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My First Book, The Orphan From Shepherds Keep, Is Being Published!

I never dreamed I'd be the one saying those words. Yet, they are true—my first novel, The Orphan From Shepherds Keep, will be available for sale worldwide on the Amazon website and in select bookshops beginning on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

The Orphan From Shepherds Keep

I've always wanted to write, but other careers unfolded, and I pursued them—I made movies, produced plays, designed houses, and taught at University—all fulfilling and, like writing, requiring a full-time commitment of energy and time. But as those professions wound down, I realized I had the time and space to focus on my unrealized desire to write. With a mind full of ideas, characters, and dramatic scenarios fighting for attention, I began writing.


I struggled at first; did I have anything to say? Early drafts were erratic, the style inconsistent, the descriptions unclear and wordy, and the adjectives flying off the page! But I pressed on, and with the patient help of a very experienced book editor, I slowly found my way. Now, I simply needed to find a book agent who could choose a publisher willing to guide my novel into the world!


Well, was I in for a rude awakening! While I had been busy writing, the publishing world had been shaken from the ground up—by the pandemic and by pressing social issues that insisted a more inclusive roster of talent be represented in the arts—in the world of music, television, films, museums, and yes, in our bookshops. New voices were being heard, and many of those voices were finding fresh ways to reach their audience—not through the traditional avenues with agents and a handful of publishing houses who controlled what would be read and seen— but by taking their work directly to their readers through the burgeoning world self-publishing. 

I was still wedded to the idea that writers should write and let others focus on marketing and distribution, designing the covers, and setting up book tours and podcasts, release dates, and bookshop relationships. But as I soon learned, in this new world, an author needs to be adept at many things in addition to forming a perfect sentence. And what a world I was introduced to! One of my marketing advisors is based in Lisbon; the artist who created the cover is based in New Zealand; the proofreader lives in the midwestern United States; the books are printed in Tennessee; and I, the sudden center of this storm, live in Northwestern Connecticut.


I'm proud of the book, and the characters I created still occasionally appear in my daydreams. I'm busy with a second book and thrilled each day with the challenges this new story presents. Spring is threatening to make an appearance after a lengthy, wet, and gray winter, and this atmospheric change feeds my energy each day as I struggle to understand these new characters who are populating my universe.


I have no idea whether The Orphan From Shepherds Keep will sell, capture the reader's imagination, and, more importantly, whether the early readers will recommend it to their book-loving friends. That is out of my hands now, but the thrill of creation resonates within, and I am grateful for that.


The Orphan From Shepherds Keep: Three Men, Three Intertwined Lives, One Rightful Place In Each Other's Heart - A Gay Novel


Over a period of thirty years, three gay men struggle to define themselves

and make their mark on a turbulent and unwelcoming world that is

so filled with anger that love has become a luxury.


The townsfolk describe him as “prettier than a boy should be,” and ELI APPLE is embarrassed by such comments but soon learns to celebrate all the pleasures his beauty invites. An orphan, raised by eight monks in a rural monastery, he possesses the voice of an angel and while tending the monastery’s flock, he sings in his tender falsetto as he roams the soft New England hills. Following at a distance, a rough, older boy, FERRIS COOPER, luxuriates in the traditional hymns ELI sings, while confused and entranced by the youngster’s loveliness. And into both their lives arrives BENJAMIN BERGER, a serious young man who emulates the desires of those closest to him.  The adventures of these three men become entwined in a surprising tapestry of love and betrayal over the course of thirty years.  


Straddling the worlds of music, religion, and art, and set in an era that begins with Ronald Reagan describing America as a ‘shining city on a hill’ and ends with Donald Trump’s legacy of ‘American carnage,’ these characters come of age while America is coming apart. They celebrate as gay marriage is legalized and suffer as gun violence explodes across the country. And when a deadly virus threatens and nations close their borders, they must struggle to survive in an America they no longer recognize.

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