UPDATE: The first chapter of “The Last Handful of Clover” is now live here.
When QSaltLake publisher Michael Aaron and I discussed the possibility of serializing my novel, “The Last Handful of Clover,” here on the website, Michael said that he had always wanted to have a fiction serial along the lines of “Tales of the City.”
Well, “The Last Handful of Clover” is only “Tales of the City” — if Mrs. Madrigal was a homicidal killer, and all the residents of Barbary Lane were intent on burning San Francisco to the ground…
But to Michael’s credit, he gave the green light to the project anyway.
Hello everyone, and welcome to this introduction post for “The Last Handful of Clover,” my new novel series, set to be serialized here on QSaltLake.com, starting on December 3. My name is Wess Mongo Jolley, and I’m the author. I was born in Park City and attended (along with Michael) the University of Utah in the early 1980s. I’m now an American expatriate living in Montreal, Canada. Those of you who have known me in the intervening years may know me primarily as a poet and poetry promoter and as the host of the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Podcast, which ran for more than ten years and released 1,600 episodes.
But what I’m bringing to QSaltLake readers is something very different.
“The Last Handful of Clover” is a three-volume supernatural thriller, which is also an epic meditation on aging, loss, regret, and redemption. It is a ghost story — but an unusual one, in that it is told through both the eyes of the living and the eyes of the dead. In fact, the story begins three days after the story’s protagonist, Richard Pratt, is killed by an unknown assassin who shoots him through the window of his suburban home in Salt Lake City. Richard dies in his husband’s arms and returns three days later to find a world that he can only witness, but not participate in.
What he doesn’t realize is that his death is only the beginning of what will become an epic battle for survival that engulfs the entire Salt Lake Valley. Over the course of the novel, Richard meets a cast of unforgettable characters — both living and dead — who help him face his destiny.
As you may have noted from that description, this is a story with a gay protagonist. It’s also a bit of a love letter to Salt Lake City. The novel is rich in historical detail and context, with scenes set as far back as 1810, but mostly, this is a contemporary story about one man’s struggle with loss, regret at the mistakes he’s made, and his search for redemption. All while the fate of a great American city, and over a million lives, hangs in the balance.
To tell you much more than that would threaten some spoilers! But if you want to learn more, go to my webpage. There you’ll find maps of the world portrayed in the novel, a roster of the primary characters, and even a sample chapter. That website is also where you can learn more about how to read the book and support me as an author.
If you elect to join me on this journey, I can promise you a wild ride. What Richard faces in his quest to save the man he loves, Salt Lake City, and his own wounded soul, is nothing short of harrowing. And I believe his struggles touch on those that each of us must face every day.
I’ll be releasing two chapters a week here (Tuesdays and Fridays), until all three books, and all 207 chapters, are available. It will take us two years to get through the entire story, but I can promise, it will be two years full of thrills, chills, and adventure.
As a special bonus, I will be releasing the audiobook via podcast on the same schedule as I release the print chapters here. Look for the audio links in each chapter’s post.
Lastly, note that the entire first book of the trilogy is now available to subscribers on my Patreon page, so if you enjoy the story and want to read ahead (and support me as a writer at the same time) check out the Patreon site here.
I hope you’ll join us, and I look forward to hearing from you! I love getting messages from readers and listeners, and you can contact me anytime through my website.
Thanks again, and keep it tuned here! We start the story on Friday!