Friday, July 27, 2018

Guest Post by R D Maddux, Author of Boy on The Beach

It’s amazing what 39 years can do to a culture

There’s a span of thirty-nine years between the present day, San Diego, setting of my novel, Boy On The Beach, to the flash-backs of another era. So much of what our current West Coast culture is today was put in motion by the generation that came into their adulthood during the late 60’s and 70’s. 39 years ago, the riotous days of the counter-culture were morphing into the disco era. But in communes along the coast of California and the hippie hangouts in the Redwoods of Mendocino, the last hold-outs of the “free love” scene were still lost in the passions of their hedonistic choices. In some ways these two eras are completely different. But in some ways, not much has changed. By setting these two seasons in contrast and bringing the protagonist past into direct conflict with his new identity I think I’ve been able to explore a deeper conflict that our present society must deal with as it faces the choices it made years ago. Many believe that we are set on a course as a society where we eventually will have to “pay” for the sins of our past. Boy On The Beach sets in contrasts two eras. One where we’ve sown to the wind and one where there’s a tornado heading our way. It also unblinkingly addresses a possible payback that may be coming but hints as well at a possible hope-filled future our characters could never have imagined. 

Never thought this idyllic setting would work for a mystery

I love this wonderful city where I’ve lived for 30 plus years. The beach, the great weather, the great people. But I’m fascinated how all this idyllic world can be the perfect setting for mystery and intrigue. By putting the nightmare of unresolved issues from my character’s past and his hope of success here in San Diego, I’ve been able to create a story of intrigue and fascination that will leave the reader wondering right up until the last page. 

Building suspense can be a suspenseful process

The writer is always challenged with the tasks of creating suspense if they’re writing a mystery. But as I put the details of this story together I was personally amazed as the story built on itself to its surprising end. But in the process, I was faced with some big challenges. How do you take your average real estate developer and put him in a place where his life is suddenly turned around and he’s left in a state of uncertainty about his future? No, it’s not just having the bottom fall out of the market. No, it’s something completely different. You bring his past crashing down on him just as his dream project starts to come to fruition. Then you throw in a romantic element, not merely because you want to make the story more marketable but because it really works and it’s true to life. So how do you build the suspense? You reveal that current nightmares are not just dreams but a reality that you tried to forget and now it’s rushing back into your world and you can’t control it.

It’s great when your friends really like your novel

I’ve been amazed at my friend’s response to my novel. A lot of times, as an author, you have those friends who encourage you to develop your gift. They praise your writing, but you wonder if it’s sincere. Well when I released my latest novel I asked them to read it and give me their honest opinion. Well, when they started putting their reviews on the Amazon page where my book is marketed I was really stunned. So many of them gave their honest and eloquent opinions. There they were, those 4 and 5 stars. Not there merely because I was their friend but because the story really gripped them, and they couldn’t put it down. I was wowed and thankful. Now I just hope those readers who don’t know me will be equally impressed.

A psychological thriller set within the sound of the surf

Often when we think of the beach we think of a place of tranquility and refreshing. But I’ve used this setting to create a mystery of intrigue that even the gentle lapping of waves against the shore cannot dispel. I’ve wondered what would happen if I put my “everyman”, comfortably ensconced in the idyllic world of San Diego beach life and brought some of the unfinished business from his past back into his life. What will he do when confronted with the ghost of his younger years and hopes of success in the dog eat dog world of competitive real estate development in this southern California city. What will he do when his dreams run into the reality of the nightmares of his past.


R.D. Maddux has story telling in his blood. Since he was young he’s always loved a good tale. He’s been writing seriously since he was in high school and college. His novels range from Mystery and Intrigue to Sci-fi/fantasy. With Boy On The Beach he’s set the story in modern America, to be exact, on the West Coast of California. He’s a native of the golden state and has been a resident of San Diego since 1987. Before that he grew up in northern California and lived in the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area with sojourns in some of the beautiful parts of our state.

Living in California for over 60 years he couldn't help but watch the way things have changed in our culture and the impact this coast makes on the rest of America and the world. So even though Boy On The Beach is fiction, like most serious novels, it is not without a context and comment on issues we all face in our changing world. It takes place in real locations that are very familiar to him and its characters, which are fictional, no doubt have their counterparts in the real world. Boy On The Beach is a story of intrigue, suspense, revenge, love and redemption with flashbacks to the era when sex, drugs and rock and roll set our culture on it's inevitable journey to our present day. This idea has been rattling around in his heart and mind for a decade and it's finally coming to the page.
Note: Readers Muse thanks the author for his wonderfully written post!

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