The road to new beginnings starts right here in Buffalo
Fiction author Brent Jones wrote his second novel, Fender, based on his own cross-country road trip experience
By: Brent Jones
Author Brent Jones pens this call to action in the afterword of his new novel, Fender.
The story focuses on a man in mourning and his journey toward acceptance, represented symbolically through a road trip across the country.
And in the case of Fender, that journey begins right here in Buffalo. The novel is teeming with references to the area, including mentions of Williamsville, Masten Park, Allentown, and even The Anchor Bar.
The road trip in Fender is largely based on a trip Jones and his wife took across the United States with their dogs in 2015. "We started in Buffalo," he says. "We traveled west along I-90 to Seattle, south to San Francisco on I-5, and then back eastward on I-80."
In total, Jones and his wife were on the road for the better part of a month. He estimates that they traveled more than 7,000 miles by car, spending a total of 126 hours behind the wheel.
Some might call the trek crazy, but not Jones. "There are certain nuances to traveling by car," he explains. "It allows us to gain a perspective we might have otherwise missed."
The journey in Fender makes stops at notable American landmarks, including Mount Rushmore, Seattle's Pike Place Market, and San Francisco's Pier 39. Each setting is described with the detail and authenticity of a traveler who has been there to experience it for himself.
"I really wanted to capture the essence of that experience in my story," says Jones. "It was life-changing. The open road holds adventures that you can't predict or foresee. If you depart without expectations and allow curiosity to be your guide, I can almost guarantee you'll make memories to last a lifetime."
Jones lives in Fort Erie, just on the other side of the Niagara River, but admits to having a certain fondness for Buffalo. "It's a wonderful city," he notes, describing its diverse neighborhoods as having "charm and appeal."
Fender was released August 21 in print and eBook formats through online retailer Amazon, with an audiobook version to follow later this fall. The author is offering a free sample of the novel on his website.