THE AUTHOR SPEAKS ABOUT ” FINDING HEAVEN IN THE DARK” part onePublished October 8, 2017
FINDING HEAVEN IN THE DARK is my memoir of my early years as a Black youth, of the post World War II baby boom generation. Fatherless, surrounded by secrets and lies, I struggled with quiet rage and a confused life view that eventually led to my self-destructive rebellion and desertion from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1967!
My odyssey towards self-discovery took place during the tumultuous 1960’s in America, when the entire country was being redefined by a cultural revolution among its’ youth, a civil rights revolution for equal rights for Black Americans, and the growing national nightmare of The Vietnam War.
With only the compelling story of my search for identity as a young man and a Black American, I wouldn’t have considered writing a memoir. The oft used phrase that “everyone has a story to tell” might be true, but not all stories are worth sharing. I thought my story was different because of my search for a meaning to life and answers to human natures puzzles. Even with that being said I still resisted writing about my journey because of the embarrassing elements that I had to reveal about myself. I had willingly shared my early life difficulties with others over the years, but exposing myself to the public at large seemed frightening. I always did believe that my story could have tremendous value for the right person so I did begin the arduous process of putting pen to paper during a month long visit to Florida in the Winter of 2006.
The actual writing was cathartic as it flowed from my fertile memory. I wrote in a linear style that started with my early years. As a youth who loved reading and was a better than average speller I was pleased with my early efforts. Then I packed everything away until the same time the next year! Over the years, as an actual manuscript began to take shape, I sought professional guidance and attended a 3 hour writing course by a traveling author and her husband. Her most treasured advice to the class I felt was to avoid rereading the previous days writing. She encouraged us to write the entire story before going back to reread and make changes. Her other advise was to turn my memoir into a novel because it would be easier to market. I knew she was correct, but after some hesitation I was committed to writing a memoir.