We arrived at our new house today, boxes in hand and screwdriver at the ready to build the kids beds. I wasn’t expecting a present waiting on the front steps. Yes indeed, the first case of my book “the Key to everything” is here!

It’s a very strange feeling. A mixture of elation, terror, pride, confusion (did I really write all those words?) and an overwhelming sensation of incompleteness. Because writing the damn thing wasn’t enough, now I’ve got to convince people they want to read it. Now is when the work really starts!

I know the ebook has been out for a few weeks, but there is something different about the feel of real paper in your hands. The smell of binding. The way the glossy cover reflects the light from the ceiling. Placing the book up on the shelf between other well worn tomes by authors I deeply respect and admire and staring at it. Just staring.

It’s a fantastic feeling. I intend to savor it until at least tomorrow when the pitching continues. Screw that! Here’s a pitch right now!

Go get “the Key to everything” at:








Time to crack open a cold one and read a few pages!

Follow me on twitter @twodoggarage


rocket summer


In the midst of attempting to promote my new book and moving at the same time, I noticed a bit of stress.  You might be thinking, “Duh!” and typically you’d be correct in that profound response.  However, the sleeplessness and nerves are not happening to me.  It’s my son.

He hasn’t been his normal energetic, fun loving self.  He’s been waking up shortly after bedtime and curling up with my wife on the couch wanting to sleep in our bed.  We’ve been trying to keep our nightly routine as regular as we can.  We sing some Tom Waits and then read a chapter or two.  He is usually asleep before the last few pages but I keep going hoping that my voice keeps him calm.

Over the years we’ve read fantasy and adventure books.  We’ve read short stories and fairy tales.  He loved “Ender’s Game” which of course made me very, very proud. He reminds me a lot of Ender.  Smart, a deep strength of character with a wide open, loving heart. Two nights ago I decided to pull out another book that I loved when I was his age.  Unfortunately after the first hundred pages or so, he lifted himself off the pillow and said, “Dad, I don’t really like this book. Can we read something else tomorrow?”  A few minutes later he was back downstairs needing to hide under our covers again.

We got around to bedtime last night and he looked nervous.  I’d been thinking about it all day and figured it was time to give it a try.  I keep it on my desk at all times.  The signature inside after twenty years remains bright red on the title page with a fancy swirl around the cartoonish space scene.  It is one of my all time favorite books by one of the greatest Authors of the last century.  Whenever I hear the term “Prized Possession”, this book always comes to the front of my mind.

We sang a few songs, made some jokes and laughed.  I made sure the covers were pulled up and waited until he got himself comfortable.  Then I read the words.  The words so elegant and simple.  The words that still brought that strange alien world to life.  The words that changed the way I thought about everything.  The words that split my life into two parts: The world BEFORE the words and the world AFTER the words.

My son sat up after the first page and I stopped reading.

“Dad.  This is way better than the other book.  The words are so amazing!  I can really see why you love it so much.”  I smiled hoping the tears wouldn’t blur my vision too much for me to continue.

“I’m glad you like it bud.”

“Yeah.  Can we read some more?”


“The flame birds waited, like a bed of coals, glowing on the cool smooth sands. The white canopy ballooned on the night wind, flapping softly, tied by a thousand green ribbons to the birds.”

From “The Martian Chronicles” by Ray Bradbury

He stayed upstairs all night.


follow me on twitter: @twodoggarage

find “the Key to everything” at:



running away with me


Moving.  Moving into a new house.  Climbing unfamiliar stairs with heavy boxes of books and the occasional drum case.  Looking down between unsteady M.S. feet breath catching in my throat.  Did I see something there?  Nah.  My overactive imagination runs away with me.  Hot and humid upstairs.  Windows closed because it might rain.  Sweat stings my eyes.

Glow in my new office is strange.  Glass down low on the wall near the floor allows the sun to come in from an odd angle.  Dramatically slanted ceiling reflects the rays back down against the hard wood floor.  Brown blur shoots across one small window stopping in the next.  I don’t want to look.  I look.  The bird stares at his new neighbor blinking small black eyes.  It flies away to find food for the babies in her nest on the tree across the yard. 

