PUNKS FOR LIFE: Author Richard Cucarese in the Spotlight
Typical of most writers, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. At its worst, it’s a brain-drain that pushes deadlines to the sidelines and my patience to the end zone. At its best, it’s a great place to meet like-minded people who, if you’re lucky, become like-minded friends.
Such was the case when I met Richard Cucarese, my adopted Twitter brother. Years ago tagged into a thread with Rich and his fun-loving mates, I got a first-class education in alternative music and a hilarious tutorial on pubs around the world. What sealed the deal was when I discovered he’s not just a great guy but a politically-active author who writes a wonderful blog at USW.org – United Steelworkers.
It was around that time when I purchased his first book and couldn’t put it down. Now, much to my surprise and delight, it’s being republished in the coming months with updates and a new look. In the meantime, I’m thrilled to see he has a spanking new 3-book series in the works, the first of which is scheduled for release in October.
So spill, Rich. As a teaser, your blurb is nothing short of brilliance but there must be backstory to PUNKS you’d like to share.
Sitting with me on a freshly-stripped and torched new Cadillac Eldorado convertible, Gem tosses her lustrous, dark auburn hair from side to side and offers a toast to the chaos and carnage that have enveloped the Kensington neighborhood of North Philadelphia.
Welcome to the American underworld, Robbs, in its entire rancid, horrific splendor. You’re witnessing the fall of a modern day Roman Empire and punks like us have the soundtrack for its destruction.”
Hi, Shelby, my Twitter sister! Thanks for the kind words about the blurb and giving me the chance to blog about PUNKS.
PUNKS storyline begins in Philadelphia, 1985. Like many major metropolitan areas, the city was going through a very tumultuous period with high unemployment, high crime numbers, a horrible drug epidemic, decay and despair in every direction. Add the bombing of a residential African-American neighborhood by the vastly white police force to eradicate a militant group from the area and you have just the right mix for seething revolution.
Thrown into this chaos is a group of wild street kids putting their own take on an anarchistic sound reemerging through certain areas of the city, and they are not afraid to let the population know exactly how they feel about Reagan, politicians in general and the plight of America.
It’s here that we meet the main characters of our novel, nineteen-year-old Gemma ‘Swan’ Stinson and eighteen-year-old Robert ‘Robbs’ Cavelli.
Gemma, a tall, exquisite, green eyed, dark auburn-haired hellion of a young woman is a rough and tumble former street kid who has faced many a demon and personal sorrow. Nevertheless, she’s been able to turn her life around, becoming an incredibly talented musician, singer, activist for many causes and an exceptional college student; but she still has a past that can come back to haunt her at any time, including a sinister character who will do anything to crush her dreams of settling down to a life with fellow classmate and singer, Rob Cavelli.
Now, even though Rob was born in Brooklyn, he spent most of his early life languishing in the incredibly silver spoon, conservative and boring suburbs of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Through the end of his high school years, he begins questioning what he sees around him, batting heads with his hard-lined mother. By the time he is off to college, the die is cast to question everything, return to his love of punk music, writing poetry, lyrics, singing on street corners in the city and falling head over heels for the girl who initially rebuffs him with an acerbic level of contempt, Gemma Stinson.
Their travels through life, love and, of course, the music is helped along by a gregarious group of college kids and lifelong street friends whom Gem lovingly refers to as the Misfits. Their blend of humor, crazy antics and ‘fight like your life depended on it’ attitude fits the motto of what Gem refers to as their code of being ‘Punks For Life’.
It’s a code that will put them in some very serious situations at times but it makes you know that they’ll truly back each other and anyone who is being literally or figuratively beaten down by society or their selfish overseers.
As a side note, the blurb takes place towards the middle of book one, right after one of those precarious situations arise and Gem feels it would be the perfect time to take Rob for a journey to some of her old happy and hurtful haunts and fill him on more of the story of her life.
Punks For Life, sis. That’s what it’s all about.
You bet it is, bro.
Coming Soon to Amazon
Follow Rich on social media!
Twitter . https://twitter.com/CucareseRichard
Wordsmiths, Ink Author Page https://wordsmithsink.com/richard-cucarese/