The Island Trilogy
Genre: Satire/Dark Comedy
Date of Publication: May 30, 2015
Number of pages: 211
Cover Artist: Larry Weiner
Kyle Brightman—late of the advertising industry and soon-to-be-late of the 5th floor psych ward—has a job offer he can’t refuse. A new resort in the Caribbean is looking for an art director.
Kyle soon finds himself on the Isle of St. Agrippina working alongside a beautiful copywriter with an icy handshake. Questions arise: Why does the resort management team sport spray-on tans in the Bahamas? How can the resort offer such cheap vacation packages? What does one do with vats of Astroglide?
To get the answers, Kyle must first navigate a series of wildly unpredictable events with a cast of even more wildly unpredictable characters, including a seductress jungle assassin, her partially paralyzed talking Chihuahua, an Ivy League Rastafarian seaplane captain, Kyle’s ex-psych ward roommate, a former Haliburton mercenary, and a French tavern owner with a fondness for goats, all set to the greatest hits of the 70’s. Pablo Cruise never felt so right.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/Yxscfui-5Tg
“THERE’S A REASON WE PUT PATIENTS IN RESTRAINTS THIS WAY,” Hap the orderly explained. “See before, when it became necessary to administer a four-point restraint on someone, we’d just do the standard two feet to each side of the gurney and two wrists by the waist. Now we have you done up with the POS 2206 restraint which you’d have to pretty much be motherfuckin’ Houdini to get out of, see what I’m sayin’? We got one arm up and one down so you don’t pop your shoulder out of your socket. Does that matter to the average whack job that comes through here all spun out screaming about the end times or how the government implanted tiny computers in their heads? Nuh-uh. They just keep wigglin’ around as if their super human powers are gonna set them free. Forget it, son. Your body belongs to the St. Eligius psych ward, fifth floor, Seattle, Washington, in these United States of America.”
It was true.
Kyle Brightman lay restrained on the gurney looking something like a flamenco dancer striking a pose horizontally. Unlike flamenco dancers and their elaborate sequined outfits, Kyle was in jeans and a faded Clash T-shirt covered in eggs, tapenade, and mace. Also unlike flamenco dancers, Kyle had been tased in a supermarket. But then it had been a weird week in an off kilter year, so in retrospect it seemed fitting to be held down to a gurney in a hospital corridor getting a lesson in the history and technique of human body restraint from Hap, the large African American orderly schooled in human confinement arts.
Kyle fully submitted to the restraints, finding them rather soothing— Temple Grandin was on to something, he thought. He also thought about the starting place on the long road of his downward spiral: from being fired from his advertising gig as an art director, to mowing the grass for a local golf course, and finally to freaking out on a couple of elderly women blocking the aisle in a supermarket because they wouldn’t move their carts a few inches over when he’d asked.
All in three months’ time.
In truth, the brain lock up had been a long time coming. A bitter divorce that had cost him his waterfront condo and his cat, Lester. The passed over promotion at work to a younger junior art director. The diagnosis of Bipolar II. The drinking. The petty shoplifting at the local Rite Aid. It was a perfect storm of anxiety and neurosis crashing down upon an already paranoid and erratic man with authority issues and a tendency toward drama.
But the idea of his mental state as a tornado gathering energy as it swept across his life was nothing new to Kyle or those around him. His moods were a dangerous balancing act of wit, anger, and a general cluelessness that on the best of days came across as mercurial.
He knew this about himself, and though countless therapists had talked him through his childhood, his mother, his school years, and subsequent launch into adulthood, everybody had yet to find a cure. As a creative director with similar tendencies had once put it to Kyle, he’d best learn to be an asshole with serious repenting skills if he was to survive at all, let alone in advertising.
In Kyle’s mind, every time he met a woman, took a job, or made a friend, he imagined a stop watch starting, ticking off the days, hours, minutes, seconds until eventually they would learn the truth about him: that his moods were like forecasting the weather. It was a seemingly mundane twist of fate then that Kyle Brightman would completely lose his shit because two aged, upper crust cronies wouldn’t move their shopping carts over enough for him to pass. If only he had known what they had been discussing (the cost increase in septic pumping/ whose Mexican gardener was better) he might have picked a more symbolic moment to melt down. But then, he had realized as he began cursing at the top of his lungs that he really wasn’t in the driver’s seat. And when he began to throw eggs at them, followed by a jar containing tapenade while knocking over a display rack of various energy bars, it became clear that he was now entering new territory.
