Hi, friends and readers:
I’m pleased to announce publication of my new Young Adult novel, Tyler Buckspan, released by Prizm Books, who earlier published my Young Adult novel, Josef Jaeger. Here’s the blurb for Tyler Buckspan:
“Fifteen-year-old Tyler Buckspan lives with his mom and grandmother in 1960s Cassadaga, a Florida community where spiritual “mediums” ply their trade. The mediums–Tyler’s grandmother among them–read palms and tarot cards, conduct seances and speak with the dead. Tyler’s a loner, a bookish boy with few interests, until his half-brother Devin, nineteen and a convicted arsonist, comes to live in Tyler’s home.
“For years, Tyler has ignored his attraction to other boys. But with Devin in the house, Tyler can’t deny his urges any longer. He falls hopelessly in love with his miscreant half-brother, and with the sport of basketball, once Devin teaches Tyler the finer points of the game. In a time when love between men was forbidden, even criminalized, can Tyler find the love he needs from another boy? And is Devin a person to be trusted? Is he truly clairvoyant, or simply a con artist playing Tyler and others for fools? What does Devin really know about a local murder? And can Tyler trust his own psychic twinges?”
Tyler Buckspan is available at the Prizm Books website in a variety of digital formats. Here’s the link:
The book is also available in print format through Amazon. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Buckspan-Jere-M-Fishback/dp/1610405188/ref=sr_1_2_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379103240&sr=1-2
I wrote the first draft of Tyler Buckspan nearly eighteen months ago. That should give you an idea of how long it takes for a manuscript to reach the point of publication. The editing process is slow and painstaking, but I can truthfully say this is the best writing I have done since I began writing fiction in 2004.
On December 8, 2013, the Rainbow Romance Writers Association bestowed its annual Rainbow Awards honoring excellence in LGBT ficiton. Tyler Buckspan placed second in the Young Adult category for books published in 2013.
You can see the entire list of winners here:
Here’s what one reviewer said about Tyler Buckspan:
“I don’t believe I have ever finished reading a novel, then immediately gone to the computer to review the story. That changes with Tyler Buckspan.
“I don’t think I’ve ever compared a book with two of my most treasured past reads, but Tyler Buckspan recalls the feelings aroused in me by Stephen King’s novella, The Body, better known to most of you as the film Stand By Me. More particularly, however, I would actually hold this lengthy novella to the standard set by Harper Lee in her masterpiece, To Kill A Mockingbird.
“Now, before everyone gets all het up and accuses me of criminal hyperbole, I’m not saying this book has the poetry of language possessed by Miss Lee’s novel. What I’m saying is that the mood of time and place, conveyed through the reminiscences of Scout Finch looking back on a pivotal time in her life and on the people who affected the life-changing events she recounts, is repeated here. Likewise, the camaraderie between young men coming of age that is addressed by King in The Body is found, in spades, in this sweet and heartfelt story.
“It’s the pivotal year of 1963 in the tiny town of Cassadaga, Florida, a town whose major “industry” is the shady world of psychics and mediums. Tarot cards and palm-reading.
“This story, like Scout’s, is told in the first person by a grown-up Tyler as he looks back on the approximately three years that would shape the way his life would play out. It is Fishback’s ability to speak, simultaneously, as a fifteen to eighteen year-old boy/man along with a world-weary wisdom, garnered by decades of a life lived in an intolerant world, that makes this novel really something to be sought-out and treasured.
“The novel opens with the arrival in Cassadaga of Tyler’s half-brother, the nineteen-year-old Devin. Devin is just out of prison for burning down his father’s house. For Tyler, who has already realized he is attracted to boys, it’s love at first sight. And, for his part, the handsome Devin immediately becomes the signal influence on Tyler’s growth as a man.
“The first thing Devin does is to begin teaching Tyler the game of basketball using a plywood backboard with a basketball goal that Tyler has rarely used. Creamed by his older brother in game after game of one-on-one, Tyler slowly begins to learn the strategies and skills that go into playing the game well.
“In return, Tyler shares his knowledge of a fresh water spring that no one appears to know anything about, let alone swim in. From his first view of the naked Devin, with whom he shares his private place, the fifteen-year-old boy is in love/lust with his gay half-brother.
“Wedged into Tyler’s grandmother’s house by their mother, despite grandma’s dark warning that “I don’t trust that boy,” Devin is forced into working at the local brickyard as he apprentices as a medium. Devin quickly finds a “friend” in the equally handsome Jesse, with whom he begins restoring a 1955 Chevrolet sedan purchased from a nearby wrecking yard. Allowed to hang around the two men, Tyler begins to pick up a knowledge of the inner working of the automobile. Before the two young men began their restoration of the Chevy, Tyler didn’t care “how cars worked, as long as they ran.” But the often shirtless amateur mechanics quickly focus Tyler’s interest on the work they’re accomplishing. And he begins to learn about cars.
“Throughout the book run the twin themes of basketball and auto restoration/repair. This is handled so exquisitely that your reviewer, who couldn’t give a crap about either subject, was just as entranced by both as is Tyler.
“The loner Tyler begins to come out of his shell and, in a psychic moment of his own, discovers that one of his classmates lusts after him. The romance that ensues is handled deftly; the sex is fairly tame, but it’s definitely there. Enough to know that Tyler is a bottom.
“As love waxes and wanes, the two constants in Tyler’s life are his growing skill at playing basketball and his increasing knowledge of the automobile. And Devin is always tantalizingly there telling Tyler he’s too young for them to have sex, but that his time is definitely coming.
“The nuts and bolts of this story are what makes it enchanting; just as Scout’s tales of life in the “tired old town” of Maycomb, Alabama are what make Mockingbird universal. It’s all in the mood, the getting-to-know a young man who realizes he’s gay in a time when it was still not only criminalized, but universally abhorred. Tyler’s learning about life, love, basketball and cars is presented in an impossible-to-resist manner. I defy anyone who starts this story to not finish it as quickly as they can, just to see how Tyler’s trials and tribulations will affect him as he grows into young manhood. Personally, I read this novella straight-through, non-stop, and I can’t remember ever doing that with any other story of this length.
“If you were drawn into the worlds of Scout Finch and Gordie Lachance, I promise you that you will be equally in love with the tender/tough times of Tyler Buckspan.
“This novel is a real find, and not just for people who like YA stories. The story has a universality that, if it doesn’t touch you, makes me despair for your humanity. It’s really that good.”