Summer lingered still, and though it was grey out, the boy knew he would have no need of a jacket. In two days there would be school, and this was the last solitude he would have before then. It meant the buses and the taunts, fumbling about in the locker room to undress and get into his too-short uniform as quickly as possible while avoiding the gazes of those boys who had hit maturity faster than he had – you must not look – and wondering why why why everybody and the world seemed to have it in for him…

I’ve been writing Long September in some form or another since I was 17.


That sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I wrote a terrible first couple of chapters when I was still in high school and then revisited the idea once again when I first went to college. There was something about the solitude of Ames, Iowa that spurred me to write to new depths of creepiness, and what would become Long September was more properly born.

Yet, it would not be until I moved to Decatur, Illinois, an even rougher area for a suburban kid, that I really got it. The setting had not been the Midwest up to that point, and when I sat down to write Long September for the fifth or sixth time, I set it in the corn and soy fields and the decaying infrastructure and the lawless social life that make Central Illinois what it is. I’m writing this like I mean it now, and I’m finally at a place where I can show what I’ve worked on.

Describing what the story is might make you not want to read it, so I offer this first snippet of what will be a very long work, where you will meet Ian.

Download the .pdf |