JOHN DANIEL & COMPANY

ESCAPE TO OBLIVION
DEPRESSION UNDONE BY THE LAND—AND BY LOVE

Unplugged, by Paul McComas, is the story of two compelling contemporary women.

Meet Dayna Clay. To her fans, she’s more than an innovative and outspoken bisexual rock musician: Dayna is a beloved icon of self-assurance and stubborn survival. But behind this facade, the twenty-seven-year-old singer/guitarist is tormented by an ever-deepening depression. After the final concert of a blockbuster tour, she attempts suicide…but nature seemingly steps in to spare her. Still unsure whether her life is worth living, Dayna forfeits her career and disappears, setting out incognito for parts unknown.

Meet Kayla Drake. An out lesbian, an expert Western equestrian, and a theater major at Black Hills State, Kayla plays the “horror hostess” for a local UHF station’s weekly monster-movie show. The station owner, a fundamentalist Christian, has imposed comically rigid strictures on the program and its hostess—but for Kayla, every such challenge is merely an opportunity for mischief. When, in the South Dakota Badlands, her path crosses that of the disguised Dayna, the chemistry is instantaneous.

The budding love between them further bolsters the healing and self-understanding that Dayna has been obtaining from nature—from the very land beneath her feet. All the while, though, her mysterious disappearance and continuing absence only serve to boost public interest in her—and fuel her skyrocketing record sales. Laboring to choose between her musical ambitions and the new life she has made, Dayna finds herself stranded in a far-flung corner of the wilderness she has come to know and love. Saved from her suicide attempt weeks earlier by nature, she now may perish by the very same hand.

Meet Paul McComas. Why has a man written about the love between two women? Says the author, “The relationship developed organically as I came to know Dayna and to understand just what—and whom—she needed to regain her will to live.” Paul is a fiction-writing instructor and performance artist whose short story collection, Twenty Questions (Daniel & Daniel, 1998), is in its third printing. He is also the founder of Rock Against Depression, a teen-suicide prevention program. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.



What they’re saying about Unplugged:

“The reader cheers for Dayna on her spiritual and sexual quest, eager to see what she will discover as she leaves the ups and downs of the music industry for the zigzag terrain of the Badlands and her own psyche. McComas writes of women, depression, and bisexuality as if he has ‘been there.’”
—Chris Glaser, author of Coming Out as Sacrament

“An exciting, messy, whole human woman’s story: brave, vulnerable, sexy, sensual, and believable. I fell in love with Dayna; it was easy to get inside her heart and her life, discovering with her how the earth mirrors and reveals us when we shed our skin and let love in.”
cin salach, poet, author of Looking for a Soft Place to Land

Unplugged is the story of a young woman in the teeth of transformation. Written with great insight and compassion, it is a deep, unpredictable read that flows like a river. Enjoy the ride.”
—Leigh Curran, author of Going Nowhere Sideways


Unplugged
A Novel
Paul McComas
ISBN 1-880284-60-X, paperback, $14.95

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