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.
There really is no limit to the use of meteorological terms and conditions in literature, whether the genre is fiction or non-fiction. In this excerpt, I use weather to show the passage of time. The chapter began during the harsh winter months, where the city of Boston is frequently embraced by a frigid blanket of white and battleship gray skies overhead. However, the chapter ends with the coming of the spring and summer months.
We typically associate spring and summer with a time relaxation, optimism and hope. So, you could say that we accomplished two things with one simple paragraph. We denoted the passage of time between chapters, and we also foreshadowed some events to come in the upcoming chapter.
Summer humidity and heat brings the danger of thunderstorms that arise quickly and can lash out with deadly precision. What better way to describe someone with dangerous mood swings?
Next time we'll discuss the use of weather for transitions and setting mood.
The Demons of Plainville
Billowing white thunderstorms swept across the sky, replacing winter’s chill with April’s strong sunshine. Trees awakened from their long slumber while short-sleeved shirts replaced heavy winter jackets. Temperatures soared into the 70s by noontime with gentle southwesterly breezes. However, those light winds could not hold back the notorious sea breezes that plague the city during the spring months. The ocean-cooled air rushed into the warmer inland air, plunging the city into a dense fog that covered the skyline in a thick veil. By 4 P.M., I usually regretted having chosen a t-shirt instead of the winter jacket, but such was spring in Boston.