Eight Days in October. My first novel. The characters started chatting with me when I was a first-year medical student. Only Leopold arrived fully formed. They would chat with me while I was looking at microscope slides of preserved brain matter or dissecting through our cadaver’s lungs and bowels.
Years went by. Med school graduation came and went. Residency training came and went. One wife came and went. Four kids came and stayed. The characters became more insistent. I finally had to start taking dictation.
At it’s core it’s the story of a long-simmering family feud, though these people do resort to murder at the dinner table. In an effort to save his father from a grisly fate, Sixteen-year-old Simmon Cubbins unravels a hundred-year-old mystery in the final eight days of a haunted city cursed to die. Doing so pits him against his maternal aunts and uncles, people who feed on the vile energy seeping up from a forgotten chamber far below (while also feeding on their neighbors). Complicating matters further are a Federal agent who specializes in the paranormal and a father-daughter duo with a serious axe to grind (and embed in anyone who gets in their way).
Definitely written for grown-ups only.
I loved working with Toadley Smith. He’s a toad who seizes the ripe potential of every minute of every day. With his quick wit and true mastery of language, this little amphibian is able to best carnivorous vertebrates many times his size.
Summer of the Toad relates the story of how Toadley set out to save Vernon, a mouse who serves as the toad’s laboratory assistant. The poor mouse was captured by the notorious ‘Four-Finger Clan’ of voracious raccoons. These furry villains horde delicious little captives every summer to perform at the raccoons’ Summer Solstice Sensational (a crude song and dance routine) before being devoured.
Maria Pondler accompanies Toadley, and the two run afoul of a den of scheming snakes, a quartet of dim witted rabbits, a trio of lisping bats and – worst of all – a human child! Before all these woodland forces collide in an explosive (literally) final encounter, Toadley will be forced to admit the shameful secret that cost the life of Maria’s brother.
A whimsical adventure for advanced readers (probably sixth grade and up) and their parents.
Romeo and Juliet never really had a chance. These poor kids are bombarded with terrible advice from the so-called grown-ups in their lives (Marry a stranger! Run from the law! Fake your own death!) It’s time someone exposed these tragic events and sent them careening wildly into comedic territory.
Set in a modern day trailer park, the Crapulets and the Mountafoos are still at violent odds. And while Romeo and Juliet still stumble through all The Bard’s original story beats, they do so in hilarious and somewhat offensive new ways. Written in verse and brimming with oddball, redneck characters, it’s the same play you struggled with in high school but updated to be easily readable and enjoyable.
Crude? A little. A desecration of a literary treasure? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely. Written for high school kids of every age and up.
Rocco St. James and author DM Schwartz share the same birthday and writing style, but while Dr. Schwartz remains a respectable family man and physician, Rocco indulges in international espionage, time travel, the dangerous world of high fashion and gallons of alcohol.
A collection of essays, fake news, book reports and truly outside-the-box thinking, Rocco on Rocco is the perfect, humorous antidote for our politically charged and too-often oppressive modern times. Imagine a collection of Saturday Night Live skits infused with news from The Onion, mix in some Sharkadillos (those are killer half-shark, half-armadillo hybrids) and enough bourbon to satisfy a noir detective and you’re close.
Written for parents and maybe their high school seniors.
This is the mini-book that will probably get me in trouble with all the cancel culture kids out there. If they understand that it’s satire.
An in-depth, brutally accurate and unanswerable take-down of those who promote tolerance and inclusivity by excluding anyone with intolerable views that differ from their own. This satirical argument for progressive causes strips away the inherent hypocrisy and faulty logic within them. George Orwell would approve.
This is written for anyone mature enough to consider a robust, nuanced point of view, even if it differs from heir own.
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