Happy Friday all! Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for The Introvert Confounds Innocence by Michael Paul Michaud and am thrilled to bring you an extract!
THE INTROVERT CONFOUNDS INNOCENCE continues the story of the eponymous anti-hero introduced in THE INTROVERT.
With his life disrupted by an unscrupulous work colleague and a bully at his son Toby’s school, things go from bad to worse when his neighbor’s abusive boyfriend goes missing, plunging the introvert into the center of a murder investigation.
Increasingly hounded by a meddlesome detective, and with his thoughts continually urging him to make people “red and open” and to “achieve it” with his girlfriend Donna, what follows is a sometimes brutal, oftentimes hilarious, and absurdist account of the life of one very anti-social and unexpected anti-hero.
As we approached the car, I saw a man standing in front of it, and, as we got closer I could see that it was a parking attendant. He’d been pressing some buttons on a small black device, and just as we arrived beside the car he walked up to the front of the windshield and placed a ticket beneath one of my wipers.
“We are just ready to leave,” I said.
“Meter’s expired,” is all he said.
I looked at my watch and saw that we were just a couple minutes late.
“Something happened with my son,” I said.
The man didn’t respond.
“He has been bullied by a child at school,” I said.
“Is that right?” said the man. He was already looking at
the car parked in front of ours and was again pressing but- tons on his device.
I told him that it was indeed true, then asked if he’d read the June issue of The Child Psychology Magazine, but he didn’t respond to that.
“I would like you to take this ticket back,” I said.
My father used to say that you couldn’t even spit in the wind without it costing you money, which was to say that life was expensive and almost anything you did cost money, and the more life went on the more I found this to be true. Things were already tight at home, what with the cost of having a four-year-old and a cat and a dog. I had found Toby in particular to be a significant financial liability, and as the years went on, I felt increasing pressure to sell more vacuums to make up for it. Donna also cost money, but then she also made some money herself, so I figured that part was a wash, even if it actually wasn’t.
“Oh would you?” he said.
He laughed when he said it, so it made me wonder if he was mocking me, but then I thought maybe he was just jolly, or perhaps he’d just thought of something funny at that pre- cise moment, so I figured I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.
“I would,” I said, and I thought maybe now he would truly consider it.
Instead, the parking attendant shook his head and laughed even louder, and this time I was satisfied that he was indeed laughing at me because I figured the coincidence would have been too great for him to have thought of two funny things both times I’d mentioned the ticket. He then turned around to face me where I was still standing on the sidewalk holding Toby’s hand and Molly’s leash. Then he told me that my problems weren’t his problems and that if I had an issue with it, I could contact the city.
He wasn’t much of a parking attendant to be saying these things. Toby was still crying beside me, and Molly had again started to bark, but I could barely hear either one of them because by then my patience had thinned and I was already picturing the parking attendant as red and open.
He still had the smirk on his face, and though I didn’t have a weapon on me, I saw a half-brick by the curb, and for a moment I wondered how the brick had ended up that way, and what had happened to the other half, but those thoughts didn’t last long because when I looked back up I saw the smirk on the attendant’s face, and I figured that as soon as he turned away with his stupid grin and his small black device with the buttons that I could scoop up the half-brick in my hand and move up swiftly behind him and before he could react I’d smash it down into the back of his head, knocking him down instantly and perhaps even rendering him uncon- scious with that single blow. And then I thought about how I’d nestle down beside him and smash the brick down onto his head over and over and over until his skull caved in and the blood was rushing out from the open wound and how both my hand and the brick would be slick and red and how by then any onlookers would be running away in horror, but then, before I could do any of that, I heard Toby yell “Ouch!”
I looked down and realized that I must have been squeezing his hand so tight that it had caused him pain, so I immediately let go. The parking attendant was looking curiously in my direction by then so I quickly got Toby and Molly into the car, retrieved the ticket from the windshield, and drove away without saying anything further.
I could see the attendant looking curiously in our direction through the rear view mirror as we drove away, and I immediately felt bad for thinking of him as red and open because I knew that he didn’t deserve it, even if he hadn’t been very understanding and had perhaps even been mocking me in front of my son.
He might not have been much of a parking attendant, but he certainly didn’t deserve it.
about the author
I am an American-Canadian citizen, a criminal prosecutor, and author of BILLY TABBS (& THE GLORIOUS DARROW) (bitingduckpress) and THE INTROVERT series (Black Opal Books). I have a B.A. in English from McMaster University, an Honors B.A. in Political Science (summa cum laude) from McMaster University, a J.D. from The University of Western Ontario (with an international exchange completed at Washington & Lee). I have won awards for both my community service and my work as a criminal prosecutor. I am a member of Crime Writers of Canada and International Thriller Writers. I also strive to maintain a strong social media author presence, including at facebook.com/michaelpaulmichaud, and have made regular appearances on SiriusXM’s Canada Talks. I am an unabashed and unapologetic zealot of Twin Peaks. Literary influences are primarily Orwell, Dickens, Vonnegut, Dostoevsky.
I was inspired to write The Introvert after reading Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky) and The Stranger (Camus). It has been likened to Dexter and American Psycho meeting Office Space and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. I also consider it the most unorthodox of animals rights books. Every dog lover should read them.
Where to find Michael online: Facebook ~ The Introvert Facebook Page ~ The Introvert Confounds Innocence Facebook Page ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ LinkedIn~ Goodreads (The Introvert) ~ Goodreads (The Introvert Confounds Innocence)
tour hosted by
Massive thanks to Sarah for inviting me on to the tour, and to Michael and the publisher for sharing an extract with us.
Have a wonderful day lovelies.