Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tour Stop | Stepping Off A Cliff by Doug Dillon @Doug__Dillon

Title:  Stepping Off A Cliff
Author:  Doug Dillon
The St. Augustine Trilogy: Book II
Length:  321 Pages
Genre: YA Paranormal
Released:  Nov. 29, 2013


An otherworldly, evil and dangerous force infests America’s oldest and most haunted city, St. Augustine, Florida. Everyone living there, or visiting, is at risk in ways too horrible to imagine.

Standing between this invader and the people of St. Augustine are teenagers Jeff and Carla, the mysterious Native American shaman, Lobo, and Lyle, the homeless guy.

In their quest to save themselves and all the inhabitants of this ancient Florida city, Jeff and Carla uncover lost parts of St. Augustine history, push past the limits of space and time, and come face-to-face with what they come to realize are the true walking dead.

How Lyle the Homeless Guy
Became Part of The St. Augustine Trilogy
by Doug Dillon

I live in the Orlando area of Florida, 100 miles away from St. Augustine. In preparing my background information on that old city, I visited the place often, haunted its beautiful, old historic buildings, roamed its streets, talked to people and took a lot of pictures. And while I was there, I mentally created the plots for each of the three books.

Of course, part of that process also included placing my characters in different locations and situations in my mind just to see how they would react. Many of those types of literary gymnastics often took place while I sat on a park bench in St. Augustine’s central plaza.

But one cold evening in December, while sitting in the plaza, a homeless man sat down next to me and silently drank a beer that he had covered with a small paper bag.

Pretty soon, we got to talking. He was a nice guy, probably in his mid-thirties. In that conversation, he admitted to being an alcoholic. He also told me some hair-raising stories about living the homeless life.

Finally, he asked me why I was in St. Augustine sitting on a bench in the cold. So I told him I was a writer working on a trilogy for young adults. When I got done speaking, he asked one simple question: “Are you going to put any homeless people in your books?” My reply was that I had never considered doing so but I would definitely think about it.

When I got back to my nice warm motel and thought about that poor guy still out there in the cold, his words haunted me: “Are you going to put any homeless people in your books?” And the more I thought about his question, the more it made sense for me to create a homeless character for the trilogy. That’s how Lyle the Homeless Guy was born.

You see, I don’t believe in coincidences. My chance encounter with that man on the park bench really struck me as a very purposeful life event. I write about the paranormal all the time and it is my experience that coincidences often have much more significance than we know.

To make Lyle truly come to life in my imagination, I had to first create his physical characteristics. To do that, I used an old high school friend of mine who lives in St. Augustine as my model – with his permission. Even though my buddy, his name is Gary, owns a large home in the historic district of the city, he has a huge beard and he usually dresses much like the homeless people you find in the plaza. Above, you will find Gary’s picture, the one I use in the trailer for the second book in the trilogy, Stepping Off a Cliff.

Book Trailer by Book Dragon Designs

About the Author
A former award-winning educator, Doug writes about things paranormal and historical. His interest in the paranormal comes from personal experiences as detailed in the nonfiction adult book he and wife wrote titled, AN EXPLOSION OF BEING: AN AMERICAN FAMILY'S JOURNEY INTO THE PSYCHIC. Out of those events and extensive historical research, he created SLIDING BENEATH THE SURFACE for young adults, Book I of the St. Augustine Trilogy. Doug set his trilogy in the oldest and most haunted city in the United States, St. Augustine, Florida not only for those reasons, but also because it's his favorite place to visit. Books II and III of the trilogy are on the way.

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