The Road to Hell is Uncorked
Imagine Holden Caulfield meets Leon—and hold on to your wine glass with both hands
SHAWN WANTS MORE FROM LIFE THAN DEATH in a tiny cubicle—shoehorned next to the office bathroom, with a boss who wants him gone. A chance encounter with a mysterious woman forces Shawn to make the career choice of his life. What starts as a lucrative job in wine sales tumbles down a dark rabbit hole of world travel, murder, madness, and mayhem.
With his one-eyed partner, Shawn is thrust underground where the typical constraints of laws and money no longer apply. Exotic locations, hazing rituals, and a cast of misfit handlers take Shawn on a twisted journey towards the highest bidder. Will Shawn close the sale before time runs out, or will he fall to the dark side as others did before him?
The Barrel is a gripping thriller that will force you behind the curtain, revealing a gritty underworld invisible to average citizens. With a brilliant blend of dark humor, danger, and suspense, The Barrel will make you late for dinner and miss your bedtime.
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Series notes: The Dirt Chronicles series can be read in any order. They are written as stand-alone novels. Each book follows one of the Seven Deadly Sins, or Seven Virtues. There will be at least fourteen books in all. The Barrel follows the theme of greed.
An Interview with August Birch:
How did you get started? “My journey isn’t a traditional one. I’ve written since I was a kid, but started my writing career with non-fiction and penned over a dozen books under a pseudonym. The world of fiction came later. I wrote more than two million words of non-fiction before I found my calling writing thrillers at age thirty-nine.”
Who are your influences? “My reading is very eclectic. When I was younger I read a lot of the Beats—Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginsburg, William Burroughs, and others. Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Raymond Chandler, and Craig Johnson all had a large influence on my writing style. I also appreciate dirty realism from authors like Charles Bukowski. I’m a real mutt when it comes to reading and I think those influences are a direct reflection in the way I write.”
Where do you get your ideas? “Ahh, the magic question. That’s kind of like asking where do leprechauns hide their gold. I get kernels of ideas from news stories, movies, and television. I write them down, let them percolate in my head, and the book ides usually come when I’m not forcing it—like when I'm walking the dog or taking a shower.”
How would you describe your writing style? “I’d say my style is choppy and conversational. I break a lot of grammar rules in order to paint the best picture I can. I try not to be pretentious with my word choices and I use as little description as possible. I put the reader to work.”
What is your writing process? “I try to write every day. If I don’t write every day I start to lose the thread of the story. I do my best work early in the morning, but I’ll write during the day, whenever I can steal a moment to hit my daily word count. I use a digital recorder while I’m driving.”