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Point of View: Revisiting the Past

River City OG
The OG River City Graphic

Eight and a half years ago, in late September 2015, I started out on a new writing adventure. It was just three months after the now infamous Golden Escalator Ride, and the world still seemed mostly sane.

I decided to write a blog serial tale – a circle of friends story about found family, with just a dash of magical realism. It spring-boarded off my novella Between the Lines, and featured a wide cast of Sacramento characters, patterned on people and places I know well here in the River City.

The serial ran every week without fail for just under two years – 102 chapters in all – almost all of them exactly 1,000 words long. I was translating it into Italian, and needed to know how much I would be paying the translator, week to week. Everyone in River City had a secret, and over the course of the novel, one by one, they all came out. It’s my love letter to Sacramento, my adopted hometown that has made both Mark and I feel so welcome.

The River City Chronicles was also my homage to that amazing serial series by Amisted Maupin, Tales of the City, set in his own beloved San Francisco.

The book also has the distinction of being my first self-published novel, and my second indie project overall, after Queer Sci Fi’s Impact flash fiction anthology.

I’ve thought about going back to these characters and this magical world a number of times, but always hesitated. Although the last chapter was published in September, 2017, the story itself takes place in the “Before Times” – before the pandemic, before our 45th president, before so many things that have changed the character of our world, making it coarser and far more angry. I was reluctant to go back and bother these characters, who’d lived their lives in a happier time.

And yet…

This magical world pulled at me over the years. I wondered where they went after I left them, who they might have become, and how they were coping with this strange new world. And who might not have made it.

And so, later this month, I will be diving in again. I sat down last month and sketched out might be going next.

And what new secrets they have all collected over the intervening nine years.

I’ve written the first five chapters, and can’t wait to share them with you (complete with more authentic Italian recipes from my friend Fabrizio).

I hope you are as excited as I am to become reacquainted with Diego and Matteo, Dave and Marcos, Carmelina and Daniele, Marissa, Ben and Gio, and to meet a few new characters along the way.

Welcome back to River City – book two, Down the River. Everyone in River City has new secrets, and sooner or later, secrets always come out.

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