When I started writing Road Kill as a kid some thirty years ago I envisioned it as two friends, obsessed with killing animals and heading down a very dark dead end.
It wasn’t going to end well and it didn’t.
It was about the idea that if the wrong people get together their evil can be amplified and intensified.
The story was one of supernatural retribution as well as the animals the boys had killed took their revenge in the end.
When I lost the story, having put the notebook I wrote it in on my mom’s car before she had driven off some place, the heartbreak from that loss lasted decades. I always loved the idea of that story and the main character of Bubba Diem stuck with me over the years. I kept thinking about revisiting the story but could never bring myself to do it, though I did start a sequel that didn’t get too far. It was the main story that had captured me.
Over the last few years I have been trying to clear old projects off of my plate, wanting to take care of writing projects I had begun but never finished. It was one of those things where I just wanted to feel as if I had told the stories I had meant to tell once upon a time, before time ran out for me.
Road Kill was the last of those stories.
The last story that was still waiting to be told.
Things have changed a lot for me over those years and so too did the story change. Bubba is the secondary character now with Spector taking the lead. I started mapping the story out in my head over the last few years and have lots and lots of notes as I started guiding the story forward. There was one image that stuck with me early on and that image stayed through the new version of the story. An image of the end, because I always knew how it was going to begin and how it was going to end, it was getting there that I never knew. The funny thing too is that the book continued to surprise me with the directions it took. I wrote in fits and spurts, never really focusing completely on it, but I managed to buy into the story I was writing and followed that through, to where it lead.
I am not sure that this was the story I meant to write initially, nor had begun writing. I can assure you that it’s not the story I wrote sa a kid.
This is darker, deeper, and while the name of the book stands true, it has a different meaning.
This is a mean book.
A book about two young men bonding over blood in a town filled with secrets waiting to be revealed.
I still am not sure what to feel about the book but it feels important to me, and for me. It feels like it was the story that needed to be written.
We’re still a bit away from its release, but I figured I’d post a small sample, a taste of Spector, to give an idea of who my main character was. This is from a scene in the middle of the book.
The beginning of the end.
- Excerpt From ROAD KILL
Bubba shook the squirrel towards me and I took it in both hands, gently, and watched him walk back towards the front of the woods. I looked down at the squirrel as it shivered in my hands.
It was a cute little guy.
I looked up and Bubba was gone.
My smile dropped and I squeezed, and squeezed, and squeezed until the thing stopped moving and then squeezed even harder and dropped it onto the ground and wiped my hand on my jeans and slowly made my way out.
I’d be goddamned if someone was gonna psychoanalyze me and tell me what I was and should be.
I chose my path.
Not anyone else.