These are exciting times. As mentioned in my last blog, I will submit my new manuscript to the first of two contests over the weekend. I would appreciate any feedback to the synopsis which I have pasted below. Feel free to critique in the comments below or by email to alshalev at bigfoot dotcom.
It is also exciting to see that people are picking up Oilspill dotcom in its e-book format from both Smashwords and Scribd. The world of e-book is accelerating and I am so happy to be part of this wave. If you have read the book, please post a review on these sites and also Goodreads if you hang out there.
To all who follow my blog and my progress as an author – Happy New Year – I appreciate all your support and encouragement.
Unwanted Heroes (80,000 words)
Unwanted Heroes (80,000 words)
Good coffee, vintage wine and the magic of San Francisco bring together an elderly, battle weary Chinese American war vet and an idealistic and pretentious young Englishman. But when repressed memories suddenly surface, they discover a more dangerous commonality where the key to release for each of them lies in an unlikely partnership.
Will Taylor finds employment as a barista at The Daily Grind in the Financial District of San Francisco and is inspired to write his breakout novel. Walking the streets of Kerouac and Ginsberg, Taylor discovers a beautiful city and cutting edge culture alongside the harsh underbelly of American society.
When his boss suddenly disappears, Will unravels an injustice he must try and help rectify before he loses his friends, his sanity and love. He needs all the help he can find and all the allies he can muster. A homeless professor, precariously balanced between intellectual pinnacles and mental abyss, offers advice and contacts. Taylor’s Goth girlfriend initiates him into the West Coast counter culture, while her Nob Hill father digs up his own military nightmares to help another haunted soldier in desperate straits.
The unique culture of San Francisco lends itself to the comical aspects of the novel, offset in a rollercoaster of emotions where comic follows tragic. When Will meets his Goth girlfriend’s parents for dinner at their home on Nob Hill, the only conversation piece he can offer is teaching them to toast in twelve languages. In the ensuing abrupt scene change, he is frantically searching a military graveyard at night, looking for his boss who has suddenly disappeared without his medication.
Unwanted Heroes confronts the issue of homelessness and, in particular, American war veterans who could never readjust into society. This novel is a tribute to a beautiful, unique and quirky city and its people, and yet highlights those who sacrificed so much to keep it and America free.
As such, Unwanted Heroes fits into a genre of novels written by authors who want to effect change in the world. Erin Brockovich, The Rainmaker, A Civil Action and The Appeal, are comparable works in this respect. In addition, the humorous scenes reflect the influence of Christopher Buckley and Christopher Moore.
But above all, Unwanted Heroes is a story of injustice, friendship and romance, as seen through the eyes of a struggling young writer from across the Atlantic, who brings more baggage than just his shiny laptop and romantic ideals.