My new novel Subway Visions comes a long way from its earlier incarnation as Subway Hitchhikers.
Here are ten ways it’s new and improved.
- The novel no longer serves as an introduction to three other volumes but stands fully on its own in a more timeless Gotham.
- The central character is now identified as Kenzie, in line with the other novels in my Freakin’ Free Spirits cycle. Gone are the Duma Luma and later D.L. monikers. He’s more grounded than they were.
- The action is now built on a clear chronology that runs parallel to his ongoing life to the north. For that, you can read Pit-a-Pat High Jinks.
- He now has monthly opportunities to visit the Big Apple and ride its rails, thanks to a floating three-day weekend off from his job. This gives more plausibility to his familiarity with the city while living hours to the north. He is young and ready for adventure, after all.
- With his Tibetan guru living in Manhattan’s SoHo district, Kenzie’s Buddhist studies now run through much of the story. His sessions there become his principal motivation for the monthly visits.
- The story is now anchored by a set of regular characters, beginning with his guru and Buddha buddies like Holly and Wilson before expanding in the second half with the wild tagger T-Rex.
- As one reader said of the earlier version, “I really dig that chick Holly.” Now there’s a lot more of her. (And Wilson and T-Rex are altogether new.)
- The language is tighter; the sentences, more staccato, befitting the grimy trains and their stations.
- The funky sweet surrealism of the original tale now floats over the substance of an inescapably malodorous substratum. There’s nothing bland and disinfected in this gritty demimonde of endless night where Kenzie encounters the most remarkable souls and visions.
- These events are now seen in a historical perspective, thanks to the unseen presence of Kenzie’s daughter Cassia while I was revising the tale. Credit her for the snippier tone, too.
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