I’m frightened, thrilled and sad all at the same time.  I struggle against the images running through my mind of distorted rodents, mysterious keyholes and a garden covered in blueprints.  Why do I do this to myself?  I guess the mind runs in the directions it chooses no matter the consequence of thought. 

I should write a cheeky love story next.

follow me on twitter: @twodoggarage

find “the Key to everything” at:



My first guest blog!

Posting a blog about a blog on my blog…

The awesome MaryAnn Kempher has graciously put up a guest blog on her site about “the Key to everything”! Take a look when you get a chance and give her some good posting love.


Thanks MaryAnn!

those things…


What a way to start the week! 

This morning my oldest son sang with his class for the end of the school year.  It’s strange hearing all of these kids sing along with artists that I grew up loving so much.  I feel so sentimental.  Everything is all mush inside, in a good way of course.

When we got home I flipped on the computer with him and we sang along with some more songs together.  When he got tired of Dad hangin’ around too much I got to spakling some holes in the walls from nails.  I turned on the t.v. and “The Princess Bride” was on.  Could it be more sentimental?

I’m promoting my disturbing and nightmare inducing new book.  It crawled from deep recesses in my darkest places.  Black guy liner, trench coats and doc martins dude is where I should be.  Right?  Instead I’m box of tissue, prince storming the castle to save the beautiful princess, proud of my kids growing up dad. 

Maybe that’s why I write the things I do.  They’re definitely a part of me.  I think they’re a part of all of us.  The things that make us pull the covers over our heads at night.  The shapes we see in the black shadows out of the corner of our eyes.  The proverbial things that go bump in the night. 

We love those things.  I love those things.  Those things help us feel safe.  Those things make us hold our dreams and desires closer.  Those things help us find our need to protect.  Those things build up our armor.  We need those things to be terrifying enough to find the courage to open ourselves to the things we love. 

Those things that creak across the window on a stormy night send us flying with primal urgency to the cradle to check on our children, our dreams, our loves.  Those things are in all of us.  We are those things…sometimes more often than we’d like to admit.

If you’d like to read my book “the Key to everything”, head on over to my publisher’s website at http://www.booktrope.com/book/the-key-to-everything/ .  While there you can read through the entire thing for free!

If you’d like to read my book “the Key to everything”, if those things scare you enough, you can pick up your own copy at: 

for your Kindle or Paperback at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008C4DY04


for your Nook at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-key-to-everything-alex-kimmell/1111588353?ean=2940014704410

…but it pours


We went for brunch with my in-laws for Father’s Day today.  The first place we went warned that some tables were still waiting for food after ninety minutes because the kitchen was so backed up.  After a short discussion persuading the kids that fast food was not the way to go, we chose a Chinese place a few miles down the road.  Turned out to be a really good choice.  The kids had a good time, got gumballs from the machine after the meal and we all stretched out our belts an extra hole on the massive amounts of good food. 

Shortly after we got home, there I sat food drunk on the couch, when our neighbors knocked on the door inviting us over for their annual Father’s Day Clam Boil.  After smelling the air wafting in through the open windows, we decided to roll ourselves up the next pedestal of the world eating competition and went for it.  Clam Boils aren’t something that I grew up being used to back in L.A., and these Rhode Islander’s don’t skimp on the meal in any way.  Fresh clams, corn on the cob, potatoes, sausage, chorizo and butter (oh the butter!) all simmered together in a ginormous pot for hours until just right.  Add to that the fresh bread for broth dipping, slaw, salads, brownies, cupcakes, cake, soda, beer, hot dogs and hamburgers… so tasty. I’m paying for it now of course, but damn my neighbor can cook! 

So here I sit (in my sweatpants) trying to put my body in a position not too intensely uncomfortable to type and not complaining at all.  Well, maybe a little, but it’s been a good weekend.  Spent some quality family time, hung out with friends, ate some good food and my book came out.  Not too shabby at all I’d say.

Talk to you guys after the antacids kick in!


follow me on twitter: @twodoggarage

find “the Key to everything” at:



The early bird…

… gets my new book available on line early!


