I’m ecstatic to announce the upcoming release of my first book, Ghost Towns: Lost Cities of the Old West, from Shire Publishing. The book is available for pre-order now and will be released on April 17. An e-book version is expected to be released by June.
This quote from Chapter 25 of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has captioned this website since its inception. The raging desire of which Mr. Twain speaks came upon me early in life, and has sparked several passions. Among them is the study of abandoned places. My somewhere was the great American West. My hidden treasure, ghost towns.
The dialog that follows the quote in Tom Sawyer is priceless. It goes something like this:
Huck: Where’ll we dig?
Tom: Oh, most anywhere.
Huck: Why, is it hid all around?
Tom: No, indeed it ain’t. It’s hid in mighty particular places, Huck – sometimes on islands, sometimes in rotten chests under the end of a limb of an old dead tree, just where the shadow falls at midnight; but mostly under the floor in ha’nted houses.
Huck: Who hides it?
Tom: Why, robbers, of course…They always hide it and leave it there.
Huck: Don’t they come after it anymore?
Tom: No, they think they will, but they generally forget the marks, or else they die. Anyway, it lays there a long time and gets rusty; and by and by somebody finds an old yellow paper that tells how to find the marks – a paper that’s got to be ciphered over about a week because it’s mostly signs and hy’roglyphics.”
Like Tom’s treasure, ghost towns can be found most anywhere, especially in places that seem odd and secreted. There they remain, mostly forgotten and in various states of decay, waiting for a couple adventurous kids with an old yellow paper.
There are many guide books available that list ghost towns by region. This is not one of those books. This book is a primer to the ghost town phenomenon and the ghost-towning hobby. It’s the book you read before you pick up a guide book. Ghost towns are best experienced with as much context as possible. What exactly is a ghost town? How did they rise? Why did they fall? What can their remains tell us about the people that once called them home? And how can they be experienced today?
Ghost Towns: Lost Cities of the Old West answers these questions, and then some.
Pre-order yours today!
- Pre-order direct from the publisher (this earns me highest royalties): Link [make sure to set your location to USA in the top corner]
- Pre-order from Amazon.com (use this link and I get a small kick-back): Ghost Towns: Lost Cities of the Old West (Shire Library)