Too Long Among the Dead is a departure from my Lovers and Liars novella series. For one, it’s novel length by E-Age standards, and two, it explores the realm of the paranormal—a totally uncharted territory for me, but a story I’d been thinking of writing for some time.
Before attempting this book, I’d never written anything long enough to be considered a novel—unless you counted my dissertation. (Please don’t count that. :)) And, to be honest, writing a novel absolutely terrified me. Here’s why.
For many years I was a short fiction writer who wrote flash fiction—stories no longer than 1500 words—for small literary journals and magazines. That’s how I began my writing career. Over time, and with tons of angst, growing pains, and kicking and screaming along the way, I graduated from flash to writing longer short stories. Believe me, this change represented a GIANT leap for me. In 2012, when I found my current home at JMS Books, and stretched my writing even further, I discovered the e- book novella and knew, in a Goldilocks kind of way, that’s exactly where I belonged. Not to long, not too short. Just right.
Last year when November rolled around and National Novel Writing Month, (NaNo), reared its head, I asked myself two questions: Could I stretch my writing further beyond the novella? Could I do it all in one month? I didn’t think so, but in the end, I decided to try. Along with several other JMS Books authors, I signed the pledge and took the NaNo challenge. Too Long Among the Dead is the result of that effort.
I was a teen in the 1960’s—uh—huh. I’m that old—and loved Twilight Zone on Friday night TV. I also fell head over heels with the work of writer, Shirley Jackson—The Lottery and The Haunting of Hill House. (If you haven’t discovered Ms. Jackson, you’ll be in for some pleasant surprises.) I owe heaps of gratitude to this edgy kind of writing that Rod Serling and Ms. Jackson exemplified and perfected.
So moving on.
In the past, I’d written about women dealing with emotional problems, which stemmed from a significant loss in their lives: issues of loneliness, guilt, loss, and grief bordering on melancholia. I wondered what would happen if I suddenly set these characters down in unfamiliar territory—an isolated house on a lake in the high Sierras? What sparks would fly between them? What conflicts might arise with the two gay male psychiatrists facilitating their “experimental getaway” and ethically and morally responsible for their care.
And wait there’s more. What if I add to the mix a house with a history; a house with “feelings,” as one of the characters declares the first day upon entering Devonshire. Feelings that connect directly to the shattered lives of the patients. When changes in patient behavior occur are they the result of true psychic phenomena? Or are they magnified symptoms of their mental illness culminating in a kind of mass hysteria or hallucination? Hmm. Interesting questions. That’s the novel in a nutshell.
I hope you’ll give Too Long Among the Dead a go and please let me know what you think when you’ve read it. I’d love to hear from you and look forward to your comments today. And don’t forget the giveaway!
Link to JMS BOOKS for Synopsis, Excerpt, and Buy Link:
Bio:PAUL ALAN FAHEY writes for JMS Books. He is the author of the Lovers and Liars gay wartime romance series and the editor of the 2013 Rainbow Award-winning anthology, The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity, &Moving On. His first LGBT novella, The View From 16 Podwale Street, published by JMS Books, won a 2012 Rainbow Award. Over the years, his writing has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Byline, Palo Alto Review, Long Story Short, African American Review, The MacGuffin, Thema, Gertrude, Kaleidoscope, and in a variety of fiction and nonfiction anthologies. He lives on the California Central Coast with his husband, Robert Franks, and a gaggle of shelties.
The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED