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
In 2010, John Wilco returns to his home town of Nedohana for the first time in fifty years to witness the unearthing of the city’s elaborate time capsule. The time capsule, placed inside a 1960 Chrysler Imperial and buried on the grounds at city hall, was the final project that John’s late father, and Nedohana’s first city planner, Connor Wilco, worked on with his controversial assistant, Hannibal Hayden. During the 1950s, the Wilco and Hayden families were close friends, especially John and the twins, Walter and Emmett Hayden. Their friendship was a rare thing between a white and black family in a southern town like Nedohana with its troubled history of racial segregation and violence, but it didn’t last. So, when the remains of Walter Hayden, who went missing in 1960, are found inside the Chrysler Imperial, Walter’s twin brother, Emmett is certain his long held belief that John murdered Walter and hid him in the car has been validated. But there’s no evidence to support his claim, and when the ninety year old Hannibal, distraught at the discovery, disappears from his nursing home along with John’s uncle Frederick, John and Emmett are forced to confront their complicated past, and the misperceptions and silences that have kept them separate for half a century.