Earl Javorsky has always loved writing, he just didn’t see himself as a writer. He was a musician in Los Angeles and worked his way up to mid-level management in the entertainment industry. But then, his world fell apart. His mystery novel is titled “Down Solo” and was inspired by his downfall.
“The story just developed out of a random first line,” said Javorsky.
Actually, the line is hardly random. It’s one of those great first lines that can propel a writer to complete an entire novel. The line was,“They say once a junkie, always a junkie, but this is ridiculous. I haven’t been dead more than a few hours and I already need a fix.”
Javorsky describes “Down Solo” as a noir mystery with a supernatural twist. The supernatural twist was inspired by another novel in which a character was dead, but kept reappearing. Javorsky said, “Not in a spooky, horror-show sense—more just odd and a bit creepy.”
In “Down Solo,” Charlie Miner wakes up looking down at his body on a gurney in the LA County morgue. When he moves closer, the body pulls him in—but Charlie is the one in control of its movement and speech. Charlie, a down-on-his-luck, heroin-addicted insurance fraud investigator, leaves the morgue with two priorities: to get a fix and to find out who put a bullet in the back of his head.
A half-pound coke deal that I had set up was about to go down when a team of narcotics agents blasted through the door
As it turns out, Javorsky knows the life of a recovering addict quite well. He said, “I had reached a point where my Jack Daniels, cocaine, and Valium balancing act was insufficient, so the logical escalation involved smoking the cocaine. This changed everything—the only possible trajectory was downward. I had an accident with a freebase pipe and cut my finger on jagged glass. The doctor cleaned it out and told me to leave it alone, but I was convinced there was glass in the wound.”
“I spent the next week obsessively pouring cocaine on the wound and poking at it with a needle under a bright light and a magnifying glass. One night I was doing this in an apartment in North Hollywood. I had been up for days. A half-pound coke deal that I had set up was about to go down when a team of narcotics agents blasted through the door. The lead officer jacked me up against the wall with a gun to my head. I blacked out in a panic.”
At the time, Javorsky said he awoke thinking he was waking from a nightmare. “In fact, I was waking to a nightmare,” he said. “A year later, I was running around on the streets doing penny-ante dope deals, trying to make enough to stay high and eat the occasional Arby’s sandwich. I had gone from a nice house in Malibu, vacations in Kauai, and an attempt at a music career to a desperate and useless life of obsession with drugs.”
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Javorsky eventually moved in with his parents. He borrowed a car to go play pool on Friday night and disappeared until Monday afternoon. “I wound up at the beach, trying to get my head straight, but I knew my game was over. I drove to a friend’s house—she and her husband had been in recovery—and walked in. They were sitting at their dining room table and looked up as if they had been expecting me. I said, ‘I think I’m ready for supervision.’ It’s twenty-eight years later and I haven’t had a drink or a drug since.”
Today, Javorsky is an active, long-term member of the recovery community. “Twenty-eight years ago I was homeless, unemployable, isolated, looking at 4–6 years in state prison, and completely unable to imagine life without drugs and alcohol. Today I’m married with kids, in optimum health, have a nice home, and a new book out. Crazy. Life is full of possibilities if you take responsibility.”
While he claims not to have an agenda, Javorsky really does care about people taking responsibility for their lives—especially those who are traveling the path he once walked. “Having lived in the LA music/drug/criminal scene, I know the characters and I know what they’ll do—how they’ll react in a given situation, which I get to create. I think of my fiction as the collision of selfish motives—everybody has an agenda and there are no altruists, but if I can redeem one guy then I’ve got a story.”
Find Earl Javorsky on the web at www.earljavorsky.com.