Trouble in the Heartland

Trouble in the HeartlandGood News! I've been keeping this one close to the vest for a while now, but as of this week it's out in the open. Excited to announce I have a story in the upcoming anthology, TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND, edited by the multi-talented (and all-around awesome) Joe Clifford. Best of all, part of the net proceeds will benefit The Bob Woodruff Foundation, which assists veterans.

As the cover states, the collection of of over thirty stories is inspired by the songs of Bruce Springsteen. I'm humbled to be included alongside such incredible writers and thrilled to contribute to such an iconic project.

My story is "Death To My Hometown," inspired by the song of the same name off of Springsteen's recent album, Wrecking Ball. When selecting a song for inspiration I was struck by the Celtic-themed tune born out of the recent recession.

Though I live in Boston, a city that has fared extremely well through the economic downturn compared to other parts of the country, I've seen the effects firsthand in Michigan. My grandparents own a summer cottage outside of White Hall (Muskegon being the nearest 'city' if you are familiar with the area.) Growing up, I visited every year for a week or two during summer vacation. The small towns bustled with life, thriving on local businesses. But the last five years have been challenging. Favorite restaurants and shops have closed down, and though perhaps skewed through my now-adult eyes, it appears much of the energy has been sapped.

My story centers around Detroit, often a poster child for the worst case scenario. And while the story is dark with streaks of noir, it's not without a sense of hope. And you know what? There's a new brewery under construction in White Hall as I type. Things are looking up.

For more, check out Joe Clifford's recent blog post on how it all came together. A huge thank you to Joe, Chris Leek, Gutter Books and the Zelmer Pulp crew for including my work.

Hope you pick up a copy of the book when it lands in the next few months. Until then, I'll leave you with this.