Rumble Young Man Rumble is a modern coming of age story. I wrote it because as a young man I did not identify with any of the iconic coming of age stories people gave me. I don’t think any of my peers did either. It’s 2014, hand your average American 20 year old a copy of Catcher in the Rye and see if they get past the first couple pages… they won’t. It’s sad, because Catcher is a great book, but it just doesn’t speak to the experience of growing up now. There aren’t too many books that do. When I taught high school English, it became glaringly apparent that my students were suffering from a similar lack of literature they could identify with. When I taught undergrads in college, I found the same thing to be true. In America, we no longer come of age in our teenage years: we come of age in our mid twenties with far more access and danger around us. I wrote Rumble Young Man Rumble to renew the dialogue of the genre.
I wrote it to reach out to the young men and women who, unfortunately, look at books like they are things that belong on a dusty library shelf.
On a more personal note, I wanted Rumble to be a story about love, loss, and prizefighting, all things I find to be infinitely fascinating and quite similar to each other.
Who do you think would be most affected by or touched by this work?
It is my hope that this book finds its way into the hands of sensitive and angry young men who are learning to become adults. I think that they would be the most touched by this story. I also think people who’ve never given ring fighting a second thought but had the courage to pick up this book will be incredibly surprised at the complexity and emotion portrayed in this story with regard to fighting. It is a book that, if you can look past some of the raw grit, can transcend age and gender variables.
Hidden in the pages of Whole in the Clouds you will find the ticket to a fantastical new world, complete with trees that sprout children, shy unicorns, elves who move at dizzying speeds, inchworms who wear spectacles and a pudgy little girl who is magically transformed into an ethereal beauty.
An unhappy orphan, Cora Catlin is a misfit at best, an outcast at worst. She feels out of place in her life, as if everything is backwards and part of her is missing. But her long, tormented hours in hum-drum Harborville take a decided turn upwards when she encounters an elfin stranger who tells of a mystical world that awaits her atop the clouds. As Cora travels to her new home by way of a magical elevator to the heavens, she finds herself and her companion physically transformed. As if an entirely new body wasn’t enough to get used to, royal parentage, talking pegasus’, a raging war and an alluring love interest who just happens to be the son of her father’s greatest enemy await Cora as well. Exploring this new land alongside her devoted dog Motley, Cora will unearth wonders and secrets beyond her wildest imaginings. She will discover the meaning of true friendship, love and what it means to finally feel whole—Whole in the Clouds.