by Lisa Tome
When seeking a setting for his first novel, Mark W. Coulson kept things close to home.
Coulson, of Conowingo, set his book in his native home in the Village of Zion near Calvert. He also wrote about a time period with which he is very familiar, the early 1960s. The novel, "Nocturnal Idiots" is a coming of age story about seven boys growing up together.
The characters are close to his heart because the novel is "fiction loosely based on fact."
Local readers will easily identify with the settings, in addition to Zion, the characters will also find Nottingham, Pa, Rising Sun, and North East as settings in the book. It also features the opening of the local portion of Interstate 95.
Coulson, a retired truck driver, and Rising Sun High School graduate, said although the characters are teen boys, anyone can relate to them. "I always wanted to write a book. I kept it as clean as I could," said Coulson.
He said that the book is about "ordinary kids" who turn into "ornery kids" when the sun goes down. "The kids are based on my own childhood. The seven guys are modeled after friends I grew up with," he said.
The book is soft back, 87 pages, and is available online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Locally, you may buy it at Warner's Antiques in Zion. "So far, people are buying it," said Coulson. "It took two years to write the book. Sometimes it would take me a whole day just to write a paragraph. I would know what I would want to say, but I didn't know how to say it. I had a good time writing it. I'd spend weeks on it and then have to get away from it. Sometimes procrastination is a virtue in writing," he said.
He is currently at work on a second book. The next novel will be a high seas fictional adventure.