• The Seven Hundred Dollar Raincoat ...





    On August 8th, 2013, I launched my much-anticipated next novel 'The Seven Hundred Dollar Raincoat'. I could say a lot of different things to you at this point, but maybe what I put in the book would say it better ...

    Note from the author …


    I used to occupy an apartment up on Hollywood Blvd behind the Rock n Roll Ralph's grocery store. That's what the locals always called it, as you could always find some random member of any late eighties, early nineties hair band buying booze and frozen steaks in some half-inebriated state. It's also the location for the opening scene in The Big Lebowski. Back then, I was just a quiet observer and those were definitely the days to remember. I just never thought they'd fade as quickly as they did. Maybe it was the internet, maybe it was the turbulence of broken love affairs, maybe it was something else. Maybe it was me. Maybe the people I knew back then just decided to finally grow up. I guess I should be glad to say that I knew them while they were young and still in their prime.

    Maybe the truth was that they got to see me during a period of my life where I was clueless and lost. Hmmm .... wait ... this sounds all too familiar.

    Hollywood has changed a lot since I used to live there. Those days were almost like a very quick second Golden Age that evaporated between the point of, them cleaning the homeless and vagabond youth from the streets, to the point where gentrification just took over en masse and they re-did everything that the eye could see from Fairfax to the parking lots just past Vine. The place ain't the same at all, and it definitely suffers for it as well. Most people I know won't go near the place, not because they feel out of place, but just because the place itself – is out of place. When everything nosedives down there again, it may improve. Some places are always meant to be ghettos. Too many good books have been written painting it as a wasteland for it to ever be an adult extension of a commercial version of Disneyland.

    Love life back then? You just read about it. Who knows the paths of some of those people that we once told we loved and would always care about. A decade and a half on, other priorities in life are now far more pressing than youthful folly. All I can say is I know I pissed some people off. Royally. Forgiveness is its own reward, although I have no problem apologizing openly. I'm honestly sorry.

    Friends? Hard to say about most of them as well. Some of them thought they we're either, above the law, were above the law, or ended up in the hands of the law. A few of them had an impact on my life and I'll always miss them. Most of the others met their own fates elsewhere and have ceased being a concern or harangue on others, and thankfully, too.

    Lessons I learned from that point in time:

    1. Don't trust anyone with anything important to you.
    2. Never divulge your secrets to someone who says they love you.
    3. Never lie to someone who says they love you.
    4. Life is a lot like a magic trick, you can never tell them how yours works. They won't understand.
    5. Sometimes, you have to put the past behind you.
    6. Look out for yourself, no one else will.
    7. Don't get in a car with someone who owes you money – a lot of money.
    8. Don't volunteer to pick people up from the airport.
    9. If you think someone is more interested in your medicine cabinet than you – you're probably right.
    10. You may have to suffer fools, but you don't have to do it gladly.
    11. Most of the strip clubs in Hollywood are owned by the same two assholes.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my books and give it thought.

    All the best,

    Steffan


    * * * 


    Acknowledgments ...

    Over the many years of the life of this book, I've been thankful to receive a lot of wise advice, assistance and guidance from some very positive people.

    Thanks to Courtney Abruzzo and Mark Espinosa for being the very first readers and editors, and helping to make this manuscript cogent and tell a compelling story.

    Thanks to David Downing for doing the heavy lifting on my editing and developmental work for the better part of 2013.

    Thanks to Allison Dickson for layout and eBook formatting.

    Thanks also go to Terry Goodman over at Amazon Publishing who pushed this book up a hill for me like Sisyphus, only to see it get cast asunder. Things like that happen in publishing everyday though. I ain't mad at ya.



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