Guest Post by Aric Davis, author of The Fort

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: June 11, 2013

Order Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: With the boys' new fort finally finished, everything that summer was going great. And then the killer showed up.

During the summer of 1987, from their tree house fort in the woods, neighborhood boys Tim, Scott, and Luke spot a man holding a gun to missing sixteen-year-old Molly Peterson’s back. The problem is, nobody believes their story, not even the police. As search efforts to find Molly dwindle, the boys know that she, and the man with the gun, are nearby — and that they must now find and save Molly themselves. A growing sense of honor and urgency forces the boys to take action — to find Molly, to protect themselves, and to stand guard for the last long days of summer.

Guest Post: As a writer, I think one of the most daunting questions that a person can himself is, “Where do the ideas even come from?” Far worse, however, and certainly heavier, is trying to figure out just where in the hell all of those imaginary people come from. It’s quite easy when I begin a piece of longer fiction to think of a suitable first and last name for a character, perhaps even give a brief description of how the person might look if they’re particularly important to the story-though I typically like to let my readers form these ideas on their own-and then begin weaving a story around them. That said, it’s only in the later stages of writing that I usually start to realize just how much I’ve come to enjoy my time spent with these imaginary friends.

The Fort, my newest novel, has a trusty-but-green detective as one of its leads, but it also stars three far more unlikely protagonists for an adult thriller, three twelve year old boys. Tim, Scott, and Luke were a slow to start to write about, for all of about two pages. As much fun as I had getting in the heads of my big bad guy and detective, these kids were a joy to write about. I was putting my own fears from growing up in the shadow of the Vietnam War into them, along with some of the simple joys of being a 12 year old boy left to his own devices in the expanse of summer. That part was so much fun that I began to realize just how hard it was going to be to make those boys walk through fire.

My young friends in The Fort happen upon a crime, you see, and the people who should have trusted them find that they cannot. This leaves Tim, Scott, and Luke with a number of hard decisions to make, both about themselves and about the world of adults. This was hard writing, my friends were going to suffer, and I knew that some of them might not even make it back out of the deep end of the pool. The last 20 pages came together in a marathon of sweat and pumping fingers, the only sounds the clattering of keys and punk rock blaring from the stereo behind me, but by the time that I was done I felt like I did my friends right. They suffered, and they lost, but they found themselves. It’s hard to ask for much more as a writer, and I’ve had an absolute blast sharing the story of my imaginary friends with my readers.

Aric Davis’ novel The Fort is available now on At turns heartbreaking and breathtakingly thrilling, The Fort perfectly renders a coming-of-age story in the 1980s, in those final days of childhood independence, discovery, and paradise.

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