Some true stories read like fiction, but for those who have to personally live through the experiences, the nightmare is vividly real. Daniel R. Mathews digs into the darkness of his past with his haunting memoir, The Demons of Plainville.
As a child, Daniel struggles to find his footing in an upside-down world. His mother is mentally ill and addicted to drugs; she performs black masses to summon demons, is physically abusive, and plays brutal mind games that make him doubt his sanity and despair of ever making sense of life or himself. Even his father beats Daniel after “rescuing” him from his mother. Thanks to a few unexpected friends, Daniel survives his devastating youth and emerges stronger for it.
But Daniel’s battles aren’t over. Finally free of his abusive parents, he now must face himself and wrestle with his sexual identity in a community that sees nothing wrong with homophobia.
Candid and compelling, this is a triumphant tale of a young man who walked through the darkness, bravely faced his demons, and against all odds carried the faint light of hope with him every step of the way.
An avid reader of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, Daniel R. Mathews is a novelist and nonfiction writer whose books feature LGBT youth braving danger with honor and dignity, including his personal memoir, The Demons of Plainville, and debut horror novel, The Unseen Kingdom.
For the past two decades, Mathews has worked as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified ground instructor, meteorologist, and member of the web development and Internet technical support community. He currently lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.
I have several obsessions in life, and one of them is meteorology. There is a lot of artistry in the weather, and as such it's such a perfect fit for literature. There really is no limit what you can use weather for in a book, and probably even more adjectives and verbs that can go along with it. This week I'll be addressing the lighter side of my memoir by focusing in on the importance and symbolic uses of the weather in various chapters.
In this scene, I describe the approach of a summertime thunderstorm and its impact on the surrounding environment. Thunderstorms are nature's most powerful force. While a real memory, it serves to show how small two young boys and even the forest itself is in the face of this force.
The Demons of Plainville
The western skies were darkening as wispy high clouds streaked out ahead of the boiling mass approaching. Gradually the winds began increasing as the first gust rushed through the forest with a roar. The pines began swaying in the breeze that rippled across the pond. You could feel the air temperature fall, causing a few goose bumps to form on our legs and arms.