So picture me back in the day. Young, full of dreams, just shy of six feet and killing time in Sydney. I was working in a hearing aid factory, polishing–dang it, what were they called–flanges? Polishing flanges down to a glossy sheen so that they could be inserted into the mechanisms that would end up in people’s heads. It was a shit job, and I was spending what little money I earned on Victoria Bitter at the pub. At night I’d go home and dream about writing novels, great glittering things that would rend people’s souls into ribbons as they read them, leave them gasping like beached fish, stunned by the grandeur of my writing.

Except I wasn’t writing. Not until NANOWRIMO came around. National Write a Novel Month. I thought why not, wrote a 50k story that was crud, and though I only ever showed it to one person, I realized that I could do this. Do more than just dream. I could actually write a novel. All it took was putting words down on paper, one by one, till you reached the end.

So I did that. I wrote a novel that became–six massive revisions later–Crude Sunlight. It was a work of love. I dug deep. I had to fight to make it happen. It was like wrestling a monster that was all elbows and dark secrets. I had no idea what I was doing, but each night I’d roll up my sleeves and get to work. And while I wrote, I listened to one song over and over, and that song was Crude Sunlight by Chris Vrenna on his album 2 am Wake Up Call. Yeah, guess where I got my title from. A homage. Because that song ran through the novel, inspired me to keep going, to keep creating, keep writing.

Crude Sunlight. Man, that name takes me back. I must have listened to that one song a half thousand times. So anyways, flash forward. I came back to the States, tried to get an agent for the book, failed, shelved it. A few years later I self published it, and that was that. My first novel, out there, some good reviews, in my past, and mostly forgotten as I moved onto other projects.

Then last night my buddy Paul gets in touch.

Paul: FINALLY.
8:36 PM So, you’v heard the Tweaker album, 2 am wake up call, yes?
 me: yeah
 Paul: You enjoyed it?
8:37 PM me: yeah
 Paul: Did you name your book after the track, Crude Sunlight?
 me: yeah
 Paul: Ok.
 me: why?
 Paul: Because, I told Chris Vrenna (tweaker) last night in my interview with him that you were inspired by the album.
8:39 PM me: you interviewed chris vrenna?
  holy crap!
 Paul: And then, Phil, WHILE ON THE LINE WITH ME, he bought a copy of the book.

Ladies and gents, this is me, gobsmacked. You can’t understand how it feels to have Chris Vrenna buy that book. He composed and performed the song that guided me through my first novel. That song was the Virgil to my authorial Dante. Now it’s come full circle, is in his hands, and hell, he may not only read it, but enjoy it.

Folks, this is as good as it gets – and massive thanks to Paul!