Denis Linehan, author of “Shadows of August” tells Equine Info Exchange about the inspiration for his book.
My uncle was the track doctor at Saratoga racecourse years ago and some of my cousins’ friends parked cars on or near Nelson Avenue, the road next to the track. It wasn't difficult to catch the bug and get caught up in all the excitement every August.
After high school I went to Hobart College, and what did my wondering eyes discover, nothing less than another racetrack, Finger Lakes, right up the road! I was hooked again. Even later another uncle allowed me to become a part owner of a small herd/collection of Standardbred harness horses that raced at Saratoga Raceway. Now, I was hooked quite badly and well aware that I had fallen head over heels in love with the sport. Teaching, along with other adventures, took me to New Jersey, close to Monmouth Park (do you see a theme or motif developing here?) where I taught Advanced Placement students in preparation for the Advance Placement English Literature exam. Each year, I would commit some of my summer adventures at the races to paper, in several edited versions, and later use the story(s) in their various forms to initiate conversation concerning the effects and affects of the tales and why some worked while others didn't.
Some years ago one of my best students, on her way to the University of Pennsylvania, asked, rather bluntly I might add, if was I ever going to get my stories published? Her question became a challenge and "The Shadows of August" was my first response to the gauntlet she put before me.”
by Denis Linehan (Author). A great lady once remarked, "All the characters are at the race track" She was right. Damon Runyon knew that, as did Ernest Hemingway, Dick Francis, Joe Hirsch, and many others. Search any shopping mall and you will be hard pressed to find the likes of Too Tall Teddy, Patricia the Planner, Diamond Earl, Shiner, or The Stranger. Even beglittered casinos fail to attract personalities one finds perched along the rail of a major racetrack like Saratoga. They're all there, each adding a new paragraph to the spectacle that crystallizes in August on Union Avenue. Come on in, everyone is welcome. Paperback: 306 pages Publisher: AuthorHouse (March 27, 2014) KINDLE EDITION Available