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SIGNATURE  PLACE  PART 1   - the Joshua Crawford epic-novel of the ThrillerBaby Generation COMING  TO   AMAZON.COM   2017 !

Where buying a snowcone, defending your turf, falling in love, and raising your parents, is a hard day's work!

       AT  THE  "REAL"  SIGNATURE  PLACE  IN  1984  WHEN  

     In September of 1994, a young struggling singer-songwriter named Joshua Crawford who was already working on his first epic-novel (all of nineteen years old at the time), decided to set all things aside, and in the flash of a moment, got inspired, and wrote down the first few pages of what would soon become his second epic-novel;
Signature Place.

            Typing only a few pages, he sat the work aside, as he had originally intended to only pick it back up again, once he was on the road touring his music; as the gifted singer and piano-player was under the strong impression that he would soon be inking a record-deal with his favorite icon’s newly formed record-label; DreamWorks Records; a branch of Steven Spielberg’s then newly formed picture company, along with David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg. In January of 1997, when the inking was supposed to take place, things fell apart, for whatever reason (the label would later cease to exist!), and in a desperate attempt to pull himself out of a severe depression (he had spent four years of his life establishing credentials to land such a recording contract), the man of many talents dug up those first few pages he had written 3 years earlier, and he began to write … and write … and write even more.

            Originally intending to simply make a novel out of his own memoirs at a real-life condominium complex located in Midland, Texas (where he lived at for only one single year at the age of nine in the mid 1980s when his parents first got divorced), the musician./author soon saw that his own generation (those born in the 1970s) did not yet have a name to define them. Seeing that those born 1960-1965 had already been named the dreadful “generation X” and fearing that his own generation would soon suffer the same fate of being so unimportant and mundane, that they might be named after a mere letter, and realizing that nearly seven out of ten people his age, had come from divorced Baby Boomers where they often grew up fending for themselves while raising their own brothers and sisters at a relatively young age, he began to broaden the novel’s scope, go through his old 1980s record collection, and changed the short-story’s original working-title to the name of the actual condominium complex itself; Signature Place. He would spend a record (from start to finish) 6 years authoring the novel from his bed (that’s right, he lifted the computer’s heavy monitor onto his bed each and every night to "write from a place where inspiration would be least distracted"!), and another entire year merely editing it; all while living on nothing. And with not even a car to his name. (Diagnosed with a severe heart condition at the age of 14, he was even trying to file of Disability to help aid the expense of his medications so that he wouldn’t die from being so broke, that he couldn’t afford them. But he kept getting denied every time!)

            Wanting to write a “Gone With The Wind for KIDS!” that would contain the largest soundtrack ever known to mankind, representing all of the 1980s’ eccentricities like a history book on some of the 20th century’s greatest and most diverse music to have ever come out of merely one decade (much less, one YEAR! 1984!), he had decided early on that he wanted a 3-part epic-novel, with each part roughly consisting of about 200 pages. A beginning, a middle, and an end. Something that had never been achieved at the time for a young audience (and perhaps still hasn’t!), as the dictionary-size Harry Potter books for children would not start being published until 1998. And the entire publishing industry laughed at Crawford’s notion at the time, that such a large novel would ever be marketable towards children, much less, be embraced and comprehended by them or their parents.

They were wrong.

            Though the book has been turned down by every publishing industry from here to London and back (twice and sometimes three and four times!), due to its unique appeal to several generations (deeming the book “generational”), as well as recent historians who have looked into the book more deeply to see just what kind of city might have raised two U.S. Presidents who each entered the same exact war in the middle-east (both Bush Presidents were raised in the same city that the book takes place in, Midland, Texas, even though there’s no humanly way possible that Crawford could’ve ever known the second Bush would not only be governor of Texas in 1996, but that he would follow in his father’s footsteps and take over the White House in 2000 - as Signature Place was started in 1994!), the book has gone on to be an underground “hot topic” (to say the very least) to anyone who knows how to get a copy.

