■ STAFF REPORT
Island author David Sparks will be releasing the sequel to “Burying Pinkie Pie” within the next weeks. “What Carlos Knew” will be available on Amazon.com.
“Burying Pinkie Pie” is a story about a teenager who is dealing with the antics of life in a setting similar to Boca Grande. The protagonist is a 17-year-old boy named Wendell Wolf. Wendell is new to Florida’s Banyan Island, and he launches a plot to rescue the corpse of Pinkie Pie, the 350-pound pig in which resides the spirit of the dearly departed grandmother of Samantha Granger, Wendell’s first girlfriend.
Although it was written from the perspective of a 17-year-old male, audiences of all ages have enjoyed the book.
The back cover of “What Carlos Knew” states that Wendell and Samantha are now on a rollicking, rowdy new adventure.
“A bizarre religious cult of Hollywood celebrities is out to steal the Calusa Indians’ island in the Florida Everglades, and it’s up to Sam to stop them.
She’ll do it with the help of a geriatric motorcycle gang, a bucket of concentrated dope oil and Carlos, a wise little dog who gets his mojo by sipping at the fabled Fountain of Youth.
Along the way, Sam’s tired of being Wendell’s girlfriend, and Wendell is trying to make it right. He’ll do anything for Sam, but he never imagined she was going to expect him to do all this.”
Sparks was motivated to write the sequel shortly after finishing “Burying Pinkie Pie.” It took him about 18 months to complete.
Like the first book, Sparks asked several friends and colleagues to read a draft of the new book and requested their opinions.
“I think it’s important to get feedback from teenagers, because that’s the age of the main characters,” Sparks said.
His cousin is an English teacher, and several of her students helped out with the research for the book. Some of the ladies at the Boca Bay Pass Club also read the book and passed it along to kids they knew.
The book also has another island connection — the illustrations of writing in the book were created by Elizabeth Schum, daughter of Boca Beacon publishers Dusty and Cheryl Hopkins.
“I wanted them to appear as if they were written by a teenager, and she did a great job,” Sparks said.
He’s always been a fan of serial young-adult books, which inspired him to write the two novels.
Artist Brendan Coudal, who produced the posters for the annual Boca Grande Ladies Day Tarpon Tournaments for many years, created the cover of the book.
Sparks published his first book in 2017.
“Built to Fail” is based on events he experienced throughout his government and political career. He served as regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and investigated a case that never was closed. Years ago, a Massachusetts Congressman-turned-developer got away with arson and fraud on a massive scale. In the book, the character is back for more. He’s built a wind-energy project … and rigged it to fail.
Sparks said it was a pretty complex book to compose, but since he knew the characters, setting and the plot before he wrote the book, it made the process easier.
“I think many people who are retired have an idea for a book in their mind that they want to write, like a chronicle of their history, and that’s what ‘Built to Fail’ was for me.”
If you know of a business or organization that would like to host a book-signing event, contact Sparks via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.