A Stranger Among Us: A Novel of the West Virginia Opioid Crisis
I collaborated with the author, Robert Dugan III, to design the book cover, spine, and back cover. Assisted him in the editing and publishing process. Planned various promotional campaigns for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Negotiated with editors, publishers, and the media to enhance awareness and drive traffic to the publishing platform.
A Stranger Among Us is a narrative told from the perspective of a young man living in West Virginia during the intersection of the Opioid Crisis and the 2008 Financial Collapse. This literary novel analyzes the true-to-life circumstances that lead young men to addiction. The story begins when Mike, a bookish and video game obsessed preteen, meets Daniel, his new neighbor. The boys become fast friends, despite how clear it is that there are profound differences between them. Daniel’s father, Charlie, is a former bad-boy from the time of motorcycle gangs and muscle cars, but motorcycle accidents and alcohol have literally taken his arm and leg. Charlie's hard-living ways finally catch up to his health, and now his son, Daniel, is left to wrestle with the loss of his father. Daniel now has access to his father's estate, and as the narrative continues on, it becomes clear that Daniel has inherited much more than money. Daniel must balance his impulse to imitate his late father with his desire to form his own identity. But as relative wealth brings newfound popularity, it soon becomes clear that Daniel isn’t the only young man in Black Hollow struggling to escape the shadow of his father.
A moving novel, loaded with humor and memorable characters, A Stranger Among Us is the story of how young men in Appalachia are forever tethered to the legacy of their fathers, and it is a thought-provoking examination of the lasting influence of place and community on the lives of young men.
A Stranger Among Us is available now on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback versions.