Joshua Crawford,
was merely ahead of his time.
And his generation now has a name;
(A unique combination of the ‘baby’, taken from their BabyBooming parents, and Thriller; the name of the 1982 Michal Jackson album that caused an epidemic throughout the world for this generation, by marketing itself through a small little cable-channel that no one in the music industry thought would ever last when it first went on the air in August of 1981; Mtv.
A thriller baby knows that there was no where one couldn't go in the 1980s without hearing about Jackson's THRILLER everywhere!

            Intriguingly told from the view of the story’s anti-hero character, a nine year old boy named Toph Stevens (pronounced 'Tauff') who has just lost his mother to death (due to a mysterious cause that isn’t revealed until the final shocking conclusion), the epic has an unheard of unique twist, allowing a double narrative that not only appeals to children, but to parents as well; as it is also told from the boy’s twenty-nine year old father named Chase Stevens … who has not only lost his wife, but his own mother as well; making both father and son, motherless; the apparent strong similarity that they each start out having in common, but by the book’s end, their relationship has gradually been ripped in half, due to a ‘generation gap’ that eventually divides the BabyBoomers from the ThrillerBabies. This gap being one of “divorce” and the then-new thirsty-for-night-life “single-parenting” that no generation had ever endorsed so abundantly … until the BabyBoomers came along, and shot the divorce-rate through the roof to an unprecedented all-time high unlike any generation before or after! Spitting out an entire “latchkey generation” raised on what the author calls the 3 famous M’s: Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Mtv … in addition to a few Pop-Tarts of course. (Try like several thousand!)

            Not only does it cover one single year of the boy and his father’s life (the summer from 1984 to 1985), once the two decide that they need a change of scenery (perhaps too quickly!) from their drowning ocean-side view in California that reminds them of each of their mothers, they head towards Texas, and land at a freshly built posh condominium complex, where an entire TWO generations is covered in massive detail. (Try like 1,000 pages!) To the disbelief of the story’s two “widowed men” (as the author puts it, since the nine-year boy is also leaving behind a girlfriend), the complex’s many tenants, all consist of either divorced families (with plenty of latchkey kids lurking about), or ‘double-incomed’ families, which leaves their children alone at the dinner-table anyway; a turning point in the entire history of American culture due to women first being granted “equal rights” in the workforce during this time in history that supplied a very prosperous and rich economy due to two incomes, not one; the 1980s. A decade that isolated many of its pupils (also called “yuppies”) under the fear of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union, yet they all partied like it was 1999! Leaving their children home alone, perhaps a little too often. So much so, that the children soon start pushing their swing-sets aside, and engage in everything they see on TV; the only talking voice (next to their radio) that doesn’t ever leave them.

Oh, and there is just one catch that makes things even more difficult:

            In an attempt to “ward off” any desperate and divorced housewives who might be seeking a new father for their see-ya-on-the-weekend children, the twenty-nine year old Chase continues to wear his wedding-ring … which accidentally causes all his neighbors to merely think he (and his KID!) are merely going through a separation and divorce themselves ... just like every OTHER family on the block. A notion that they decide to play along with … until their minds can’t take the lie anymore, and each generation is finally forced to deal with their own personal grief by the end of the story. Without even realizing it.
Be it death?
OR divorce!

             Each of their many neighbors are so desperate to deny their own personal family crisis behind closed doors (affairs, drugs, a sexual-identity-crisis, the usual), that they begin to conclude ... that they might not be all that different from their new neighbors that harbor so many secrets about their past, who by the end of the novel, forever change their lives. With each generation either learning (?) or NOT learning, something about the other.
All while at the same time, every character, no matter how big, or small, DOES share one common trait;

Get ready to “move in” to what will soon become one of the most talked about neighborhoods in the entire world!

Signature Place


A place where once the blinds are drawn,
the REAL blinds are lifted!