M. Dylan Raskin is at work on his third memoir.
The rage that fueled M. Dylan Raskin at 22 is fading, as those sporadic spurts of his signature hostility toward the people he loathed become an increasing rarity.
That might discourage fans who connected with the author’s rants against walking clichés and the seemingly endless lack of inspiration in the world. Fortunately for them, Raskin is still able to hurl verbal resentment at the injustices he sees around him while being at peace with his place in an increasingly unstable world he’s once again writing about.
“Any given day in Plattsburgh is so rich with material,” said the author of “Little New York Bastard” and “Bandanas & October Supplies.” “A lot occurs in this small town, and it would be foolish to let all of this go untold.”
Raskin once had much to be angry about, growing up in Queens surrounded by people he detested without the guidance of his father, who had passed suddenly. His first memoir, published in 2003 by Four Walls Eight Windows, detailed a lost, angry young man who briefly leaves New York City and his mother for Chicago in search of inspiration and anonymity.
His second memoir, published in 2006 by Avalon, tells the story of a young man who has a nervous breakdown as he bounces from place to place with his mother, who actually passed a few months before after an agonizing battle with ovarian cancer. The book culminated with Raskin unstable, exhausted and in the hospital for three days.
Raskin eventually ended up with his dog Esme in Plattsburgh where he has become co-owner of Koffee Kat on Wheels. He hasn’t published since his last book, though he writes for himself in a small space in the back corner of his attic apartment.
“Nothing I would publish.”
The 34-year-old recently started a project that was to be published, a fictional survival story that takes place in the North Country after the dollar collapses and martial law is declared.
“I think that could happen, and it probably will,” Raskin said recently during an interview at his Plattsburgh apartment. “It’s a guy and his dog and shotgun out in the woods.”
The book was also turning into a love story when Raskin had a change of heart and switched to the memoir.
The Plattsburgh-based book is about a small town with big lessons, though it is not a morality tale. It’s mostly a conversational book about nothing, sort of like a Seinfeld episode.
It takes place over the course of a day in Plattsburgh and includes flashbacks to experiences with various people Raskin has encountered in the area. Much of it occurs in the local coffee shop, the Koffee Kat.
It’s less aggressive than his previous work, but so is Raskin. Much of that is due to his age and the people he fell in with in Plattsburgh.
“I’ve met some of the best people I have ever met in my entire life,” Raskin said. “Plus, it’s hard to be bitter when you are surrounded by lakes and mountains.”
And life is simpler now, normal and quiet, with his feet firmly planted. He runs and bikes daily and hikes with his dog.
Raskin plans to complete the new book in September, with a possible publishing date sometime next year.
He suspects this book and the novel he started will be the last works he publishes, though he will always write for his own pleasure.
“I find that publishing is a great invasion of my privacy,” Raskin said. “Plus, I hate deadlines and being beholden to a publisher.”