For a long time, the Doug’s Books section on the right side of your screen ended with:
His next book is a novel that has nothing to do with music.
The section now begins (bells, whistles, horns, raucous whoops and shouts, please):
Doug’s most recent book is Poodie James, a novel published in 2007.
The official publication was a few days ago. The book is now available. Preview readers have been extraordinarily kind. You can see some of their comments if you go to this page at the publisher’s web site. In a convenient coincidence, that is also the place where you can place an order for Poodie. Please do. If you order directly from Libros Libertad, a pioneering new house in Vancouver, British Columbia, you will support their efforts to make a difference in the way writers of serious fiction and poetry reach their readers. In other words, if you buy from Libros Libertad, the publisher makes a little more money.
At the Libros Libertad site, you’ll find an excerpt from Poodie James and a link to a longer biography of the author than you’ll see on Rifftides. I wrote earlier that the book has nothing to do with music. That is true in the sense that music is not a central theme and no central character is a musician. It is unlikely that any book of mine could avoid music altogether. Here is a short excerpt from a scene in which Poodie, who is deaf, attends a dance.
The rhythm surging through his body made him happy. Poodie wondered if the dancers got the sensation from hearing the music that he did from feeling it, radiance in the belly, warmth around the heart. The first piece ended. Poodie applauded with the others.
Now the leader was singing into a microphone. The first words went by too fast for Poodie to see them, but then the man sang, “Caldonia, Caldonia, what makes your big head so hard?” On each syllable the drummer hit the bass drum with the pedal and a smaller drum with his sticks. When the words came around again, Poodie laughed. Seeing him, the drummer laughed too. During slow pieces, Poodie could feel just a thump now and then, but on the fast ones the thunder of the drums rolled against him. Sometimes, when all of the men played at once, a wave came through the air and along the floor. It pushed into his chest and up through his feet and made his heart beat faster.
Fair warning: Poodie James has no car chases. It has a terrific train wreck, though.