The Road To Hell Introduction


     RELEASE DATE: JUNE 22, 2020

     As I write this Introduction, the world operates under a state-of-emergency Covid-19 lockdown. We live in a dangerous new world filled with fearful days-creepy truths. Things felt weird enough before this plague of 2020 descended. Historic developments transpire every passing day now.

     Just when I submitted the original manuscript to my publisher the outbreak delayed the projected publish date. I decided the deadly virus fit right into The Road To Hell’s thematic vision of dark realities in 21st century America, and beyond.

     My editor suggested a shorter fiction collection this time around compared to my other books. I agreed. As E.B. White once said, ‘the reader is always in trouble.’ The attention span of the average person is eight seconds. So, there’s no wasted words. I also changed some photographs.

     Everyone will see themselves in these tales. The stories serve as snapshots capturing mass shootings, hurricanes, social media addiction, power grids, corruption, gambling, criminal liars, toxic water, UFOs, the coronavirus and other eerie realities of modern America.

     For the best results, this book should be read in one sitting–straight through–like riding a bullet train. Like there is no tomorrow. This might be the last book you read from cover to cover. A couple of the characters appear in different stories that tie together a cohesive streamline to the book, which begins in Waycross, Georgia, and ends about fifteen miles away in the Okefenokee Swamp.

     Ghosts of Gram Parsons, Bessie Smith, Blind Willie McTell, the Allman Brothers Band and Robert Johnson even echo through these stories. The fiction vignettes retain their own morality. The truth proves even more dangerous these days. Telling the truth can make you feel like a bootlegger racing to the county line at midnight. The truth can get you blackballed, blacklisted or worse. Just look around…

     Who knows what’s coming? Have faith, there will be a light, but rest assured it will be something we’ve never witnessed. These pages provide a stark glimpse into the past, present, future and The Road To Hell…

James Calemine
April 2020