Come with Me

By Billy Schelly

COME WITH ME is a love story set in 1968 about two young people who set out “to look for America” and find unexpected adventures and revelations along the way.  It’s my only novel, written mostly when I was a teenager, and is based on a true story.  The story has more than a whiff of J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, but also delivers poignant moments, comedy and thrills. My protagonist is an aspiring cartoonist who eventually finds himself in the hippie Mecca of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District, and has a chance encounter with Robert Crumb and other misadventures.  My love of comics and cartooning adds an extra dimension to this story set at time of political and social upheaval that changed America forever.  COME WITH ME is a 168-page trade paperback and costs $11.95.  The Kindle book is $4.99.

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Author’s note:  When I was 16, I wrote this novel as a way of working through some true events in my life.  I showed it to friends who seemed to enjoy it, and then put it away.  In 1984, after my first non-fiction book was published, I re-wrote COME WITH ME for the young adult market, expanding the ending and making numerous changes.  Two agents liked it, and tried to place the manuscript, without luck.  This isn’t unusual.  Breaking into the mainstream book trade was (and still is) very difficult.  I didn’t feel it was a negative reflection on the book, but again put it away for possible publication at a later date.  I mentioned it in my memoir SENSE OF WONDER, MY LIFE IN COMIC FANDOM—THE WHOLE STORY, and received a number of requests for it.  So I decided the “later date” has arrived, and I’m pleased that Bob McLain of Pulp Hero Press wanted to publish it.  I made a few small changes to the manuscript, but in the main, this is the version that I wrote in 1984, based on the original manuscript from 1968.