She's funny, cynical, and kinda crazy, but she knows how to tell a story.
She's ghost writing a book for a famous author—a recently deceased one.
A struggling writer living in Manhattan, Jacy McMasters is the first to admit she's a terrific liar and a screw-up. Then the ghost of the famous novelist JD Balinger asks her to "channel" a follow-up to his classic coming of age book, The Watcher in the Sky. Along with her new boyfriend, a bear of a man who has no patience for mind games, the ghost in Jacy's head forces her to confront a lifetime of secrets—dark secrets. Secrets she's been keeping from herself.
What happens when a young novelist works on a book project with a famous writer—who just happens to be recently deceased?
When I woke up the next day, I felt terrible. My eyes were swollen shut, so I had to tumble out of bed and crawl through clustering dust devils to the bathroom. I’d suffered worse hangovers after overindulging, but there was a real sharp edge to this one. When I steamed my eyes open with a hot washcloth, I noticed it right away.
Shit. I was still hallucinating.
“You look bad, Jacy, my girl,” JD said from his cross-legged perch on my wicker laundry hamper. “First thing we need to do is ease back on the hard-core boozing.”
I screamed once or twice before he uncrossed his spidery limbs and said, “Don’t be a ninny. You know who I am, that I come from you. From your own deranged mind. So what’s the sense of yelling, disturbing your neighbors?”
He had a point. I calmed a little. “You may be an illusion, my illusion. But that sure as fuck does not mean you can stay in my bathroom while I shower.”
He shrugged and brushed by me on his way out. “I’ll make coffee. And when you come out, all fresh and bright-eyed, we’ll discuss how I can save you. Help dislodge you from your habitual cycle of wanton, destructive choices. No more dabbling. Time for you to shed your loser image, child. It is high time. Take my word.”
Under the hot pressure of full-blast steamy water, my befuddlement began to clear. And I had to admit, JD was right. About a number of things. I was a major loser, and my lifestyle was epic fail. In the parlance of our times, I was one of those self-destructive creatives. Too much pity-partying, not enough income or success. A lot of wasted time on useless sheeple. Lately, my social life and work output had both been on an unusually steep decline. Maybe I needed the kind of assist a delusion could provide. And what better delusion for a struggling writer than the presence of one of modern America’s best-loved novelists?
I shampooed my hair. What if I thought of JD as my muse? That would sure be easier than recognizing the truth about him, about us. I rinsed and conditioned. Why not go with the flow?
Since you’re reading this, you must be one of my loyal readers. Or his. Congratulations, you are a revered member of a global minority. Most people don’t give a shit about books unless they’re translated to film or they include mucho gory violence perpetrated by bloodthirsty killers. Or kinky sex between willing virgins and their crop-wielding bosses, those beloved alphas with hairless chests and six-pack abs. Reading other stuff, literary books for example, is widely regarded as sissy or lame. But you, you actually care about the written word. My heart goes out to you, fellow outlier.
I get you, see. I do. I totally get it. You have an active mind. You love to escape reality. You’re inventive, a dreamer. You may even toy with the idea that you, too, could be a writer.