The Behrg. He’s too dark for me. I admire him, though. He is what I’m not, but I revel in his skill.
It’s a pen name. A nom de plume. He writes horror. I’m not fond of horror, but I’m fond of The Behrg’s style, not to mention his literary honesty and his dedication to the craft.
My novel, Crazy of Natural Causes, is not The Behrg’s preferred mode of reading, either, but he read it and wrote a review that I thought captured the essence of what I was trying to depict in the main character, Chance Benford, a man who loses almost everything and reinvents himself as only my invention could. His is a world of absurdity, and he learns to make his way through troubled waters that become troubled in a different way around every turn.
I’m grateful for The Behrg’s honesty, willingness to read my novel, and understanding of what I meant to convey with it.
I don’t know why I shy away from horror. I admire everything about Stephen King except his preferred genre. He and I both like the same kind of music. He and I both adore the Boston Red Sox. Maybe it’s because I seldom have nightmares. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been afraid of the dark. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been able to deal with my problems. I’m fortunate. Writing and creating characters like Chance Benford in Crazy, and Denny Frawley in Forgive Us Our Trespasses, and Riley Mansfield in The Audacity of Dope, and Reese Knighton in The Intangibles … maybe that’s my therapy. In The Intangibles, I confronted scars in myself that I didn’t know existed. Maybe I could have achieved the same goal by reading horror.
Who’s to say? I’m not an expert about me. I am just I. People are different, whether they realize it or not.
I read “The Girl Who Couldn’t Come Up with an Original Title,” which is a strange, dark short story that comes with another called “Reluctance.” The Behrg’s dedication reads, in part, “And to all those who battle with inner demons no one else can see. Keep up the fight.”
It’s a worthwhile service. Both stories deal with suicide, one in an experimental sense and the other populated with characters within a character symbolized by attributes such as Reluctance, Despair, and Insanity.
The Behrg deals with Major Depressive Disorder. I’ve often said to others when I was down, “I’m depressed. Not clinically depressed. I’m depressed for a damn good reason.”
That, however, ignores the fact that Major Depressive Disorder is itself a damn good reason. The Behrg writes, “We can all do better at reaching out to those who are down, lifting instead of kicking.”
I’m glad I read “The Girl Who Couldn’t Come Up with an Original Title” and “Reluctance,” which ended one way when The Behrg originally wrote it and was extended to what he considers its rightful ending for this published work.
The Behrg’s debut novel, Housebroken, has been critically acclaimed, and he is also the author of The Creation Series. A sequel to The Creation was recently released.
I’m not still sure they’re within my personal reader’s bailiwick, but I’m rethinking the notion.
My book of short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, is called Longer Songs, and you can buy it here.
The Audacity of Dope is a tale about a pot-smoking singer-songwriter who becomes a reluctant national hero. He prevents someone from blowing up the plane he’s on, and both hilarity and drama ensue. My first novel is an irreverent, fun read.
The Intangibles is my most personal. Set mostly in 1968, it draws on memories from my childhood and teen-aged years. It’s a story of civil rights, bigotry, and high school football.
Crazy of Natural Causes has a main character who is an outrageous football coach at the beginning, loses everything and has to start over. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.
Forgive Us Our Trespasses is a yarn about a corrupt, ambitious politician who wants to be governor and will do anything to achieve it. It has a parallel story of a good cop who’s trying to stop the monster and another of kids gone wild.
To peruse all my books, including most of the non-fiction ones from my NASCAR years, click here.