From the Author
As a person diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as an adult, I often look back to childhood for the origin of my quirks and obsessive interests, as does Jeffrey in End of Summer
. All authors bring themselves and their past to their books, and this book is no exception. Most of the characters are based on people I knew as a child. My parents are still living, as is not the case with Jeffrey's parents in the book, but I wished to focus on Jeffrey's relationship with his granddaddy. Jeffrey is me and his quirks and obsessions are my quirks and obsessions--the one difference is that he is more polite than I was as a child. Perhaps he is an idealized me with the quirks, but without some of the rougher edges. Of course many of the details in the book never happened and even the events that happened are "fictionalized."
The process of writing the book was fascinating. I wrote the first draft staying at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines. I had written about ten pages before I came there for ten days--and by the time I left the first draft had been completed. The field behind the Weymouth Center reminded me of Granddaddy's field--outcroppings of trees, whose tangled branches formed "rooms." The experience was magic, one of being in Jeffrey's shoes and walking through that field as an adult. The images came like video in my mind, and I described what was replayed. The good and bad moments of childhood came like a flood--I now understand why writers drink. It is to deal with the emotional overload that inevitably arises from writing. Yet those Weymouth memories are among the best of my life. I came away with a better understanding of how Asperger's Syndrome had affected my life from my earliest memories onward. I truly enjoyed writing this book, and hope those of you who read it enjoy as much as I did writing it.
From the Back Cover
A deeply moving and passionate book, Michael Potts' End of Summer is apoignant literary novel about childhood and memory. This is contemporary Southern fiction at its best. In textured language and with heartfeltattention to detail, Potts' nuanced portrayal of rural life in southernAppalachia and a young boy's initial encounter with death reminds usthat life at the economic margins can be culturally and spirituallyrich, and that even as absences and losses sometimes damage us, thesecan also strengthen and redeem.
- Michael Colonnese, Ph.D.
Author of Sex and Death, I Suppose
and Temporary Agency