Hi, I’m Jim. I’m a writer. I wasn’t always a writer, but found advertising in my 30s and they paid me to come up with ideas that moved people to act favorably. So you could say I’m a professional writer.
I don’t know about other writers, but all my life I’ve been haunted by ideas. Stupid, mundane, important, irrelevant, glorious ideas. There was a time when I tried to suppress these ideas as a way to fit into the “real world” with a “real job,” but I was miserable and nearly went insane.
Over time I’ve learned how to deal with the ideas that swirl around me. Sometimes I turn them into poems. One time I wrote a novel. Mostly I just write them down and save them to my computer. As such, my computer contains ideas for literally thousands of stories.
It’s weird, but this pandemic has unleashed a tsunami of ideas in me. More ideas than ever. Considering all the negative vibes out there in the world, I find this phenomenon interesting.
One of the ideas that appeared to me was extremely topical. It gnawed at me for days. I couldn’t deny it or put it in a box. It wanted out of my head. Right now.
When I wrote my novel, Minor King, I went to the North Carolina mountains for two weeks to isolate. It worked. I finished it in 9 days. Only, I had no plans to leave home to write this particular story that wanted out. Instead, I sent my wife, daughter, and mother in-law to the beach for a week at the beginning of October. They were excited. I was excited. I cleared my work schedule so I could do let go to let the muses do their thing—like midwife delivering a child. All I had to do was stay focussed, breathe, and push keys.
It worked. The result is a 75-page novella called Mongoose. It’s a story that takes place in a parallel universe that looks a lot like modern America. Which is to say, it’s filled with chaos.
The story is so short that you can read it in a couple of hours. In fact, I wrote it in present tense as a way to bring the you into a realtime story. Like a movie. I can’t lie, I’m dying to write a screenplay but didn’t have the time to learn the software for Mongoose—so I did the next best thing.
I really don’t want to give much away here because it’s such a quick read, but let me just say that if you have paid ANY attention to American events in 2020, this story will resonate. Here’s how it opens:
The following story is true. It takes place in a parallel universe—one tick away from your own.
The longest-running democracy in the history of mankind is in peril. Protesters, rioters, and armed gangs fill the streets. Racial tensions have reached a violent apex. A deadly virus, which has killed a quarter-million Americans in just eight months, continues to ravage the nation as the result of government failure—with no end in sight. The results of the recent general election, which saw the greatest voter turnout in history, is in question. And the President, Montgomery J. Fox, has just declared a National State of Emergency—activating the National Guard to quell the turmoil. The nation is divided. Loyalists to the President are hardened and armed to the teeth. Citizens who oppose him are considered lawless dissenters. And those in the middle are simply trying to survive—both the encroaching civil war and a killer virus.
The world watches on in horror as a once-great light is slowly snuffed out.
The protagonist of the story is the manager of an AutoZone, who is a former Army sharpshooter but now just a regular guy just trying to survive the chaos of America. The antagonist is a madman President who lost an election, but who refuses to acknowledge the results and is on the verge of a violent takeover to maintain power.
But don’t worry, in this parallel universe, there is a happy ending.
The novella is available digital and paperback and you can get it here;
Amazon (also available as paperback)
Barnes & Noble (digital only)
Please note, even though it’s a novella (shorter than a novel), Mongoose is available as a paperback on Amazon. If you would prefer to read Mongoose on another platform, just tell me and I’ll try to put it there.
So that’s it. I don’t know why these sorts of ideas fly around me. In my advanced age, I’ve decided that my job isn’t to understand these things—but to let them work through me.
I don’t know any other way. To stay sane.
Please read this story. And vote. And then be prepare to do whatever is necessary if voting doesn’t work out.
Remarkable times call for remarkable sacrifice.