What is paradise for a fourteen-year-old boy?

For Conrad it’s definitely not dusty Los Angeles, where he’s stuck living with his mother and his cheeky little sisters.

Paradise is the forest where his dad still lives,
by the water where everything is beautiful,
where he belongs.

Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2019:
- Finalist, General Fiction / Novel (over 80,000 words)
- Finalist, First Novel (over 90,000 words)

Eric Hoffer Awards 2019: Finalist, Fiction
"Elegantly written, with vivid, nuanced characters and a strong sense of place." - IndieReader
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~ Journal 5 ~

In the 1970's and into the early 80's a kind of decoration existed called a "rain lamp" which featured a small sculpture surrounded by a lattice of wires. A pump would send mineral oil to the top, where it would fall as beads down the wires, giving a water-droplet effect that was both cheesy and mes...

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Visual art would seem to be more central in "Year of the Amphibian", but a lot of music is mentioned in the course of the story, and certain scenes hinge on music. Here I've listed every musical reference by chapter, with YouTube videos or Spotify playlists (plus Wikipedia for more information).


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Nine months of the story in "Year of the Amphibian" take place in Los Angeles, and while L.A. has changed considerably since the early 1980's, some of the specific things I reference in the book still exist.

Wattles Park (Chapter 4 - Mid-October)

Wattles Park is a real place but the vibe is qui...

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When I was a kid I loved the show "Land Of The Lost" and would get up early in the morning to watch reruns. In my book "Year of the Amphibian" I mention the show twice, specifically two episodes that you can watch on YouTube. I chose these two episodes because they are good ones that I remember, and...

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"Year of the Amphibian" features much that is art-related, and also the character Mr. Onter likes to show Conrad old maps.

Warning: spoilers.

German Expressionism

Conrad's history project is on German Expressionist painters. In chapter six he finds books about German Expressionism in the libr...

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