by Barrett Seaman
Tom Evans has been living virtually his entire life with the central characters in his new novel, Where Do The Children Play? (Black Rose Writing 2018). Like the twin boys, Wesley and Rory, he and his twin brother spent their early years in foster homes in mid-1950s Buffalo. Like the fictional Wesley, Evans, as a child, became enthralled by the story of a young boy in the city who was kidnapped and murdered by drowning—and by the search for the killer, who turned out not to be the original middle-age suspect but a 15-year-old girl.
“When I found out how young she was,” said Evans after a reading last month at the Irvington Public Library, where he now works, “I had to write it.”
Autobiography mixes with narrative fiction to produce a novel that Evans wrote and re-wrote three times—in the first person, then in the omniscient third person, and in its final form back in the first-person voice, that of young Wesley.
Evans, a librarian by training, knows that books, especially fiction, succeed by reaching certain audiences. In its final form, Where Do The Children Play? is written for “Upper YA” (Young Adults), essentially those of high school age. He is currently working on a baseball novel, a love story between a hall of fame player and a famous poetess.