Territory that would require restraints.
“When do I get out of the restraints?” Kyle asked Hap.
“That depends on you,” Hap said. “If you cooperate and let us do our job and you do yours you won’t see restraints again. But if you start to go sideways, we put you in the metal room, hose you down and go to work on you with rubber Billy maces.”
“I’m fuckin’ with you. You’ll be fine. We’re gonna take you to your room. You’ll meet your roommate and we’ll get you on the road to recovery.”
Kyle hadn’t thought about recovery until it was mentioned. It was a rare instance that he lived in the moment. He was aware, strapped to the gurney, that he was extraordinarily tired.
“What if I don’t recover?” Kyle asked.
“You will,” Hap said. “I been doing this a long time and I can tell the ones who are gonna make it and the ones who fall through the cracks. You’re the first one.”
“What do you tell the ones who you know are gonna fall through the cracks?” Kyle asked.
“Same bullshit I told you,” Hap said.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I honest to god wanted to be a rockstar! I play bass and in my youth there were a lot of garage bands, then later some club gigs, but I found I couldn’t keep up with the drug abuse. The writing bug hit in 7th grade because of an English teacher who turned me on to Kurt Vonnegut – that was it man – I wanted to be a rockstar who wrote the band’s lyrics.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
In college – I filled those blue books up!
How long did it take to get your first book published?
I self published in 2013 then in 2015 I was signed by Booktrope and re-release my first two in a trilogy, Paradise Rot & Once Again, With Blood.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I stopped working as an advertising art director about 5 years ago when I remarried a woman with a small child. She has a crazy busy job and need me around to hold down the fort – I gladly accepted the job offer.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
PARADISE ROT,: It's Jimmy Buffett and Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard and Don Draper taking turns whacking Anne Rice with a cricket bat.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
First draft in 3 months – final by 4.5
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
More satire however, I’m moving away from the paranormal into the living – at least that’s how it’s going with the 4th novel so far.
What genre would you place your books into?
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I was always drawn to satire: Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S Thompson, Carl Hiaasen. Point out the ills of society – but do it with wit.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
Desmond, the gay zombie barista. He’s a gossip and as it turns good with an AK47.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
It varies. What’s most important is to hit my minimum word count of 1k words per day. I do this at my friendly café wearing noise cancelling headphones listening to music that is part of the mood I’m creating. Paradise Rot is set to 70’s pop. I recently bought a standing desk and I love it – it really does make you focus.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do. Dammit.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I try to have a at least a working title. The first two books had titles first. The third came late. The new one is in development.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Ha! I take a map of the city I grew up in and name characters after street names. I also use a combination of people I know or names that are as ridiculous as I can make them.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
There’s no set order. Sometimes there’s a great name I build a person around or vice versa.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I start out with a notion, but as I write the character kind of takes over and tells me how it’s gonna be. I start with a generalization and get more specific as I go. Or is it the other way around?
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
50/50 ebook versus paperback. Though, if the paper the book is printed on or the cover feels funky – then I re purchase it on ebook because tactile disorderJ
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman. Constantly refer to it. It just…nails the universe.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
I never do both. It’s either the book OR the movie.
Your favorite food is?
All food. Except cauliflower.
Your favorite singer/group is?
Rush. Yes. I am that kind of geek.
Your favorite color is?
Your favorite Author is?
Again. Classified. Nice try.
Larry Weiner is the author of PARADISE ROT (BOOK ONE), ONCE AGAIN, WITH BLOOD (BOOK TWO) and the forthcoming HINDU SEX ALIENS (BOOK THREE) that make up the Island Trilogy. Larry earned a degree in film from CSULA and was an award-winning art director. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, two kids and a gaggle of animals. He plays bass and thus has poor hearing.
Visit his site at: http://www.larrynweiner.com
Join his Twitter feed at: @LarryNWeiner
Like him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/larrynweiner