I have a new book being published soon by The Story Merchant Publishers, “The Other Side of Tomorrow”. It is set in Lake Charles and is mostly about Church Street. I was born on Church Street and grew to manhood there. The characters in the book are fictional, but they and the events are blends of actual folks and real happenings.
The story of how the book came to be is interesting. I had a dear friend Millie Myers who taught school with me at Frisbie Junior High School in Rialto, California. She was a great special education teacher, but she was also a gifted writer. She went to Los Angles every Tuesday night to meet with a writers group led by Dr, Kenneth Atchity. Millie’s husband Arthur had a heart attack and could no longer make the weekly drive to Los Angeles so I agreed to take Millie for a few weeks till his doctor released him to drive again.
On the first Tuesday Dr. Atchity allowed me to sit in the writers group under the condition that I must write something. Over the next six weeks I wrote six short stories which were well received. Dr. Atchity advised me to fashion them into a novel which I did over several more weeks. It was entitled A Pillar of Salt. It was never published, but it was part of what I called the Bayou Trilogy. Now, after 22 years, it has become “The Other Side of Tomorrow”. It is not the same book. It is a better story and better storytelling. What I have learned, among other things, is that I am more of a storyteller than a writer, but Church Street always makes for a good story.