Back in the summer of 2016, I had a strange dream about an old friend. The dream really shocked me and implored me to reconsider my perspective on reality regarding this old friend, especially the ways I may have misunderstood many things about her growing up–her personality, her family life, and even what my friendship had meant to her.
It was clear to me after this dream that she and I had been on very different planes of consciousness since our earliest days together (truly, as everyone typically is), but I had scarcely been aware of this in my youth, and she had not the ability to articulate herself clearly back then, as we were only kids.
I wrestled with the implications of this dream for a good while, and soon it became clear to me that it had presented to me the twists and turns of a remarkable story, at least in my opinion. So I began to formulate ways to make bits of my own life, the recent dream, and my own philosophizing about human relationships, and the concept of identity, into a novel. I began writing, furiously. Obsessively.
In less than four months, I had churned out my first rough draft of what is now to be known as my first novel, Cane Field.
The original manuscript tallied more than 200 pages. I then began revisiting the material for Cane Field in between the undertakings of other projects I was working on at the same time (like my first draft of The Way of The Vegan Meathead and a murder mystery script), trying to sharpen the plot, the development of characters, and in many ways, I tried to depersonalize the story with each new draft. After all, what good would a story be if it just read like diary entries by yours truly? My greater intention with Cane Field has been to explore the psychological landscapes of suburban America.
Cane Field is a story, primarily about two suburban teenagers (from the fictional Texas suburb of Cane Field) who grow up and go down very different paths. One becomes a cynical but industrious musician and world traveler (sound familiar? haha). The other goes very far away and becomes a seemingly different person with an unforeseen new lifestyle. Furthermore, this novel explores the way our formative relationships affect us into adulthood, from parents, to friends, to lovers. And fret not, Cane Field is also filled with absurdly hilarious vignettes of my own tour stories, gaudy sexcapades, and a scope of drama ranging from banal and juvenile to the gravely serious.
From start to finish, Cane Field took more than three years to complete and send off for publishing. It has easily been the most intensely scrutinized and concentrated creative project in my life thus far. I hope it provides you with relatable moments, laughter, and all kinds of feels. Sincerely, Daniel Austin