An Interesting Read in These Trying Times

Them Summer Daze Now Available

Cover design by the author. Graphic of girl created by Allison Terry.

While I have not posted to this blog since late last year, current global events have prompted me to reach out now.

As some of you may know, I’ve written professionally for many years and in a variety of venues.

“Them Summer Daze” is my first venture into what I guess could be called “middle grade/young adult” fiction. I had tried the traditional route of securing an agent and a publisher for this work. When that didn’t happen, I had planned to launch it as an e-book, but could never find the time and kept losing the nerve.

But with recent events being what they are, I have plenty of time and have tossed my nerves to the side, because, truth be told, it’s starting to feel like now or never.

“Them Summer Daze” takes place in the summer 1969 and involves an African American girl on the cusp of being a teenager who is trying to find a way to fit in with the “in crowd”. However, life-altering events over that one turbulent summer has her questioning whether being in with the in crowd is truly worth the price of admission.

Although the book is directed toward young readers, I think you will find the story entertaining for a few reasons. Even though our teen years may be far behind us now, we can all recall the triple adolescent angst of peer pressure, growing pains and parents who just don’t understand! And I use the titles of songs popular during that summer as chapter headings, which may take some of us down memory lane. Even the name of the book itself comes from a popular song of that summer.

While the book is completely fiction (I was NOT 12-years old in the summer of 1969!), the neighborhood described in the book still exists in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, and still looks pretty much the same, although the people who populated it are long gone, including my parents.

While the names of the parents of the main character in the book – Paul and Carrie – are the real names of my parents and is my way of honoring their memory – the characters in the book, including family and childhood friends, neighborhood children and adults, blacks and whites, are composites of the people who lived in or passed through that little corner of the world at that time.

I also tried to recall and include as much of the local color of that time and place as possible – Lowcountry language and slangs, local landmarks and that sense of community that may have formed out of necessity, but came to serve as a safe haven and a source of comfort, and no doubt contributed to our very survival as a people.

I hope you enjoy reading “Them Summer Daze” as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it and, in these challenging times, find something within its pages that serves as a reminder of what we’ve endured as a people, and as a nation.

Thank you for your support!

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