Thursday, April 29, 2021

Coming May 18: The Eviction of Hope

Once again, an editor who should have known better has asked me to lower the standards for an anthology. This one is special.


First off, I had my work cut out for me. Here’s the list of the other writers involved: Hector Acosta, Mark Bergin, Joe Clifford, Paul J. Garth, Carmen Jaramillo, Dana King, James L'Etoile, Gary Phillips, Matt Phillips, Tom Pitts, Travis Richardson, John Shepphird, Holly West and Frank Zafiro. I don’t think even I on my worst day could take the edge off the excellence this group conveys. So the pressure’s off.


Second, this is as well-conceived an anthology as I have seen or heard of. There’s not just a unifying theme for the stories; there’s an actual bible. It was half a dozen pages of history, logistics, characters we could share, and rules to observe so no one inadvertently stepped on anyone else’s story.


Now that I’ve piqued your interest, here’s the lowdown from editor Colin Conway himself:


It’s eviction day for The Hope Apartments. The residents have known about it for over a year. It’s too bad they ignored all the warning signs.


More than a century ago, developer Elijah Hope constructed a state-of-the-art hotel. As the generations passed and tastes changed, The Hope spent two decades as an underutilized office building before conversion into a low-income housing project.


Rundown by years of human occupation, The Hope has become a hollow shell of its once great self. It is home to drug addicts, petty criminals, and those hiding from others. The city has long turned a blind eye to The Hope as surrounding neighborhoods gentrified and pushed their disaffected in its direction.


But now The Hope is preparing a return to its original glory. The current owners plan to convert it into a boutique hotel. The only thing standing in their way is the eviction of over one hundred units.


Each resident knew this fateful day was coming, yet most chose to believe it would never arrive. They ignored the posted signs, the hand-delivered warnings, and even the actual notices.


Many stayed until the bitter end.


These are their stories.


I was, and am, supremely flattered to have been included in this collection. It’s different from anything I’ve ever worked on, and I tried to come up with a story that stretched my abilities. I’m happy with how my contribution turned out, and I know you’ll be impressed with the others, which I have read from the ARC.


The Eviction of Hope drops May 18. You can pre-order here.

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