I just recently finished my newest novel, E.A.P. The Untold Story. I started thinking about the story the other day, what it means to me, and why I wrote it. E.A.P. are Elvis (Aaron) Presley’s initials; I have been an Elvis fan since I can remember. I had all of his albums and watched all of his movies. I even tried to learn to play the guitar which I attribute to Elvis’s influence. Elvis died in August 1977, I didn’t have to look that up; I remember the day very well. I was 18. I heard the news from my mom, she was worried about me, she understood how much of a fan I really was.
At that time in his life Elvis was still a superstar, an icon and to some a role model. I know, a role model, sounds strange. But the truth is aren’t most ‘Stars’ role models in some way to all of us for different reasons? For me it was first about his music, then the women (remember I was 18!). Elvis’s status made him the dream of millions of women; yes even during his ‘Fat’ years.
I decided early after the rumor dust swirling around Elvis’s death settled, I was going with the ‘he didn’t die’ believers, and for a long time I believed he would ‘just show up’ one day. Preferably after he’d lost some weight. I know what we were told at the time was the truth, for the most part anyway, but I still had this deep hope that it wasn’t true. I wasn’t ready for Elvis to be done; I wanted to see him live, I wanted to experience the power. About a year later I started an outline about what I thought might have or could have happened if he didn’t die that day. And if he didn’t, why the cover up?
I revisited the outline at least a hundred times over the next 35 years, sad I know, only adding bits and pieces. Elvis the Untold Story got lost in my many outlines over those years. It was about two years ago, for some unknown reason I started looked over some of my stories and outlines and decided I better get to it. I sat at my computer and in six weeks my very first novel was completed, but it wasn’t EAP. I wrote Long Trip Home, again, not sure why, but it has always been one of my favorite stories. It was published in March of this year.
For some reason my daughter Jesse, amazing child, kind of always rode me about finishing (actually starting) EAP. I think she liked the story, because I talked about it a great deal and she thought I should just do it. In the beginning it was tough. Unlike most of my other work, I usually have a good sense of how a story will start and at least one or two variations of how it will finish. With EAP I didn’t really have either. The story, or idea I had in my head at 19 was monumentally different than the final story. Funny how that works.
So as you can guess, E.A.P. The Untold Story is about what really happened the day Elvis Presley “died” in August 1977. Anticipating delivery date sometime late this year or early next year.
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To your Success!