Bedbugs mate through traumatic insemination. The male literally pierces the female’s body with its penis and injects its sperm into her abdominal cavity. A more evil creature Beach couldn’t imagine, except… [Excerpt from Freedom City]
Since Freedom City’s release, a few people who hadn’t yet read it have asked about the significance of the cover, which features a flattened bedbug. I’ve been cagey. It’s difficult to know how much to divulge without spoiling the story.
My response up until now: “Just read it!”
But future readers won’t always have the option of hearing me evade questions. Lest judgment of the cover discourage anyone from reading the book, a brief explanation is warranted.
Freedom City has four main characters, one of whom is an alcoholic lawyer divorcee named Beach Sands who is in a cuckold relationship with his legal assistant. Beach’s divorce was due in part to a bedbug infestation, so these insects form the baseline from which he measures all evil.
Another passage from the novel explains it best:
On the nights when he had drunk too much gin—which was most nights—he was fond of proclaiming to anyone within earshot, ‘The only thing worse than a bedbug is a hypocrite.’ Sometimes Beach replaced the word ‘hypocrite’ with other objects of his disdain: ‘racists,’ ‘fascists,’ ‘religious nuts,’ ‘Mike Pence apologists,’ and sometimes ‘Phillies fans.’
Bedbugs also play an integral role in part of the story—a role I can’t describe without spoiling it. But the one on the cover is simply an analogy for Trumpism, which Beach and his companions undertake to destroy at all costs. And that’s all I’m revealing for now.
It you want to know more—read Freedom City!
I’m thrilled to announce that the inaugural book launch for Freedom City will be held at Slash Run at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 19th, 2018. Slash Run is located at 201 Upshur Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20011.
There is a Facebook page for the event here.
Freedom City begins in the year following Donald Trump’s untimely death. As the novel was the culmination of a year spent fuming about each new milestone of hypocrisy and corruption, it’s fitting that its launch lands on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration.
Rather, the launch is on January 19th, the day before Trump took office—back when things were still moderately sane—back when our government at least professed to value freedom of the press and the rule of law.
The launch will include a reading followed by The Fuss, a local ska/rocksteady/early reggae band. There will be a $5 suggested donation to stay for the band, but the launch itself is free.
I hope to see you there!
I can’t take it back. Writing this book was cathartic. Releasing it is terrifying. In my Introduction to Conducting Private Investigations I chided readers to be careful about what they put in writing. Investigators aren’t supposed to have opinions. Freedom City is proof that this investigator-monk has left the monastery.
My brashness is due in part to the fact that I’ve never been so sure about the success of something as I am about this book. By success I mean book sales. Without exception, it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. It’s honest, intensely personal, and timely. You don’t need to be a pollster to stick you finger in the air. The popular revulsion at our leaders is palpable.
I’m certain people will ask me what in the novel is “true.” Do I advocate violence or revolution? Am I a cuckold like Beach Sands? Was I a skinhead like Joseph Kaline? Do I make bombs in my spare time?
My answer: Freedom City is fiction.
All writers draw on their experiences and emotions when they create characters, but the scenarios and the characters’ choices within those scenarios are made up. There are some elements of the story that I personally relate to more than others, but to ask me what is factually true is to take my real life and attempt to apply it to a fantasy world.
However, once you publish something its interpretation is outside of your control. This frightens me. I hammered out Freedom City in less than three months. This was only possible because the story’s powerful emotions, welled up inside me for a lifetime, finally boiled over in the year since the 2016 election. While the book is satire, the feelings therein sprang straight from my damaged heart, and in that way I know I’m inviting denunciation and ridicule. I’m resigned to except the consequences.
I’d rather be an honest writer (even a failed one) than an investigator-monk who silently seethes at injustice and carries on as if everything is normal.
I hope you enjoy my book.