More About the Author
I have always written. In elementary school our class was tasked with writing a descriptive paragraph about a well-known figure. While the rest of the class penned odes to their teacher or favorite sports figure, I wrote about recognizing Alfred Hitchcock on a street corner due to his rotund profile. A teacher enjoyed it, and urged me to write more, which lead to an incredibly mawkish poem "See the bird" being published in a local throwaway newspaper. My writing career was off in a flash.
Fast forward several years, and I find myself in recovery from knee surgery, with a laptop at my side. I write a short story, then another, as a means of occupying myself until I can walk again. While I don't do anything with the pieces, they give me confidence enough to continue. At some point I write a story entitled "The Job". This story was the genesis for "Hide In Light"- in fact it's chapter one. This would be around 1994-1995. I finished the novel, near as I can remember, in late 1995.
At this point a rather startling event occurs. I am introduced to Sally Fitzgerald, who is summering and doing research at Emory University. When she finds that I am a budding writer she offers to read some of my work, so I pass off a few short pieces, and then the novel. A few months later we sit at my mother's dining room table as Sally takes me page by page through the book, having edited the entire thing! At one point she remarks on one of my frequent grammatical missteps by saying "Don't worry, Flannery did that too." Mind blowing, to say the least. Sally passed in 2000, and I was never able to show her the fruits of her generous labors, but I am forever indebted to her belief in what I could accomplish. A remarkable woman, indeed.
I began writing for the Melbourne, Florida publication Ink 19 (which I still do today, as Features Editor), at some point in 1996, doing music criticism and pop culture pieces. At some point I earn the princely sum of $85.00 from a now long defunct website, writing 250 word album reviews. That has remained my highest earning year, writing-wise! Since then I have written for Atlanta Press, The Vinings Gazette, Pop Culture Press, Country Standard Time, Classic Drummer, Amplifier, Popmatters.com, The Big Takeover and a few more that I can no longer remember- which might be a good thing!
"Hide In Light" is the story, simply put, of man's eventual extinction. Why this concept came to me in 1995 I have no idea, other than my general sour view of humanity, but the events of 9.11.2001 reinforced in me the soundness of the books basic concept- that mankind simply isn't intelligent nor humane enough to ultimately survive. When I was working on getting the book ready for publication I thought of moving the novel forward in time- it's set in Atlanta in the days before the summer Olympics of 1996- but decided that 9/11 only further illustrated the point of the book while not really changing it, and the novel worked without including it. I did update certain period references- I called cell phones "car phones" back then- but nothing else has really changed.
In addition to publishing Hide In Light, I am also at work on a new project entitled "Music to Play When I'm Dead", a look at what people would choose to be remembered by musically in their final hour. Also in progress is "Searching For Gram Parsons", a collaborative effort with photographer Nancy Mullis about our attempt to find the spirit of the father of Cosmic American Music in the bleakness of modern California, amid the graffiti of Joshua Tree. Find out more at www.mannormyth.com.