I need to accept that I’m a fan of Charley Descoteaux’s Buchanan House series and now of Charli Coty. As I’m setting up this post, I’m fifteen percent into The Visionary. It’s definitely a different world. Read more below & enjoy!
Hello! Charli Coty here to talk about my January 30th release The Visionary. Thanks for having me, Lila! ❤
The Visionary has been one of those projects of the heart. It’s taken years to write. I almost gave up more than once but these characters—this world—kept coming back to the front of my mind between contemporary projects. (And sometimes during). 🙂
When it came time for a cover I didn’t have many ideas. Luckily, NineStar Press assigned my cover to the amazingly talented Natasha Snow. She took my strange ramblings and a few links, and designed the perfect cover.
This is the Steel Bridge in Portland, Oregon, where the book is mainly set. I cross it twice every weekday and in the summer I take frequent walks across its pedestrian footpath during my lunch break, as long as the bridge isn’t up. The bridge is in the story, so I was thrilled to learn a picture of it was available. The Steel Bridge has the perfect rough and gritty feel for this world.
Since this post is about the cover and the bridge I thought about including an excerpt that features the Steel Bridge, but those were all spoilery. Here’s the opening of Chapter One. The book is in three parts and all of Part One is from Colin’s point of view. Don’t worry, Al gets his say too.
Colin Page, eighteen-year-old community college student, apple polisher and all-around goody-goody, has a secret. He sees things that aren’t there. Unfortunately, the Doc Martens on the floor of the mail vestibule in his apartment building really are there and attached to a dead body. Hunkered over the body is someone Colin had barely noticed before, Private Investigator Al Green. Most people scare Colin, but for some reason, Al doesn’t, even after he reveals that he knows about the hidden reality of their world.
Alonzo Green, despite his low-power mind, is determined to help right the wrongs he unknowingly contributed to. He’s also hopelessly smitten. He knows it’s wrong—probably even dangerous—to enlist Colin’s help with the investigation. And that’s before considering all Al has to fear from Colin’s fiercely protective and powerful mother.
Colin and Al put some of the pieces together, but as soon as one thing becomes clear, the picture changes. The search for the Big Bad takes them from Portland to Tacoma and Seattle, and eventually to San Francisco, but their journey into each other’s arms is much shorter.
Colin always hesitated before getting into the rickety old elevator. It didn’t seem safe to ride in something, even four floors, if you could see the individual boards—which looked suspiciously similar to two-by-fours—vibrating. Or maybe it had more to do with the dust, grime, and cobwebs coating every visible surface, or maybe the preconceived notion he’d had that college would be different from high school. He held his breath and stepped in as the door closed.
He looked around, and thought he was alone in the lobby until he’d made it halfway to the front door. Someone cursed, and Colin turned to see a pair of black Doc Martens sticking out from the mailbox alcove. He recognized the white symbols hand drawn on the backs of the heels. The guy who owned those boots—Tattoo Guy—lived in the building, but he and Colin hadn’t done more than nod hello. Colin’s mom had warned him time and again not to talk to anyone in the building because he’d be dragged into some drama or other, and he needed to focus on school. Maybe Tattoo Guy was hurt and needed help. He couldn’t just leave.
He reached the juncture of the hallway and the alcove housing the tarnished little brass doors to everyone’s mailboxes and saw another familiar someone. The large man was hunkered down beside Tattoo Guy. He wore battered jeans and steel-toed boots with a hole in the leather of one toe. The neck of his dark-green T-shirt was stretched out of shape, and his black leather jacket looked a half size too small. Colin struggled to come up with a word to describe him but couldn’t think of an antonym to doppelganger. That man was everything Colin was not, especially tall and dark.
“What’s that purple mist?” Colin asked, startling himself. He never spoke to strangers, especially not about―
“It’s more a fog.”
Odd. The man didn’t seem surprised. It did remind Colin of pictures of fog rolling in around the Golden Gate Bridge. Only these misty tendrils were purple and gradually disappeared as they moved farther away from Tattoo Guy.
“Why won’t you answer me?”
“What else do you see?” He turned slightly toward Colin but remained hunkered down, studying Tattoo Guy but not touching him.
“Nothing.” Colin blinked, and that fast, it wasn’t true anymore. “Crap, his tattoo just moved.”
MEET THE AUTHOR
Charli Coty has always believed in magic, aliens, and things that go bump in the night. When forced to venture out into the “real world” she can be found in a cramped cubicle surrounded by far too much light, erasing bisexual erasure, or knitting something naughty. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. Charli has survived droughts, earthquakes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.
Charli Coty is the new pseudonym for the author known as Charley Descoteaux.
RATTLE CHARLI’S CAGES
Fridays with Friends & Favorites is a weekly post featuring authors, designers, editors, and anyone else brave enough to show up. And sometimes, my favorite book of the week might take the spotlight.