More About the Author
My first novel, January's Paradigm, was published in 1998. Current Entertainment Monthly in Ann Arbor, Michigan, wrote of January's Paradigm, "(readers) will not be able to put it down."
In 2008 I completed Backstop: A Baseball Love Story in Nine Innings, which is available from Second Wind Publishing and in Kindle format. Backstop was nominated a Michigan Notable Book in 2010, while the Lewis Department of Humanities at the Illinois Institute of Technology adopted it as required reading for one of their spring 2011 courses--Baseball: America's Literary Pastime.
Also in 2008, I finished work on a futuristic piece, Chaotic Theory, a novella that explores the conjecture of how the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil might result in a tornado in Texas.
I completed The Cobb Legacy in 2010, a murder mystery romance that spans two centuries written around baseball legend, Ty Cobb.
One Hot January and its sequel, January's Thaw, are based on the character, Joe January, first introduced in January's Paradigm. The January books are my tribute to Raymond Chandler, the master of the hard-boiled detective genre. An alternate reality, time travel yarn, One Hot January starts where January's Thaw ends, and January's Thaw ends where One Hot January starts. A romance, the narrative follows Joe January from post World War II New York to 2047, where he rues the loss of the woman he left behind.
A Retrospect in Death begins with a man's death. The reader is taken to the other side where the narrator encounters his higher self--the part of him that is immortal and is connected to the creator. The protagonist learns (much to his chagrin) that he must return to the lifecycle. But first he must be "debriefed" by his higher self, and so they set about discussing the man's previous life--in reverse chronological order: knowing the end but retracing the journey, searching for the breadcrumbs left along the way. A Retrospect in Death is a story about discovery. You think you know yourself? Perhaps you only think you do. Do those closest to us know us better than we know ourselves; or do they, as we often insist, know jack? Consider that only in death can you really know, and understand, who and why you are--or were. And then ask yourself: At that point, is it too late? Does it even matter?
A love story that touches four decades, 500 Miles to Go is about the importance of, and the risks associated with, the pursuit of dreams. When our dreams cause angst to our loved ones, they become nightmares. Gail falls for Alex Król before she learned that he risked his life on dirt tracks during the summer months to the delight of fans who paid to see cars crash--the more spectacular the wreck the taller they stood on their toes and craned their necks to see the carnage. When Alex makes his dream to drive in the Indy 500 come true and he witnesses the deaths of two drivers in his first start, he must ask himself if his quest to win the world's greatest race is worth not only the physical risk, but also losing the woman he loves.
My eighth novel, A World Without Music, is forthcoming, from Second Wind Publishing. Returning from the first Gulf War haunted by horrific images of the body of a marine he brought back from the desert, Reagan seeks refuge from his nightmares and broken marriage in a jazz quartet in which he plays bass guitar. Fifteen years elapse and he has a one-night affair with Rosary, a young woman he meets at one of his gigs. When his ex-wife Sarah looks into his life, they decide to reunite, and an incensed Rosary decides to get even with Reagan. With help from Tom Wallach's ghost, the deceased marine Reagan discovered in the desert, and the daughter Wallach never met, can Reagan piece together the events that left Sarah comatose?
My fiction and essays appear in various online and print publications, including Cezanne's Carrot, Saucy Vox, River Walk Journal, 63 Channels, The Writers Post Journal, Redbridge Review, and Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine. My sports writing can be found at Bleacher Report, while my short fiction and memoirs can be found at a variety of websites. Just google my name.
You can learn more about me and my literary endeavors at www.jconradguest.com.
Photo courtesy of Sommerville Photographie