This is the moment where if we were in a classroom it would be my turn to speak up and introduce myself. The anxiety leading up to my turn, as everyone else offered up a little about themselves, would be sickening. The dread would only intensify as I open my mouth and immediately forget all of the words I just said. I’m not good at public speaking nor do I enjoy self promotion, and yet, here goes nothing.
I am from Queens, NY.
I am a loving husband and father.
I earn a living by painting bridges and things.
I have a bachelors degree in English literature.
I wrote a book that I am going to share with you over the coming weeks. Some semi-autobiographical fiction. Personally I feel the best novels are rooted in some fragment of truth.
When I sit down at my desk to write, I imagine a wooded landscape, and a roaring fire, the click-clacking of keys on an old fashioned typewriter with a juicy ink ribbon and some Tully. There is usually just Tully.
There is the hum of the highway and odds are, there may be a child climbing up my back or some disaster unfolding the moment I sit and start to type a word. Despite the noise the pages take shape.
Dart Etiquette is a fictional novel, anachronistically set in the 1990s, and slightly non-linear. My favorite thing about the title was that it could easily be the name of a Ghostface Killah or Raekwon song.
The protagonist is Colm Ryan, a young man from a dysfunctional family in Queens. Without proper coping mechanisms for his depression and anxiety he finds sanctuary in his friends, and refuge in the park and dive bar in his neighborhood. Sound familiar? A rowdy lot raised on heavy metal, The New York Mets, graffiti, NYHC and Wu-Tang. Nothing alleviates Colm’s sadness, and he looks to leave, putting Queens in his rearview, but a tragedy will change everything.
The novel deals with various themes such as depression, grief, survivor’s guilt and revenge. It is a story for the brokenhearted, and for anyone who thought their town was a dead end, that all hope was lost. It is bare knuckle, blue collar and pissed off.
A gritty, irreverent book, Dart Etiquette, brims with dark humor and often, a brutal vulnerability. My private fucked-up version of The Outsiders meets The Body by way of Bukowski’s confessional gutter stylings. Punk Rock minimalism.
My aim was to appeal to the nostalgia of a lost time, and give my youth a proper send off. I’m getting up there. Dart is simultaneously, a love letter and a death threat to my home town. I wanted to write something that would celebrate my friends and our park, and give tribute to Pepper while denouncing everything else. It is an exorcism and a eulogy.
I really hope that you can find something in my writing to connect with. Although, the truth is I write for myself. It is a therapeutic, selfish endeavor. With that said, I hope that there is something buried in it for you. Enjoy the book, and whatever weirdo essays I may write and post, no limitations. I appreciate your time. Thank you. -SG