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.

IndieReader Discovery Awards 2019:
- Winner, Best First Book
"A timeless, beautifully written coming-of-age story about transformation and self-acceptance." - 5/5 stars (read full review)
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
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~ Journal 6 ~

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).

W...

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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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A much longer book is distilled into Parallel Play, which of course I mean as high praise, and while it is written with a deft and almost musical touch, that only serves to intensify how it feels when the author touches a nerve directly - either his own or one of mine.

My sister sent me this b...

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