Title: The Palace of Winds
Status: Complete, Final Draft. Available
Word Count: 122,274
Loosely based on my grandfather’s life, THE PALACE OF WINDS tells the story of a young man determined to support his widowed mother and younger sister after the last of their family fortune is wiped out by the Wall Street crash of 1929.
With dreams of regaining his family’s wealth, Carl “Bud” Malott, sets out for California in a stake bed truck with six friends. After traversing the American south west, he arrives in California where he finds work with an ambitious fight promoter named Eugene Wertz.
As Bud’s fortunes begin to look up, his boss is threatened by a rival fight promoter, Nick Bianchini, who has ties to Los Angeles mob boss, Jack Dragna. Easily persuaded to help his boss protect their growing reputation, Bud agrees to go under cover and spy on Bianchini to find evidence they can use to put him in jail.
Into this subterfuge steps Madeline Bianchini, Nick’s daughter, and against his better judgement, Bud falls in love. After Bud is set up to take the fall for embezzling from the mob, Madeline kills her mobster brother as she and Bud flee LA for Montana where a final bleak tragedy awaits them.
A fast paced, literary epic, THE PALACE OF WINDS, is concerned with the shifting American mythos of masculinity, especially the loss of effective, and worthy father figures, and how young men come to define themselves in that absence.
Title: Far Nineteen
Status: Complete draft, available.
Word Count: 122,521
For the city of Nedohana, its troubled past is never far below the surface. Its largest park used to be a prosperous African American neighborhood called Booker Heights until it was burned to the ground by a white mob in 1936. In the decades since, the Heights has become a park haunted by rumors of ghosts and mass graves. The city’s other neighborhoods also have buried histories, and construction crews regularly find forgotten bomb shelters built during the 1950s, some of which contain the remains of people who’ve been missing for years. And then, there’s the 1960 Chrysler Imperial and its time capsule the city buried in 1960. According to Emmett Hayden, the car that his father, Hannibal, and the late Connor Wilco helped place also contains the remains of Emmett’s twin brother, Walter. For most of his life now, Emmett has tried to convince anyone who will listen that Walter never made his planned trip to Mexico after graduating high school, and was, instead, murdered and hidden in the car by Connor Wilco’s son, John, who he once thought of as a friend and ally.
Emmett’s belief in John's guilt has driven a wedge between him, his ex-wife, and his father, Hannibal. So, when John Wilco returns to Nedohana to witness the time capsule’s opening, and Walter’s remains are found inside, Emmett thinks he has finally been vindicated, except, there’s no evidence to support his claims. The discovery of his son’s remains also sends the 90 year old Hannibal Hayden reeling. A survivor of the 1936 destruction of Booker Heights, Hannibal has always wanted to excavate the park and put to rest the rumors about mass graves. Struggling with his grief at the loss of his son, and the unresolved trauma from his youth, he slips away from his nursing home and, with the help of Connor Wilco's brother, Frederick, and the ghosts of the haunted park, begins to dig up the park. As Hannibal and Frederick dig at night, and hide in a forgotten bomb shelter during the day, Emmett and John mount a faltering search for them while wrestling with their past and the deep rifts of race and privilege that turned them from close friends to near enemies.