A short excerpt From my recently finished novel NEVER MIND THE BEASTS. Will be sending it out to publishers/agents soon. Fingers crossed.
Never Mind the Beasts is a 1985 coming-of-age story of Henry, a recent immigrant from Portadown, N. Ireland. Told in the style of vignettes, we move inside the mind of Henry as he attempts to adapt to 1980’s American culture and his new religion of Mormonism. First in a trailer park in Vallejo, California and then in Las Vegas. But the past catches up with him, especially the trauma and delayed PTSD of witnessing a man being blown up by a bomb in his hometown of Portadown, N. Ireland during the height of The Troubles. At age 20, halfway through a Mormon mission, Henry has a breakdown and is diagnosed by a Mormon psychiatrist as having “a touch of schizophrenia.” He returns to a small town in the Utah desert to try again, unsuccessfully, to fit into his new culture and religion. While working with retired lesbian nuns at a bookshop in a small Utah town, he reads world mythology, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and On the Road and decides, like Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, to embark on a quest for a new vision. Accompanied by his imaginary friends Lucy and Anthony, he wanders in the Utah desert and confronts his demons as well as his supposed saviours. Didi, a Polish-American S&M star, a man with craters, and three top notch former Brazilian beauty queen winners try to fix Henry with The Treatment. But a mysterious grey man keeps transporting him into other worlds. Never Mind the Beasts is a story of the power of reconciling with the beasts of our past and allowing imagination, no matter how unconventional, to lead the way towards healing.


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