Deadlight n. Nautical a glass prism mounted flush in the deck of a ship to provide light below. [1720-30; DEAD + LIGHT]
When deciding on a title for my book about my tiny, solar-deprived town laden with marinas and hemmed in by the 200-ft. stone curtain of towering Palisades, I was inspired by the glass deadlight replica sitting on my mantle and how it represented most features of my story: a marina, death and light, or the lack of it—dead light. I realized then that I’d found the name of my book. But my first and foremost inspiration came from a 1975 New York Times article about my town and how its residents suffered psychologically on a daily basis from this “solar deprivation.”
My fiction, which is set in 1968 follows the main character Henry, as he struggles with his sanity and wonders if his friend’s fatal bet was really a stunt to gain attention or an escape through suicide. His friend’s death begins to affect Henry, but in ways he doesn't welcome. As a distraction and for mere entertainment, he has an eerie encounter with an unorthodox source who offers him advice to cope with his strange predicament.