Well, here it is, finally — that “music book project” I’ve been trying to complete for so long, For the Death of Dustin Essary: a music novel.

I started writing this as an extension of the Broken Poets EP Lana and I recorded with Joe Myers back in February 2010… so it’s been over five years, I guess, Jesus. I really enjoyed working on it, though, and it’s turned out pretty close to what I had hoped, so hoping you guys find something you like in it as well!

Recent Reviews

“Tim McDonald has written a tale of awkward youth and death too young, and he has told it with his music and lyrics integrated into the story in a unique and memorable way.”
– Joey Robert Parks, Liquid Gravity Publishing

“A ‘teenage wasteland’ of vivid dreams and real life in a novel that’s full of wonder.”
– Jimmy Rae, Skope Magazine

“We really enjoyed this book! – Boundless Book Reviews

“Tim writes powerfully of the dreams, or visions, Dustin mentioned having, which were the
impetus for this unusual book.” – Jay Wolfe, The Wolfian Press

A few things first:

A Music Novel?
I know, sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? My idea was to have a retrospective of my songs embedded into the storyline of the book (about how I started writing songs in the first place) with the lyrics included. So, as you read along with the lyrics, you can hear the song at the same time, which is supposed to lead you sonically and poetically back to the next part of the story! Key words: supposed to. And since my idea is a little unusual, we found the best way to release it is through this paid membership site. I do plan to eventually have a print-on-demand version with a CD included, but it won’t have the same effect, I don’t think.

What do you get?
So, $10.00 gets you membership to, which includes unlimited access to the book itself, the music and lyrics embedded as part of the story, and all eight downloadable songs.

Broken Poets music for the book:
For those of you who know of us already and may have a copy of the last Broken Poets EP, there’s only one new song here for you guys (we’ll be working on a new CD soon!) But the new song “So Be It” is a free download below if that’s any consolation. And for those of you who don’t know us yet, the songs included in the book should give you a good sample of what we’ve been up to over the years… and the new song’s free for you guys also!

Broken Poets – So Be It

And finally… the Book Synopsis:
A selfish, neurotic, particularly naïve 13-year-old kid named Tim lives a typical adolescence until his best friend Dustin Essary shares with him a series of extraordinary dreams—and the fact that he has cancer. Dustin tragically dies that summer of 1978, which impacts Tim for the rest of his life and brings about a strange, musical revelation that helps him process the whole experience. Set in Phoenix, Arizona, this true-life story leads to the writing of three songs more than 30 years later, which evoke the dreams Dustin shared with Tim decades before.

This is autobiographical fiction, folks, so don’t get too excited. Most of it’s true, though.

So, without further ado, here’s the link to Part I, which leads to the registration link for the rest! If you’re already a member (or want to be!) click the member tab on the menu to log in or join.

Hope you like it!


Tim McDonald