I Went Down – a fantasy noir novel of the Hippocamp

iwd-coverBetween the dirty canals and dirtier politics of Delta Mouth, three lives intertwine.

Emmy Jane – a young woman aching to become a famous singer
Cal – a nightclub manager plagued by his own personal ghost
Dapper Jack – a hitman with the power to change history–if he can just manage to slit the right throat.

“I Went Down” is a fantasy noir novel (80K words/350 pages). Originally inspired by the lyrics of “Saint James Infirmary,” the story quickly veered into mafia, revolution, and a dash of wild west. It was fun to write and, I hope, fun to read.

Click here for a preview of the first three chapters.

Want to read the whole thing? Print and e-book are available from Amazon.



Will there be a sequel?

I do have a thought for a second book in the Hippocamp world which would center around Andin, the scrappy young scout in Merritt’s crew. It would be roughly contemporaneous to this book, and have some overlap to give a view of certain events from the perspective of some different characters. If there’s a lot of interest in this story, the next book will get bumped up in my work queue.


Do you have a favorite version of Saint James Infirmary?

So hard to choose! You can’t go wrong with Cab Calloway, especially with the trippy Betty Boop animation. The Bobby Bland rendition rips my heart out. But I love the song most when it is a vehicle for a trumpet to get all wild and crazy and throbbing, like this performance with Henry Red Allen in 1964. My favorite, and probably the version which most influenced my thinking on the story, was the way it’s played and sung by Billy Joe & the Dusty 45s, a band which is local to me in Seattle so I get to see the flaming trumpet act live from time to time.


Oh yes, there’s also a Pinterest board of my visual inspirations and references for the project.