Happy Book Day! THE DUMPSTER CLUB is available nowImage Not Found.
The Dumpster Club, my novel for young adults, is now available in paperback and on Kindle. This is probably the first you're hearing of this book. It was one of the secret projects I've worked on here and there--over the last 10 years. Yeah.
One afternoon in 2009, my wife Amie and I parked our car in our stall behind our apartment and cut through a short alleyway leading to our courtyard. As we cut through the alley, I glanced, as I always did--I don't know why--at the Dumpster against one wall. I looked away. Then did a double take. Someone had left a crate of books next to the Dumpster. Not too unusual. What was unusual was the sticky notes attached to some covers.
Each note read like the person who wrote it intended for someone else to have the book. For example, stuck to the cover of Coraline by Neil Gaiman was a note that said, "I just love Neil Gaiman!" Inside, I picked through the crate, examining each book and the notes attached. I wondered what I'd have thought if someone had planted those books and notes for me. Would my mysterious benefactor have chosen those books to send a coded message--selecting books that he or she thought might be relevant to my life in some way?
This seemed like the makings of a story, so I created a character named Josh, stuck him square in the middle of a rough patch in his personal life, and created several other characters surrounding him, one of whom reached out by carefully selecting books and hiding coded messages in the notes attached to them.
The Dumpster Club went through several revisions over the last 10 years. I wrote the first draft in 2009 when I was still getting my writing legs under me. Like Heritage, it became one of those books I revised every so often after I felt I'd grown sufficiently as a writer to take another stab at it (and another, and another, and another).
I'll share more details about writing The Dumpster Club in a future post. For now, you can find the book on Kindle for $2.99, and in paperback for $19.95. You can get a taste for the story by reading the first six chapters for free. (Normally I'd recommend going to the book's Amazon page and clicking the title to use the "Look Inside This Book" feature, but Amazon's algorithms decided to skip to my author's note at the end of the book, which gives away major spoilers since it's meant to be read after you've finished the story.)
I hope you'll give The Dumpster Club a try. It's a very special novel to me, one that has grown to reflect not only my growth as a writer since I started out on this long, twisted road 16.5 years ago (!), but my belief in empathy as well.