The Dead Man’s Mind
In writing this introduction to The Dead Man’s Mind, as a poet I am perpetually awed by the sheer determination and sustained vision needed to produce a novel. This, the author’s first novel, took four years to write and then much longer to type and publish. I call this the second edition because a very small first edition was printed which contained numerous errors that have been corrected for this edition.
What is immediately evident in this novel is the verisimilitude of the dialogue and the familiarity of the setting, even though the exact geographic location is never specified. The characters speak like real persons, and it is immediately apparent that the teenaged characters were not created by a forty year old writer trying to remember how young people speak. The protagonist, Kat, and her friend, Tina, attend eighth grade, ride bikes, play sports and hang out in the park. This ordinary existence is superimposed upon an entirely unique world in which mental powers and abilities hold sway. That all this takes place in a maritime community in the United States is assumed but we are never told where, yet it must be somewhere.
Italics are used throughout the book to indicate mental dialogue, and the insights of the protagonist into the nature of the mind and human condition in general, grow in depth as she learns the extent and limits of her mental ability. This elevates this work from young adult psychological fiction into a full blown coming of age novel with an entirely fictional premise. At the end, we are left with the slightly bewildered feelings of the characters as to what comes next. The meaning of life? It’s an intelligence test.
I hope you, the reader, get as much enjoyment out of this novel as I have in helping ready it for publication, although my appreciation is further enhanced by the fact that the author is my daughter.