Built a few years after the Civil War ended, my little mansard roof-French pavilion house is the second oldest house in South Pueblo, as in south of the Arkansas River of what used to be the border with Mexico. Before Lewis and Clark, this land belonged to France. Before that, the Apache Nation and before them the Pueblo tribes.

My house, the house of a white colonizer, has only been here 150 years and erosion is winning. They built the house on dirt and limestone rocks, THEN dug a basement.  Kind of like cutting off the tree limb that you’re standing on. They were probably in a hurry. The West had to be . . . you know, subdued.

So, last week I found myself crouching in a 5’ foot basement with 20 bags of concrete mix, 50 cinder blocks and something most writers have no experience holding in their soft hands . . . a shovel.  I convinced a good friend to suck dusty air for a few days and together we built a cement wall to shore up the crumbing, earthen walls.

We finished on the day I issued a Press Release (*see below).  And here’s the beautiful symbolism of our blister-inducing endeavor:  

A solid foundation now rests directly under the floor joists of my study where I write.  My novel is finished. My house is secure. Word-by-word and brick-by-brick, I am moving from writer to author. 

It’s not metaphor, I am building a foundation!

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Not Yet, a novel by Erik Segall

Harvard Square Editions

Release date: December 11, 2019

Trade Paperback $22.95; and E-book formats,

406 pgs, Available through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, Amazon, bookstores everywhere.

 

“Entertainment encourages suicide.”

Erik Segall’s debut novel, Not Yet, is a compelling look into the epidemic of suicide. With a flair for dialogue and a narrative voice that is both shocking and appealing, Segall offers insight into society’s fascination with celebrity suicides.

Following a social worker at a Suicide Prevention & Crisis Hotline Center, this literary, psychological novel is imbued with social commentary. Not Yet is an introspective, in-depth character study of a single father and details the emotional struggle of raising a teenage daughter while confronting the imminent demise of his grandmother slowly engulfed by Alzheimer’s. The theme of suicide is uplifted by musings on race, religion, history and feminism with humor occurring suddenly in the midst of dialogue-driven Socratic therapy.

With each episode and chapter, Segall’s gut-punch manages to both educate and entertain. With 120 exaggerated endnotes designated by seventeen time-stamps, Not Yet presents a tale about the depressive conditions that lead to suicide while trying to prevent others from killing themselves. 

Erik Segall earned a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Colorado and a Master of Arts in the Eastern Classics from St. John’s College. He taught for several years at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind and worked as a contributing writer for the Pueblo Chieftain, Colorado’s oldest daily newspaper. He volunteered at the Pueblo Suicide Prevention Center until its untimely demise and currently serves on the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Pueblo County.