My first novel.
I believe there is no such thing as fiction. It’s just
reality spun together differently. And HIP is the spinning on mine.
HIP is the collision of things close to my heart: urban
teens, old folks and travel. The result is a streetwise caregiver who hides heroin
in the diapers of old folks in an international drug smuggling scheme that
starts in Detroit and hangs a left in Bangkok.
I started writing HIP last year while living on the flip
side (since I knew I wouldn’t master Mandarin, I decided to use my time writing
a novel instead). I joined the mass of indie authors who are rewriting the rules
of the industry by publishing it on Smashwords.com, saving a few trees in the
The quirky caper starts in Detroit when a young parolee,
Haman Brookes, is sentenced to work at an old folks home. His street smarts
come in handy, breaking up brawls in the dining hall, spotting cheating scams
at the card table, even bumping attendance to the HOW TO POOP workshops. But
when Haman’s drug hustling friends catch wind that he is chaperoning a few
oldies to Bangkok for affordable hip surgery, their wheels start turning. They
create a scheme to have Haman hide heroin in lining of their adult diapers.
What isn’t planned is the amount of work it takes to care for a group of eighty-four
going onto five year olds.
got the idea to writing HIP from a few things. The first being mother. Writing
this quirky caper helped me deal with the stuff that could drive my sisters and
self crazy, from finding her hearing aids in the laundry basket to filling up pill
boxes with pharmaceutical All-sorts. Maybe you can relate.
the streetwise care keeper and his financially strapped friends, get their
fictional DNA from splicing together details of various teens I have met in
urban youth ministry. Dealers, users, hustlers, drop outs, prostitutes, inmates
and out-mates. Many have evolved into extraordinary youth pastors.
like the Packard Building bring local flavor to the pages. Patrick, my Detroit
born and raised brother in law, snapped this photo.
Bangkok locations such a Sukhumvit, will open readers eyes to a whole new world.
The extraordinary Inga-lise Dahl designed the cover of HIP
from her flat in London (since she was a quarter of a world away, didn’t
shoot me in the process). Inge picked a dragon-headed cane for the symbolic visual,
since chasing the dragon is slang for
heroin addiction (追龙). The term originated in
China. I would’ve known that, too, if I studied the dang language.
Crystal Maust gave me encouragement by reading one of the
earlier versions and she’s still my friend anyway.
Rated PG13: adult language, brief geriatric nudity.