Available September 1
Consent of the Governed presents an America ruled by a president whose blundering has thrown the nation into economic depression, where citizens are threatened by international terrorists and Red Shirts—government thugs—who keep the populace in line. In the state of emergency, the president has declared martial law and suspended the Constitution and free elections. Sid and Annie Winthrop are an elderly couple who have sworn to take revenge on the Red Shirts for murdering their son. Victor and Brooklynn are Red Shirts, true believers who are confronted with the dark underside of governmental control. When these couples are thrown together, they both come to understand what is real.
The clock outside Coaltown National Bank read 3:07 AM, and then flashed forty-seven degrees. Alone on the Main Street sidewalk, lit only by the electric sign in the window of the hardware store and the one street light that still worked, Sid Winthrop heard the Troopers in the alley before he saw them. Four Red Shirts. Tall, young. Looking for trouble, a victim. He slipped Chloe’s leash into his right hand. The young pit bull made a low growl.
“We got this, Big Girl.” Sid unbuttoned his long leather coat and fingered the grip of his suppressed Heckler and Koch USP .45. Old men could look for trouble, too.
They came quickly and surrounded him, nightsticks in hand, as was their training. The biggest one, the squad leader—helmeted, six-four, two-fifty, could have been a college football player—took a stance directly in front of Sid, nightstick at the level of Sid’s face, blocking the way if he should try to run. Sid didn’t feel like running.
In writing Consent of the Governed, as in my other work, I draw heavily upon my years in Pentecostal ministry and my background in correctional education. It may seem strange that religion and prison are closely linked in my psyche, but both experiences have taught me to value freedom of thought and expression. Both prison and religion set about stunting one’s individuality and personal growth.
Besides prisons, the bulk of my career has been in education, teaching in the inner-city and Job Corps, the suburbs, and a few rural areas. In between, I’ve spent time in retail, professional photography, and any other side hustle I could pick up. Along the way, I’ve earned a Master’s in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Education Administration to go along with my BA in English.
I write from a place where the “good” people aren’t so good, and one’s best friends can be the “worst” people in town. I don’t trust the ones who put their spirituality up front; those people make for some of my best comedy. I look for the ones who live the spirituality they don’t flaunt around town; they aren’t many, but they’re the real people. Between a two-bit saint and a stand-up sinner, I’ll take the sinner every time.