Note: I wrote Goat Dance in my mid-to-late 20s. I was living in a tiny studio, using an IBM Selectric II, back in the days when you still had to use carbon paper to keep an extra copy. And I couldn't afford the carbon paper. I rarely saw friends during the time I wrote it, but I went for long walks -- many hours at a time -- when I wasn't writing. The solitude helped with the writing, and when it was finally done -- this book, which logged in at the time at close to 250,000 words -- I sent it off. There is a long story within the year before it was bought -- by Simon & Schuster's division, Pocket Books -- in 1987. I'll save that for my memoirs. And then Pocket Books scheduled it 2 years down the road, so I had to wait until 1989 for Goat Dance to see print. It was an exciting time for me -- I was still fairly young and walking down Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, after leaving my editor's office, having been told how much she loved the book and was going to make an offer...well, it was magical. I was very fortunate that the first novel I wrote also happened to be the first one sold. I wrote Goat Dance primarily because I needed to see if the story in my head could fill an entire novel, and it turns out -- it did. I've added some background notes here at various points, so click on them and see what bits of trivia I've included. Thank you for reading.
WHAT KIND OF SMOKE ARE YOU?   News item from The Westbridge County (Va.)
Note: I went to college at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. It was within Rockbridge County, and since it's good to write what you know, I drew heavily from my knowledge of that area. As I wrote Goat Dance, I grew nostalgic for the Virginia mountains and that particular area, so I loved including rough fictional parallels to aspects of the place.
Preparatory School for Boys. He is survived by his wife, Odessa
Note: I once met a woman named Odessa, and I thought that was such a cool name, I had to include it here.
he was crazy, "I can see it, inside you, like The Man With The X-Ray Eyes."
Note: A creepy movie that I saw as a kid, and it stayed with me. Thank you, Ray Milland!