About the Book
When Chris Collins and Winston Coggans take off on a post-graduation cross-country bike trek, Chris’s hopes are high. He’s looking forward to seeing the country, dodging a dull summer at a minimum wage job, and having one final adventure with his oldest friend. The journey from Hurricane, West Virginia to the coast of Washington state delivers all those things . . . and more.
So much more that when Chris returns home without Win at the end of the summer, he’s certain their 10 year friendship is all but over. But when an FBI agent begins asking questions—and raising suspicions about Chris—he learns that saying goodbye to a friend like Win is never as simple as riding away. Shift offers an adventure story and a missing persons tale spinning around a single question: What happens when you outgrow your best friend?
Behind the Book
I’d always wanted to do something with all the weird little anecdotes from my bicycle touring adventures. Those events and scenes sort of rattled away in my mind for years before I found characters and a conflict to frame them—and then those characters and conflict took over, bringing a theme along with them.
I wrote the first draft of the novel while on a teaching exchange in India where I had a lighter teaching schedule than I was used to. If I wasn’t asked to substitute in another classroom, I was only responsible for two forty-minute classes. Afterward, I’d head down to the library in the basement and write on one of the few computers in the school. Chris and Win’s story materialized quickly.
By the time we returned home, I’d completed a third rewrite. Shortly after, my daughter was born, and I happily put my writing aspirations on hold for a while. A few months later, when my daughter was napping more regularly (and we were sleeping better), I took another look at the manuscript and started querying agents once again. Eventually, I landed with Robin Rue at Writers House, who sold the book three days after agreeing to rep me. Since then its been a fabulous, challenging, fun ride.