James McAdams is a writer of fiction, poetry, academic essays, and CNF with a short story collection, Ambushing the Void, out in May from Frayed Edge Press. Work in Amazon/Day One, Ghost Parachute, Bending Genres, Ellipsis Zine, Superstition Review, and BOATT Press, among others. He is an English Instructor at the University of South Florida and Ringling College of Art and Design, as well as Flash Fiction Editor at Barren Magazine. His work can be viewed at jamesmcadams.org and he can be followed @jamestmcadams.
During this grant period, he will be working on and hopefully completing a rough draft of his novel, The Florida Shuffle; or My Summer in Rat Park II. The Florida Shuffle explores the lives affected by the opioid epidemic and other addictions in a dystopian FL set 5 years in the future. By now, hurricanes, Red Tide, and reef pollution have destroyed FLORIDA. Rehab facilities have sprouted everywhere, many of them nefarious, profiting from insurance scams and general duplicity, referred to as “The Florida Shuffle.”
The narration starts from jail, ala Lolita, where JAMES MCADAMS explains (unreliably) why he was convicted of being a BODY BROKER sentenced to death for the overdose of SADONNA COLVIN. “They call me the ‘Face of The Florida Shuffle,’ he writes, ‘Body Broker #1,’ the first person to be sentenced to death for violating the State of Florida, Section 1. Section 397.487 (2019).” His meandering accounts of the rehab industry, the patients, and staff he knew, and the woman he loved/killed, SADONNA COLVIN, occupy much of his entries.
Writing from jail, his days set to expire in two months, JAMES MCADAMS reveals the secrets about the rehab industry. Some humorous, some sad, some illegal. But all human, and in his efforts to explain and justify his actions, a second, deeper, story about him and SADONNA’s eternal unrequited love emerges (see; Dante/Beatrice; Petrarch/Laura, et al.).