Monday, April 07, 2008

Dead Star Twilight


I've hyped it enough over the past few weeks, if not the past year or so, and now it's finally here.

Above my profile to the right, you'll find the link to purchase and download Dead Star Twilight -- a full-length memoir detailing my descent into drug addiction while working as a news producer in Los Angeles; my time in a brutal public rehab facility in Miami; and my fight for a measure of redemption while living out of a hotel and covering the immediate aftermath of 9/11 in New York City.

I won't delve any further than I already have into the details of the story -- I hope you'll want to read it all for yourself.

I do want to make a few things clear, however, in the interest of full disclosure and in an effort to head off any of the inevitable nagging questions that plague the release of a memoir these days.

As this story is told from my point of view and relays the events I experienced as best I remember them, I have no illusions about the fact that it may not necessarily jibe with the perspectives of the very real people with whom I interacted during the period described in the book. There was a time when such disclaimers weren't necessary, but that was before memoirists began stepping over the line and creating fabulist fantasies out of their pasts. I did my level best to ensure that the story I told was as factual as I could make it, but I offer no apologies for having a unique perspective.

Included in the story, you'll find quite a bit of detailed dialogue, which any reasonable person would question the veracity of. The fact is that the conversations were transcribed from nothing more than my own memory, and I hope that where I may have been forced to "fill in the gaps" here and there, I stayed true to the spirit of what was actually said.

There are a few things within the story that have been changed outright from the events as I remember them, mostly for the sake of hiding the identities of those people and places who likely don't want to see themselves identified in a public forum such as this. Certain names and physical characteristics have been altered; the chronology of one or two events depicted in the story have been adjusted to make them fit along the timeline and to avoid having the manuscript clock in at 600 pages. Once again, I won't apologize for this as it in no way adversely affects the spirit of the story. That said, I want to make it clear that all the "characters" depicted in Dead Star Twilight are real; they aren't "composites." Likewise, the events detailed in the story are true. It all really happpened. I'm not James Frey. I'm not a wanna-be screenwriter. I've spent 16 years as a journalist, and although I appreciate the power of good drama, I can't and won't sacrifice the truth in favor of it -- not if I'm claiming that a story is non-fiction. As I said, I have no doubt that my memory of the events of Dead Star Twilight will differ from that of others who lived through the same situations.

But that's their story to tell.

This is mine.

I hope you like it.

26 comments:

Prophet of Ra said...

congrats chez!

Girl With Curious Hair said...

I have my annual review tomorrow morning. It would suck if I were late because I was reading. Here goes.

Stephen Mercer said...

Just downloaded the book! Thanks Chez!

// Steve

Jacki Schechner said...

My e-blurb for what it's worth:

Fascinating. Compelling. A couldn't-put-down. Don't let the Frey debacle keep you from diving into a memoir that's truly memorable.

largo said...

Well, I'm a longtime reader and I've gotten through about a quarter of your book, and I have to say... it's excellent. Very spare. Very heartfelt. Extremely powerful. Thanks for telling your story.

winged unicorn said...

okay this is going to sound odd...
but have you released a physical book? i'm old enough that i prefer to hold it than stare at the screen...and if so, what't the link? i am on the warpath against amazon, would rather order from your site.

Chez said...

No physical book yet. Internet only. It can of course be printed, though.

quantumLCD said...

Congrats on publishing your book Chez. I know it's going to be a fascinating read and can't wait to delve into it.

tamara said...

YAY! Just downloaded DST, and while my son's napping, I'm going to start this long-awaited read.....

[squee!]

Thanks, Chez....

trish said...

I'm impressed so far.

Riles said...

Congrats! Buying it today. Can't wait to read it.

winged unicorn said...

well then i guess its a good thing i picked up a carton of paper and have an industrial strength printer. i am sure you would burn out a more pedestrian dot matrix..

Darkshrike said...

Can't wait Chez, really looking forward to payday in two days now.

winged unicorn said...

YOU HAD TO RELEASE IT DURING PEAK TAX SEASON WHEN I AM ALREADY NOT SLEEPING???? oh well, sleep is vastly overrated anyway. [smiles] as you will find out in a few more months. i

Anonymous said...

Congrats Chez. //c

Mike said...

Downloaded, and I can't wait to read it. I've been reading since around Things to do in Texas When You're Dead and have always been a fan, even if I didn't agree with you (*cough*Harry Potter*cough*).

Here's to the success of Dead Star Twilight, and to the hope that it and future works make it into hard copy. Oh, and the book tours. I want a signed copy.

Jess said...

As a longtime lurker, I just wanted to pop up and say I bought your book. I haven't started it yet because I'm at work, but I cannot freaking wait for 5 o'clock. Your talent amazes me, and I wish you much success. :)

jbj said...

I guess you're a writer now! Congratulations. And welcome to the new business model, too.

Janean said...

Congratulations, I hope it is very successful. I'm on page 60, and so far it is as great as I expected it would be.

sweetchloe1023 said...

She was said to be fond of internet recently. Some of her fans found her on a Military&celebs club "uniformedCupid.c o m" . She has a personal account there with her pictures, blog...In her friend circle, some other stars can be found there.

Graphix468 said...

I read until I was exhausted (pg. 63) can't wait to read more!!!

Anonymous said...

Get my direct deposit tonight. Will download your missive tomorrow. How's it selling so far? Inara needs new shoes!!!

Lisa said...

That was...amazing. The only word that really describes it is "gripping," but that sounds so trite. I literally could not stop reading--just ask my boss.

Beautiful work, Chez.

Anonymous said...

The story is excellent, but the manner in which it's told is just genius. The shifting timelines are very, very clever. As everyone else is saying, thanks for putting this out there.

- Carly

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Fanf***ingtastic!!!
What a talent you are and anyone who doesn't agree is illiterate.

Chez said...

For those who've read the story, I wanted to post a comment that was just left on an excerpt I published a while back. (Imperfect Strangers/8.30.07)

It means a lot to me and I didn't want it buried.

"For the sake of the record I would like to say I am Abby...
I would also like to say that I am unbelievably proud of Chester for publishing his book. *though I do remember a few facts not mentioned..
Having said that I couldn't agree more with his statements above.
We had some great times -- and we had some serious shit ones! But we were young, stupid, and crazy.
I am so happy he has found someone to love -- and maybe for the first time in his life understands what that really means.
I know I am now with the man I was always meant to be with and I couldn't be happier.
While Chester and I no longer speak I care for him a great deal and wish him nothing but happiness, as I always have.

All my love, and congrats on the book...

-R-"