Blood Red Syrah Lives!

Imagine the squeaky sucking sound and explosive pop a champagne cork makes when it blasts from the bottle.

Now envision the noise a human eyeball makes when it’s freed from a tight socket after Wally Wilson inserts and turns the corkscrew, twists the orb and removes the unsightly sphere.



Get it?

Gross, don’t you think?


That’s what writing and reading disturbing fiction is all about.

Original, authentic, creative free expression must be understood for what it is – a sometimes vicious attack upon raw propriety we should face. Racism and violence comprise only two bitter facets of America’s harsh reality that’s getting worse instead of better as society relinquishes its hold on sanity, discipline and the common good. Societal insanity now prevails to one degree or another.

The eye-popping reality of a lovable serial killer on the loose horrifies normal decent people. But what defines normal? COVID deaths? Fatal school shootings? Murder occurs every day, all brutal, but some far more grisly than others.

As a decades-long newspaper columnist I covered murder for a living. Sadly, I’ve forgotten too many names of too many dead. But the lessons of their demise remain. All those deaths are warnings, all designed to help me share the admonitions of their lost lives.

These ghastly signs provide the words of Blood Red Syrah, my first novel presented as a “gruesome California wine country thriller.”

What turned mild-mannered Wally Wilson, who loves his mother, into a mad, bloodthirsty killer? What planted the sweet voice of she-devil Syrah into the depths of Wally’s brain? What makes him exchange bloodlust for enlightenment in the vicious struggle to find peace of mind?

Violent death lives in the far reaches of insanity. But what turns Wally Wilson into a psycho killer? Chemicals run amok in Wally’s haywire brain but never poison his heart.

As for Syrah, she loves Wally deeply but will never carve their initials on the trunk of a mighty redwood. Syrah might carve the letters into your face but never on the bark of a tree. Although Syrah and Wally both love nature, human nature is another matter entirely.

Not long after Avventura Press published Blood Red Syrah in October 2018, my wife, Stephanie and I hit the road to California to promote the novel. We set off on a Central Coastal adventure where the book is set and where we used to live, walking the same path we once walked and where Wally Wilson and Syrah walk in the book.

The story is a psychedelic trip through the chaos of an increasingly ruthless society marred by violence, bigotry and hopelessness. Yet, the search for truth prevails, resulting in enlightenment and peace of mind. The moral of the story is that struggle is always worth the ride.

A sometimes difficult read because I take you inside the heads of difficult people, my book opens doors of perception some readers want to keep closed. To remain shut off from the forces of hatred is foolish. Narrow minds only allow you to flee down narrow hallways. Freedom means openness. Liberation comes from facing demons that inhabit and inhibit us all.

That’s why I’m reintroducing Blood Red Syrah.

Never let sleeping books lie.

Awakening takes place with our eyes open. And the odds are slim some maniac will try to cut one out with a corkscrew. Still, beware.

I said slim, not naught.