Can you tell us a little bit about your book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?
Polonio Pass is concerned with Tom, his wife Mary, his first love Nina and her husband Art. The 40th reunion of Tom and Nina’s high school creates a spark to the past the starts as a mild flame over the Internet and then ignites with consequences when the two meet after 30 some years. The title comes from the geographical place in California where the icon of their early lives, and metaphor for their spectacular flame out as lovers, James Dean, was killed in an auto accident in 1955. It stands as a landmark never traveled to in their lives until they again meet. The book’s chapters read like the hands played in solitaire, some chapters matching and some not, but played over again to another rhythm and different cards, from the past to the present.
It’s about those first people we meet who help shape us, or breaks us, and the trajectories we take as a result, and the people we meet and stay with after that first meteoric burn.
Polonio Pass will be out in mid to late March. It will be available from Aignos Publishing at Amazon (distributed by Ingram) and available in softcover and then e-book.
I took a road trip with a guy from Virginia to Pittsburgh to see the Raiders play and he explained to me that at his high school reunion he met his old sweetheart and had talked to her at length on Facebook, planned on leaving his wife and daughter, and marrying her, as she was the love of his life. And he did. I was also looking down the barrel of my own 40th reunion and decided to weave a story from the threads of his own and engage some of the pieces of my youth in Southern California.
I had always written pieces, vignettes, and short stories…but never published until recently with a collection of poetry in two different anthologies from Savant Publishing’s annual offering; Fifty-Eight Stones from 2012 and Bellwether Messages from the 2013 Anthology. I also had a poem come out in Lost Tower, a UK publication this month. The anthology is The Black Rose of Winter, love poems of a dark or bitter nature. Some redemptive, some not. The poem deals directly with 'Polonio Pass' and is titled 'Reunion'. I am currently working on a second novel.
I do. Somerset Maugham, Raymond Chandler, and Yukio Mishima are at the forefront.
I write at my PC station or as I sit in bed, freehand. It was helpful to sit at my PC and listen to a lot of 60’s and 70’s music to propel me back into Tom and Nina’s lives, when they were together, and some slack key for when Tom and his wife Mary lived in O’ahu. No specific time of day, but I am alone during the early part of the day, so that has worked for me.
That’s hard to do. I mean, everyone writes in his or her own styles, places, surroundings, moods and even weather; I couldn’t feel comfortable imparting any of my so-called wisdom. Just keep pursuing your own truths and what you need to say.
Thanks. That actually is good advice.
Here is the blurb for Polonio Pass.
2009: A 40th High School reunion marks more than a passing of time for Tom Kelleher as he seeks rejuvenation and answers in facing the question of his own mortality. In Nina, who owns the early chapter of Tom's life, he thinks he might have found an answer. After standing in her own personal fires, Nina Hassel, whose brilliance and beauty mirror her self-destructive and self-doubting nihilism, looks to the reunion to reconnect with him across time in the millennial age of instant time-travel; one which is far more technological and socially networked than the one in which they first discovered one another.
As the reunion nears and their respective spouses stand unknowingly by, Tom and Nina use their past with its conflicts and entanglements to write and re-write their lives together and apart. Together, they spontaneously road trip to an iconic monument to lost youth, discover their narrative, and evolve a new trajectory at the place where James Dean transitioned into eternity, Polonio Pass.
Here is an excerpt.
Nina and he were discussing Brian Jones and the news of him being found tits up in his pool. It was already July 1969, and they were out of school and just killing the days at the beach or listening to music at night and hanging at some parties. Jones was their favorite musician, and his image lent itself to what they sought in their heroes at that age. The news was also disturbing as it sent a warning and a reality bite of what happened when you were careless. They lay across her bed, under the fan in her above garage loft. Nina had a full poster of Jones walking through the Monterrey Pop festival on her bedroom wall. And as they both lay across her bed, they looked at it upside down. Tom had always told her she looked like Jones's old girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg.
"Well.he's gonna be immortalized like Dean and Buddy Holly. None of these guys have died a natural death," Tom stated. "No Jones, no Stones.what the heck is 'death by misadventure'.?"
"Yup. He was so beautiful.but in that picture of him with his shirt open he was getting fat.the one with that derby?" she said. "Mick was looking at his gut like 'hey Brian.pregnant?'"
"So who's next?"
They spent awhile throwing out names of those who might go at any time or could certainly use a little help. "Keith Richard can't be far behind," Tom weighed in. "None of the Beatles.they'll live forever," Nina said. "Ginger Baker for sure."
Tom rolled over and started running his finger across her exposed stomach as he lay propped up on one elbow, looking at her finely shaped inny. It was tickling her and she started to giggle and push his hand away." You'll always be immortal for me, Neens.always."
She took his hand and placed it inside her shorts, opening her legs, "Yes?" she smiled. "Make love to me, mortal." And he obeyed.
He smiled remembering that day and then in review of those they had picked out to die, and how woefully off they were, and gave a chuckle. He leaned over and reaching out, with fingertips pulled the Dean card off the bulletin board and brought it to bear. He and Nina listened to the Eagles too, and he thought of their song James Dean. He remembered the lyrics out of nowhere, not having even thought of the song or heard it in years and he sang/talked it.'along came a Spyder, picked up a rider.' He realized he'd never driven a Porsche in his life.
He never got to Cholame with Nina. The closest they ever got was the motel on coast Highway just outside Trancas. That seemed like a million miles from Cholame and the Polonio Pass. And it's fifty-four years this year since he died. Wow! Feeling old here, he muttered and left his office to get some coffee at the small mess they had in the lounge in his department.
Doc Krinberg grew up in California, living in the northern, central and southern parts of the state. After he took early leave of high school and failing to find true finery, he honed his skills as a strip club barker, cab driver and Teamster before a career as a US Navy hardhat diver that took him to both North and South Poles, Europe, the Caribbean, Japan, the Maritimes, East Africa and the Persian Gulf. Having a doctorate in education, he has taught traditional and online for various universities. He is married and has four children.