A Deepak O'Donovan Mis-Adventure!

My Upcoming Upper Middle-Grade Novel

Now completing my first adventurous, inspiring upper middle-grade children’s novel—Hotlandia: A Deepak O’Donovan Mis-Adventure. Below are a few fine words from the main character…

Hi. I’m Deepak—Deep for short. This Michael dude, we’ve been hanging out the past two years, getting to know each other. He’s okay.

And I’m okay being in his first novel, as long as I’m not too quirky. I tend to keep my mouth shut—for a good reason. So what? It has nothing to do with my Jersey City background, my collection of pen caps, wheezing too much, or studying the back of billboards. Or being a little short and husky (a nicer word than what kids actually call me). Or having milk chocolate skin — which attracts even worse names and problems.

So here’s what goes down:

At the end of 1972, something beyond horrible happens to my Dad. Unfortunately, it sort of involves someone in particular.


Coping with that and with us nearly broke by summer, my mom Amma decides we should move cross-country so she can become a maid to rich movie stars in Hollywood. Right after my twelfth birthday, like it was some present which it wasn’t.

I hate the idea. Why? All of Dad’s magic is in Jersey.

On the way to Holly-Schmollywood, our Dart station wagon chokes in the middle of a ginormous wasteland. We end up in a very strange Mohave Desert town.

Guess where?

The place swarms with odd residents, spies, huge bugs, dangerous animals, and unfortunately a few bullies. 

The town has two other big problems: It’s split by a killer highway. And everyone’s opinions are split about a crazy new development.

At least my new friend Kayla lives there, although she can be so annoying.

Garlick, my trusty poodle-mutt and best buddy, pulls me into havoc but sometimes saves my butt. Plus I have an unusual encounter with a different animal… and no this isn’t a fantasy. It REALLY took place. I’m not joking. Just like Nixon, Watergate, Vietnam protests, bell-bottom pants, and all sorts of other 1970’s weirdnesses.

Okay, I’m not going to leak more. You’re going to have to pry anything else out of Michael, not me.


Michael says it’s okay to reveal the official hook of Hotlandia, in case your mouth is open like a fish:

What if honoring your Dad means sticking your neck out to save lives? It’s the summer of 1973. Nothing has prepared shy twelve-year old Deepak O’Donovan for the boiling desert town of Hotlandia. He must face bullies, wild dangers, prejudice, strange neighbors, spies, and more to ignite a cause and redeem himself for a tragic mistake.

See you in your favorite bookstore or library next year!

Thanks, Deep! Click here to learn about my previously published book — Premiere with a Passion, an adult nonfiction (niche) bestseller that fueled a creative revolution!

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