Just finished my first round of edits for my new novel, Panhandlers. Don’t have a confirmed release date yet, but I’m thinking maybe September 2018. It will be published by the same publisher as Native Moments, Waldorf Publishing. I will be working on getting a book cover soon to help with early promotions. As the title suggests, the setting is the Florida Panhandle and the story focuses on the people who live in the small, forgotten lumber town of Sullivan, Florida. It is a fictional city, but if you’ve visited some areas of north Escambia County, it will seem pretty familiar to you.
Panhandlers is a cycle-story novel. Twelve short stories woven together to create a novel. Six of the stories focus on the main character Hank Ackerman and his attempt to break free of the family cycle of poverty. He, along with many of the other characters, believe the key to his success is getting out of Sullivan and moving to the “big city” of Pensacola, just fifty miles south.
The following picture is of a lumber camp in Century, Florida and Hank and his family live in camp-car similar to what you see here. Once the lumber industry abandoned these towns, the workers were pretty much left to fend for themselves and the population would usually dwindle. Those that stayed behind had to eek out a living the best they could. Oftentimes, that meant learning to survive off the land – hunting, fishing, farming. Growing up in Pensacola and driving through these towns on the way to I-65 and meeting people who live in these towns always fascinated me. Especially, seeing as how Pensacola is considered a tourist destination, yet in the surrounding area there are places that tourists and residents like to pretend don’t exist. I decided to explore those hidden stories with Panhandlers. Can’t wait for you to read it.
Learn more about Century, FL’s lumber industry here.
Also, if you haven’t read Native Moments, now is a perfect time. It’s a great beach read!