Out of Touch

THE BOOK: Out of Touch

: 2011

  Rusty Coats

: Alan Greene

: Inknbeans Press, an independent publisher based in Southern California and led by the fearless and nurturing Maaijo Lowe. All the authors at Inknbeans call her Boss Bean.

SUMMARYFor Jonah Morgan, the past and future run through people like lightning, throwing sparks on everything they touch, and Jonah’s hands catch those sparks – an ability his grandfather called wicking. In Out of Touch, Jonah confronts his own gift – and the ambitions of a phony psychic named Perry Jahn – while saving a small Indiana town when its basketball team boards a flight doomed to crash.

THE BACK STORY: It began at the Iowa Writer’s Festival in a class called “Character and Action.” I attended with Steve Revare, a college friend (and now author of the novel “Raw”), and Jonah’s character came out of an exercise in that class. I tapped into a writer’s workshop group that met weekly and the novel took on its own pace. It took less than a year to complete – including the rewrite of the first half of a similar but doomed predecessor, which died when my daughter poured Windex into my laptop. 

WHY THIS TITLE?: Jonah’s psychic ability is tactile, and he’s spent years trying to distance himself from it. A theme of the novel is whether life is fated or free-will, and whether we ever really can run from what we are born to do.

The plot is unique and takes hold immediately, but the depth of the characters is the novel’s strongest suit, I believe. I also think it captures what Don Henley once called “that same small town in each of us.” The town of New Hibernia is its own character.

“Clever story based on a creative premise. On the surface, this is popular fiction with the ironic observations and characterizations we recognize in the style of Carl Hiaasen. It’s perhaps not a coincidence that Hiaasen and Coats were newspaper columnists, and good ones. But the structure and narrative offer a deeper layer that intrigues me. … Read this carefully. Coats produces quite a complex vision.”
I read “Out of Touch” in two sittings and found the writing vibrant and the story captivating. I can’t believe this is a first novel for Rusty Coats, and I’m already looking forward to his next one!”
I loved his new book! It is impossible to put down and the story is half about the main character and the rich description of South West Indiana (plus: Indianapolis and the Hoosier National Forest) that at times I closed my eyes to laugh at the accurate depiction (or at least the way people think of Hoosiers, which Coats also points out and smoothly corrects). Most of all, this is a real page turner, impossible to put down! I only hope that this book becomes “Book I” in the “Jonah Chronicles!”

: I started my career as a reporter for my hometown newspaper, The Evening News in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and have worked in media ever since. Most of my work over the past 20 years has been in digital media – launching websites, running interactive divisions at media companies, consulting public media and large corporations. My wife is also a journalist, and we have five kids in our blended family. The novel taps all of that, plus the fact that I fly more than 150,000 miles a year for work – which made writing the plane crash scenes particularly interesting, because I wrote them at altitude. I find writers – particularly those in workshops and groups – to be the kindest and most generous people you’ll meet.
 This novel wrestles with fate and free will, ambition and redemption, grief and hope. It takes place over 24 hours, and I wanted to show how the lives of the protagonist – and everyone surrounding him – can be irrevocably changed in a day. 

SAMPLE CHAPTER: Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Out-Of-Touch-Rusty-Coats-ebook/dp/B004SC173U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8 

LOCAL OUTLETS: Independent bookstores

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & noble, etc. 

PRICE: $2.99 Kindle, $12.95 paperback

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Email is always best: rcoats7@me.com 

Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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