This first one is The Bootlegger's Legacy.
This book maybe my favorite. It is not a murder mystery; it is about people whose lives are changing due to personal tensions and outside influences. Many of the characters were based on my experiences and people I knew. The characters ended up being a blend of various people and it sure is not biographical. It is pure fiction. However, when I was writing everything felt familiar. Joe Meadows and Mike Allen were like a lot of people I knew in the 1970s and 80s; a time of easy success and soul crushing failure.
They were friends out of habit and the bond was strong; but they were entering new stages in their lives and their relationship was no longer easy and comfortable. The story of their friendship and the eventual life decisions they made is the story of TBL. I liked both of these characters and it was sad to see them drift in different directions and forget why they were friends. I think that happens with a lot of friends.
The novel covers a lot of years, including, maybe the most dramatic portion, a flash back to the 1950s. This is the bootlegger's story and how he provided a legacy, good and bad to the next generation. The story of Pat Allen, the bootlegger, is a tragic story of forbidden love. Sally Thompson, Pat's young and beautiful mistress is by far the most interesting and alluring character in the book. In may ways she is the focal point.
My writing today may be better than it was when I wrote TBL but this is, I believe, my best storytelling.
As I have mentioned several times I'm a baseball fan. Goodreads pulled a quote from Santa Fe Mojo that reflects my feelings, although they're from Vincent Malone:
“He followed the Denver teams, and was an avid Rockies fan. He thought baseball was a smart game, played more or less according to rules. Football, by contrast, seemed like chaos, with victory often being decided by penalties for breaking rules that were subjective and poorly administered. It was as if the government was in charge of football, with all of its bickering and clowning, while baseball was run by the best fourth-grade teacher you ever had, the one who ensured that everyone played by the rules or not at all, and if you weren’t polite, there were consequences. He wasn’t sure where basketball fit in.”