Formats: Print, e-Book
A tale of purpose, hope and redemption, The Landing is a "sweet story" (Publishers Weekly).
Before the Amazon bestselling novel From the Dead, John Herrick shared his heart in The Landing. Published here for the first time in response to reader requests, The Landing was a semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
"Exquisite and honest. The Landing goes beyond language to pursue that elusive something that, when found, lingers and leaves you changed. Let John Herrick's characters and their triumphs strike a chord in your heart."
"A powerful, absorbing tale, that will touch the heart and the mind as never before. A page turner."
The Andy Williams Christmas Album was a staple at our home during the holidays. Back then it was on LP, but today I still listen to the CD. But despite its mention in the prologue, "Little Drummer Boy" is one of my least favorite songs on the album.
The audience reactions to Danny's performance are based on reactions to my brother's performances during an open-mic night years ago.
The song extract is just that: a mere extract. I wrote it as a teenager - one of those occasions where I got a verse on paper but couldn't make the song work. Finally, I've found a use for it!
Meghan's front-to-back-seat stunt in the moving-vehicle may or may not have been an actual occurrence. That will remain a mystery.
I purposely left "Meghan's Song" to the reader's imagination. I needed a strong emotional element for this pivotal scene, and concrete lyrics didn't seem to do Meghan justice.
Christine's process of playing "Meghan's Song" was based on an actual event. An acquaintance of mine plays the piano by ear. He took a look at a lead sheet I once wrote, plunked through it one time, then returned to the beginning and infused it with a gorgeous arrangement. Such ability fascinates me.
A friend attended University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
The unicycle incident in the hallway was an actual occurrence. While a student at Mizzou, my neighbor practiced his unicycle skills in the hall. His goal was to play Truman the Tiger, the university's mascot, at football games.
In 1998, I nearly gave up on my dreams as a writer. Years of deadness followed until I rebooted and rebuilt that dream. The emptiness I felt inside is manifested here through Danny. The novel itself proved therapeutic for me as I wrote it in 2004-2005.
I attended my first year of college at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The town's college-themed retail street is commonly called "uptown" by the students due to the uphill walk from the campus to the retail street. Several of the environment's details are real, based on memory - including the two-screen cinema on the street corner. I believe the cinema's brick wall was painted royal blue at the time, but I don't recall for sure.
I saw families walk along the uptown street, and it always struck me as a student: "I'm here short-term, and I'll be leaving for the summer. But for these people, it's their home."
Meghan enters a bar and grill. The restaurant itself is not based on an actual restaurant, but its wooden door is.
In The Landing, main character Danny Bale introduced you to some of his song lyrics. Read some more of his lyrics below, along with background tidbits behind each one.
"I sang this to Meghan in the woods that night. It kept burning in me, so later on, I had to finish it."
"I tried my hand at a country song here."
"I was thinking back on my roots here and got into a semi-spiritual mode. In a massive crowd of people, each person has a story. That struck me."
"Some moments remain forever etched in your brain, like a mental photograph. Moments where time stands still and you just soak in its beauty. I would only trust Rascal Flatts to record this song."
"This is one of those angry songs where you unleash your pent-up frustrations."
"A song of freedom..."
"Some things never change..."
"Sometimes you're empty-handed and just need answers."
"For some reason, I decided to write a song that's a play on opposing ideas. Here's what I came up with."
"And, of course, that song for Meghan, written from Sunset Beach."
Danny Bale leaned against the restroom wall, ran his finger along his wrist.
Running his fingers through his beach-blond hair, he exhaled with a heavy grunt and tilted his head toward the ceiling, the details of which he had surveyed many times before. The circles of water damage. The hole at the edge of a beige panel. An aging light bulb that had developed a mysterious, maize-colored tint. Since his arrival at Sunset Beach, this room had grown familiar. He had branded it into his memory and could re-create it with his eyes closed.
His skin was tanned, a shade between local-light and tourist-brown. Bleached by the penetrating sun, his dark blond hair had developed a bright sheen and shouted his status as a permanent beach dweller. Leaning toward the mirror, he examined the creases that had begun to form along the corners of his eyes. It seemed premature for signs of aging to begin.
Her office was located on the far edge of Oxford, Ohio. Today, Meghan Harting would take her time getting there.
A quiet town about a half-hour from Cincinnati, Oxford was home to thousands of Miami University students, as well as a smattering of local residents who observed the migration of young adults to their hometown every autumn. As the community's largest source of revenue and employment, Miami had positioned itself as a force to be reckoned with. Plus, with a greater concentration on academics than a splashy athletic program, the university's football games provided an avenue for family entertainment that remained affordable.
A visitor to the town might imagine the significant slowdown the town must have experienced during the summer months. But Meghan had seen it firsthand. An Oxford native, Meghan had spent her entire life walking around campus with her dad. But these days, she found herself on site as a non-traditional, part-time student: part-time hours, part-time academic years, part-time class attendance. Since childhood, her casual attitude had surfaced much to her father's dismay, but he had grown to accept it as a distinct feature of her personality. Besides, with Travis Harting a professor at the institution, Meghan's tuition carried a hefty discount. And perhaps she would even locate a career path in the process.
The black convertible pealed from the drive-through window, past a stop sign at 30 miles an hour, and onto the suburban street. Summer breeze sent a rush through the teenagers' lungs.
This weekend, Meghan and her brother, Greg, had driven to northern Ohio in Meghan's car, separate from their parents, as the Hartings visited the Bales in Solon. And though a year older than his sister, Greg was content to let her drive so he could keep his freshly waxed vehicle at home, safe in the confines of the garage.
For all his research and study with the university, Meghan's father could not seem to understand the logic behind the separate vehicles. To Meghan, however, her car represented more than a mere ride; with her license in hand for a year, driving had emerged as her means of escape from the plastic world of high school. Plus, she had shaved an hour from her drive to Solon, courtesy of her lead foot.