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When the Coin is in the Air

Like most boys, Jason Blake wants to please his father and older brother. But this erratic father and hyper-competitive brother challenge beyond the norm. To find his way, Jason tries on different roles: schoolyard bully, football player, actor, student. At 20 Jason escapes his Midwest home and seeks independence and adventure: first to Cape Cod, later in Europe. Each adventure takes Jason farther from his father and brother. Each brings him closer to finding himself. When he returns home, the world as he knew it explodes and Jason risks all to protect his mother from his violent father. The dramatic and unforgettable course of events changes the lives in this family forever. And they promise to change the reader too.

When the Coin is in the Air

Like most boys, Jason Blake wants to please his father and older brother. But this erratic father and hyper-competitive brother challenge beyond the norm. To find his way, Jason tries on different roles: schoolyard bully, football player, actor, student. At 20 Jason escapes his Midwest home and seeks independence and adventure: first to Cape Cod, later in Europe. Each adventure takes Jason farther from his father and brother. Each brings him closer to finding himself. When he returns home, the world as he knew it explodes and Jason risks all to protect his mother from his violent father. The dramatic and unforgettable course of events changes the lives in this family forever. And they promise to change the reader too.

Order When the Coin is in the Air Today

Order now from one of these online bookstores below – or from your local bookstore!

Tour Updates

Wyoming, OH — 8/22/2019 | 6:30pm 

Wyoming Community Coffee | more >>

Indianapolis, IN — 8/31/2019 | 6:00pm 

Indy Reads Bookstore | more >>

Cincinnati, OH — 9/5/2019

Private Event | more >>

Falmouth, MA — 9/14/2019

Falmouth Public Library | more >>

Kickstarter

Be part of bringing this novel to a larger audience. Over 50 people have contributed. More than 20 people donated $100 or more! Every dollar will be used as follows:

1. Create an Audio Book of the Novel

2. Marketing/Advertising Support

3. Hire a book publicist to get on “best reads” lists, get interviews, etc.

4. Extend the reading tour

Tour Updates

Wyoming, OH | 8/22/2019 | more >>

Indianapolis, IN | 8/31/2019 | more >>

Cincinnati, OH | 9/5/2019 | more >>

Falmouth, MA | 9/14/2019 | more >>

Kickstarter

Praise for When the Coin is in the Air :

“It is a rare coming-of-age-novel that strikes an elegiac tone—the trembling anticipation of youth, a decidedly modern hero’s journey, in combination with a grief-struck plunge into conscience—but John Young pulls it off. This novel, like its main character, makes its way from early promise to settled accomplishment, from a staggering opening to a quiet self-acceptance that seems wholly earned—and leaves a reader grateful.”

James Carroll

National Book Award Winner and author of The Cloister

“An abusive father keeps his son—and the reader—in suspense in When the Coin is in the Air, a well-told coming -of age tale.”

Dan Wakefield

author of Going All The Way and New York in the Fifties

“I loved John Young’s wise and moving novel. A young man is forced to navigate the difficult choices of early adulthood while protecting his own life and his mother’s from a violent, abusive father. Reminiscent of the novels of Pat Conroy, When the Coin is in the Air explores the complexities of the pull between duty and self-determination, tempered by love.”

Susan Neville

author of Invention of Flight and The House of Blue Lights

When the Coin is in the Air is a riveting story of adversity, destruction and transcendence. John Young weaves a gritty but ultimately uplifting tale, sure to speak to anyone who has wrestled with demons. From the start, Young’s debut novel will grab you, and it won’t let you go.”

Don Tassone

author of Drive

“It is a rare coming-of-age-novel that strikes an elegiac tone—the trembling anticipation of youth, a decidedly modern hero’s journey, in combination with a grief-struck plunge into conscience—but John Young pulls it off. This novel, like its main character, makes its way from early promise to settled accomplishment, from a staggering opening to a quiet self-acceptance that seems wholly earned—and leaves a reader grateful.”

James Carroll

National Book Award Winner and author of The Cloister

“I loved John Young’s wise and moving novel. A young man is forced to navigate the difficult choices of early adulthood while protecting his own life and his mother’s from a violent, abusive father. Reminiscent of the novels of Pat Conroy, When the Coin is in the Air explores the complexities of the pull between duty and self-determination, tempered by love.”

Susan Neville

author of Invention of Flight and The House of Blue Lights

What’s next?

John is looking for a literary agent to represent his second novel now. It’s very different. A semi-comic, literary novel about Reverend John Crackstone’s career crisis and how it leads him to try to grow the world’s largest pumpkin.

About John

Born and raised beyond the suburbs in Indianapolis, John Young graduated from Indiana University and earned an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. His fiction appeared in Yankee and his non-fiction has appeared in several magazines.
Young also taught English at the high school and college levels and spent many years in advertising as a copywriter and creative director mostly in Boston. He and his teams won more than 250 awards for creative excellence.
He spent 20 years in Beverly, Mass. and now lives with his wife and two kids in Cincinnati, Ohio.