“The Swamp Rats” is the first novel in the “Humble Hill” series. It has been composting for more than five years as part of my daily writing routine. I love this story, as do many of my dear writer-friends, ordinary friends (writer-friends are ordinary too but they are also a tad bit crazy), and family, who have read bits and pieces of it. Thank you for believing in this obsession, this dream/nightmare that won’t leave me alone. You know who you are.
Set in a depressed New England mill town in the 70’s, The Swamp Rats is a bildungsroman, part-one of a coming-of-age story that follows the troubled life Alex Greyson, who loses his parents when he is just seven-years-old. Four years later, after his stepfather/uncle assaults him, Alex winds up living in a famed and mysterious mansion atop Humble Hill, where an old abandoned castle is being converted into a private boarding school. There he meets Christy, a girl with boundless imagination, talent, and wisdom stretching far beyond her eleven years. Together, they join with friends from the local public school to explore a nearby swamp. With Christy at the helm, it doesn’t take long for the four boys and four girls to turn the swamp into the magical kingdom of Lotusmire, where they learn some hard lessons about love, friendship, and war.