Neap Tide   Leave a comment

CoverWhere to buy your very-own copy!  Neap Tide is available on-the-shelf and also the web from Northern Tides, in Lubec (  It is also available from Amazon.

On January 16, 2013, I self-published Neap Tide.  That is to say, on that day I pushed the button on the CreateSpace website that proclaimed to the world that I considered the work complete.  Was this an act of bravado, daring others to challenge my right to do so?  Was it an act of fatigue, acknowledging weariness had overtaken the artistic urge to keep trying to make it better?  Was it an act of contrition, deciding that I had kept my readers (maybe even both of them) waiting long enough?  Was it the act of a madman?  Or was it simply an act of self-defense, the louder shouts of the characters in my next work drowning out the whispered insinuations of Matt and Sissy?  Probably it was a mere self-delusion.

Any way you choose to view it, it was a leap of faith of the purest kind.  To take something that has taken nearly two years to bring to this point, and throw it to the world as if it were a leg of lamb tossed to a pack of ravening wolves.  Or something.

Hey, don’t blame me for barfing up a series of inane metaphors.  When you throw out the baby but make a bathwater cocktail, strnnger things might happen.

The decision to end it was not taken lightly.  I have slept with these folks in my head for some time – just ask my wife.  Closing the cover on one story to move to another is rather akin to packing up and saying goodbye to the neighbors – and to your spouse too.  Abandoning one female lead for another almost feels like sneaking through a back door to commence an illicit liaison. (I do confess to being a flaming heterosexual, and consider all of my women to be hot.  Even Adrienne with her bloody-rose tattoo.)

My motivation to write this story was to contrast people who have deep roots in an area with those whose wanderlust possibly mimics my own.  Why would I do that?  Well, for starters, when we moved to Lubec we started living that life.  Funny thing, in New Jersey we had neighbors close by but seldom saw them, here we have no close-in neighbors but interact regularly with a lot of folks.

In that regard, Matt, who is possibly the most sympathetic character in the story (and maybe my entire universe), is and was a product of his envirnoment, having lived in the same Down East community for at least four generations.  (I said it like that intentionally.)  Cecelia / Sissy, on the other hand, has an upbringing at least a bit more like my own, having lived near east-coast cities most of both or our lives, and not having any one place that feels like home.  (Anybody who wants to understand more about what that means should read Mowry Beach; I’ll not explain it here.)  Sissy is sexually more experienced than Matt, but through him has learned the powerful aphrodasiac qualities of a committed and faithful relationship.  In many regards, she is me, even more so than was Delsey.

I did not want Sissy to be a sympathetic character (any more than I would wish to be seen as one), even though the story is told through her eyes.  She is deeply flawed, and cannot escape from her own skin.  The choice of Third-Person Singular allowed me to control the distance so that the reader can become intimate with her thoughts when it is important to do so, but the reader will only know the thoughts of others from their effect on her.  She is contrasted with Dolores, her mother,with Patty, her daughter, Ellen, her college roommate, and possibly others.

So why the tragedy?  To start with, tragic events bring people together, as it did Matt and Sissy.  This one damn near destroyed Patty, in every sense of the word.  The event itself was one that residents of coastal communities know, understand, and fear.  Folks who live away from such towns are hard pressed to comprehend how these things can affect a small town, and I hope that I have brought that much to life.

There will be those who find my use of subtext, metaphor, and multi-definition jargon to be confusing, or even worse: opaque.  I make no apologies for that, and suggest that if my style is uncomfortable then maybe the works of others will suit them better.  That’s why we have libraries.  To use phrase “to be with” for its self-evident meaning; to use it to simply state that there is a relationship between two people; or to imply that there is an intimate bond that is exercised…  I like all three.  Painters mix colors, photographers dodge and burn, and writers play hanky-panky with words.  It’s who we are.

My depiction of Washington County is, I believe, fair and honest.  It is not the drug-infested hellhole shown by downcoast Maine authors who prefer to keep tourists in their own counties, and it is not the fairy dreamscape conjured up by a few who have visited here but never had to dig their car out of the wet, sticky stuff delivered by a Down East snowstorm.   My knowledge of fishermen goes back to my time in Rhode Island, and also with my dealings with them here.

Within hours of the Amazon listing, the first copy was sold.  I am aroused by the knowledge that someone – a person whose identity will almost certainly never be revealed to me – will be reading of Sissy and Matt.  I dream of this person being as intrigued by their relationship as me.

Posted January 18, 2013 by JD Rule

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *