Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Number of Pages: 260
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Middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast thought they were completely done with each other. Perceived betrayal had burned the bridge between them, tossing them into the icy river of estrangement. But life – and death – has a robust sense of irony, and when they learn that their cruel father has died and made his final request that they travel together across the country to spread his ashes, they have no choice but to spend a long, long car trip in each other's company. It's either that or lose out on the contents of the envelope he's left with his lawyer. The trip will be as gut-wrenching as each expects it to be . . . and revealing in ways neither of them is prepared for.
At turns humorous, biting, poignant, and surprisingly tender, Ashes puts a new spin on family and dysfunction with a story that is at once fresh and timelessly universal.
Top 10 Behind-the Scene Facts about Ashes
1. I worked as a Correction Officer for the better part of the decade. Although Ashes is a work of fiction, the prison scenes are based on actual experiences.
2. My family and I love to visit Salem around Halloween; Tom’s walk through Salem in the book is the exact walk my wife and I work several years ago.
3. Stuart Prendergast (the ashes in the box) is the darkest villain that I’ve written to date.
4. My publisher, Lou Aronica, picked the cover and I knew just as soon as I saw it that it was perfect for the story.
5. I have a friend, Paul, who was traveling on business through Pennsylvania. He was reading an advanced copy of the book is the very motel that the main character was staying (eerie cool).
6. After it was storyboarded, this book took me five months to write.
7. My friend and renowned artist, Brian Fox, contributed to this novel; we met once a week for nearly three months before he unveiled his amazing contribution.
8. The “big reveal” toward the end of the book wasn’t written in until the third draft.
9. Great thought—and discussion—went into some of the graphic language in the story. I’ve prided myself on no unnecessary sex or profanity within my novel. In order for the character to seem real, some gritty language was necessary.
10. If I can’t laugh or cry while I’m writing, I could never expect my readers to do the same.
Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies, and Gooseberry Island as well as the novels Goodnight, Brian and The Changing Season. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
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