Greetings RAiLBAK reader.
I know what you’re thinking: OK, Tc, stop playing with the RAiLBAK manuscripts and please make them available to those of us who have been waiting with anticipation for almost too long to remember you were writing the RAiLBAK series; and the multitude of readers worldwide who have yet to know it’s being written…whaaaaaat?
Well, all I can hope is you find my latest works; which are forays into the intriguing world of Railbak; (my protagonist and alter-ego to a certain extent); are scintillating; (I looked it up and the meaning seemed very accurate and sophisticated); and purposeful reading. After 40+ years at times on the fringes of; and other times in the firm grip of; the literary world while writing on the 11 PM to 3 AM shift because I needed to dedicate a significant amount of energy to day jobs; (and at times night jobs); being a breadwinner and raising a family; I’ve finally written the book(s) I wrote in my mind for the better part of those four-plus decades since meeting and serving with people whose personalities make up my main character, who; like virtually all of my characters; evolved into an astonishing amalgam of remarkable characteristics I have personally observed in various folks I was blessed to know.
2008 commenced what I’ve since described as my ongoing 10-years war with myself as opposed to the greater global issue(s) including a worldwide financial melt-down, a couple major wars, and rebuilding a country after 9-1-1; because in my own myopic selfish mind this past decade has been all about my battle with mortality, which I lost on at least one occasion. Since it’s an ongoing conflict, no wonder I’m exhausted some days; as my personal war will soon surpass the duration of some wars without total victory or surrender being claimed by the main combatant: Me. Since football has evolved into America’s psyche as its game; you aficionados think about playing an entire game as one of the leaders in all three phases: Offense, defense and special teams. That’s me; freakin exhausting.
Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2008 I opted for Brachy Therapy. With apologies to my urologists, I didn’t have an opportunity to make my 3rd, 4th and 5th year follow-up appointments because in 2011 I commenced; and still am actively involved in; a-year-by-year battle against a very sneaky adversary. Originally discovered in my brain and diagnosed as an extremely rare, large, benign tumor, so-called Solitary Fibrous Tumor of the Meninges; (which I know sounds made-up); which for years spread its fibers to my left ear, throat and spine; expanding two craniotomies into ear and throat surgery which luckily the docs believe they removed the majority of the tumor, along with a few other pieces of me which apparently I didn’t need anyway. Stuff like a number of cranial nerves, pieces of my neck, a carotid artery, a vertebral artery; left inner ear, etc.
Crazy enough all my internal parts the surgeons sacrificed; (one of my fave surgical terms used waaaaay too frequently by my docs-mwahahaha); they even put stuff back inside me like a titanium bridge-to-nowhere; conveniently described as a Fusion; attached to my occipital bone in my skull; reaching to the C-4 vertebrae; apparently installed to prevent my head from spinning off which is cool if it keeps working but it makes me feel like I have a real life bobble-head. If everything keeps working, hopefully sooner than later I’ll be the one to claim total victory in Tc’s 10-year war.
I believe writing Tc’s (Purposeful) RAiLBAK Adventures and RAiLBAK ON offered me the solace and catharsis I needed to engage in purposeful work which was and still is critical to my survival. I poured myself into my writing, whenever I was strong enough, to keep me moving forward. I believe at times in life; beyond the strength and energy required to heal and recover; all you will have is the ability to read a page in a book or write a page, then rest and regenerate energy for the next pages. There were times when I could not speak, when I could not walk, when the tinnitus was so loud in my brain, my remaining ear was so confused I couldn’t hear accurately; when I couldn’t see out of my left eye or had double vision; or when I couldn’t swallow so I spent the better part of a year on a feeding tube and could barely smell. I died at least once and was resuscitated with an emergency bedside tracheotomy by a brilliant Doc who was at the time the long-term leader of the STAT team at St Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula, which is one person of many to whom I owe my life. I could go on and on but you get my drift.
Being certified 100% disabled since February 2012, I focused my survival techniques through my writing life by bringing Railbak’s story to light which offered me a new genre, new character and new nom de plume; compared to my pre-tumor creations; allowing me to move beyond my old self and focus on a new literary creation and rebirth. No more agents, publishers, editors, polishers, cover artists, hard backs, soft backs…just me, my characters, my tech guru Jack and my RAiLBAK website. Truly a Made-in-Montana work.
I am also delighted, for the first time publicly, to reveal my brand spanking new unique, inventive writing style in (Purposeful) RAiLBAK Adventures Vol. I. Neither my style nor RAiLBAK Adventures and RAiLBAK ON are probably for the faint-of-heart-readers, but are years in the making and labors of my writing love. RAiLBAK ON (series)is inspired by the multiple short-story approach made famous in the Dubliners by one of my favorite literary giants: James Joyce. I am so pleased you have chosen to read any of the RAiLBAK creations including RAiLBAK Adventures Vol II which is I refer to as a Conversational Novella because I couldn’t think of anything else to call it since all the characters converse. I believe in the literary arena this style is more formally referred to as dialogue only. As a broad thank-you for all your support during my continuous healing and writing efforts I’m offering all my books at introductory pricing. Thanks and I wish you rewarding reading. Best, Tc
P.S. I have been scolded for months/years by my buds to get any form of RAiLBAK out to the general literary readers of the globe. So RAiLBAK Adventures Vol II has been translated into Spanish and Italian; and will ultimately be translated into French. Those of you who know me as a writer understand that I can lay down a manuscript in a year or so grinding full time; then it takes me a couple more years…or more…to stop tweaking, (read…rewriting), before I can force myself to button it up and roll it out. So finally, here you go; semi- polished…but appropriately, mostly raw like my last decade: RAiLBAK.
Good news; for me anyway; is I’m just too stupid to quit; both in life and writing. As of November 2020 I’m polishing Vol III of the RAiLBAK Adventures series; entitled She’s missing…;which pivots to the young adult genre and introduces The9; a group of young women kidnapped by human-traffickers. Ultimately freed from their confinement and vow to band together to find and capture the traffickers; with the goal of finding and setting any other kidnapped girls free. Railbak and his crew are called in to assist in the search as one of The9 was taken from Railbak’s home reservation. An engaging, contemporary novel of our time created to bring to light a global scourge cursing females that must be exorcised from the earth. Initially bound for the fall book contest season before posting She’s missing… on the RAiLBAK website in early 2021.