choose a genre for the book, it’s a “mystery” with elements of “thriller” and “suspense.” Yes, there is a private investigator. There are also generous amounts of humor and action. Probably because I love to travel, there are a few different exotic (and not-so-exotic) locations. The book is 100% fiction, but it’s inspired by genuine locales and historical events.
I actually wrote the first draft of this book in 2003. Not unlike the mythical car at the heart of the story, I stashed my manuscript away for several years. Oddly, I think it aged well. The advent of new e-reader technologies like Kindle have motivated me to break the novel out of long term storage and share it with the world. Special credit must go to my mother (a retired English teacher) who insisted that I do so. “You need to publish that book,” she told me again and again. So I have finally heeded my mother’s advice.
Of course, now she’s saying, “This book would make a great movie. You need to make that happen.”
But first things first… let’s focus on books. If you are looking for a fun book to download to your new e-reader, this one’s for you.
(Note that if you have an iPad or Android tablet, you can easily read the book by using either the free Kindle app.)