Got home from running a few errands this morning and decided to hop over to Amazon and see what’s happening today.  Much to my surprise, my book is up already!  

If you’re interested, here are the links where you can check it out right now:

Amazon for download and paperback:  

Barnes & Noble:  

I’ll let everyone know as soon as it pops up on iTunes too.

My first book.  Wow.  I’m flabbergasted really.  My head is spinning in a mix of excitement, fear, happiness, terror, a seemingly endless to do list and a very intense want of Bourbon!  I’m curious what it’s going to feel like when I read those first couple reviews written by strangers.  I’ll be sure to keep you all posted about that.

In the mean time, if you read it I hope you enjoy it!

Have a fantastic weekend!


on twitter – @twodoggarage

Only a few more days…



only a couple of days left everybody

so here’s what I’m asking you all to do…

on Monday follow me on twitter:


we’ll chat about the book.

what it’s about…

what inspired it…

how it all happened…

what’s my favorite pizza topping…

you name it!

let me know if you get a chance to order a copy

it’ll be available on





please tell all your friends!

have a great weekend!


 a brief excerpt from my book

“the Key to everything”

You toss and turn for what seems like forever. Finally all the noise and static in your head silences down and you fade into sleep. Everything is black. No sound, sight or scent.  Floating. Full complete nothing… a pregnant emptiness. The deepest relaxation ever. You know you are flying, but there is no wind or sense of gravity’s pull to let you know direction. Not up or down. Not front or back. Slowly and gently there are brief caresses. First one brushes across your cheek. Another one moves softly along the nape of your neck. Your palms feel as if they are being kissed. A wetness slides across the backs of your knees. Hours later you feel a pressure right between your eyes. Sharp and unfriendly. Pushing harder, you struggle against the pressure holding you down. Skin cracks and the lock breaks open between your eyes. You realize now that what crushes into your head is the key. It stabs in like a drill bit, not spinning. It doesn’t stop. It will not stop. You scream and struggle but nothing moves when you tell it to. Your body is not responding to your commands. Trapped, a prisoner to the pain. There is nothing you can do but endure. The key rams further in, all the way to the wave-engraved hilt and stops.  It turns counterclockwise spinning around slowly. One revolution…two revolutions…three revolutions…you feel your brain being twisted and mulched…four revolutions…you can’t scream anymore, the agony is so sharp…five revolutions…everything goes dark…six revolutions…you try to think of your family…

“Seven, Daddy, seven.” Jason’s voice jolts you awake. You leap out of bed fighting to slow your heart and catch your breath. The sheets and your nightclothes are completely soaked with sweat. “Seven, Daddy, seven.” Jason’s voice sounds far away. He stands in the doorway holding his hand out in the dark.

“Jason? Hey buddy, are you ok?” You shake your head to get out of the dream and start walking to your son. The clock on the night table reads 12:07.

“Seven, Daddy, seven.” Still reaching out in the darkness, he begins to back up into the hallway.

Emily stirs and sits up, “Auden? What’s going on?”

You keep walking towards Jason as he backs further away. “I don’t know. Jason’s sleepwalking, I think.”

“Seven, Daddy, seven.” Arm stretched out to nothing, he moves strangely backwards, floating. The image of the boy blurs in the light shining up from the bottom of the stairs.

“Hey Jason.” You clap your hands. “Wake up, pal.” Following him down the hallway, you notice he is getting closer to the stairs.

“What did he say?” Emily follows you into the hall.

“I think he’s saying ‘seven.’”


“I have no idea. But he won’t wake up.”

“Seven, Daddy, seven.” Jason turns just before the stairs and begins backing into his room. Your heartbeat slows down a little in relief.

“At least he won’t fall down the stairs,” you say as Emily runs past you into Jason’s room.

“Jason.” She grabs his arms and shakes him hard. “Wake up, honey.”

“Seven, Daddy, seven.” His eyes stare blankly with black unfocused pupils completely dilated.

Jason sits down on his bed with his eyes stretched open. Stiff as a board he lays back and pulls the covers up to his chin. Emily stands above him crying. Putting your arms around her from behind you can feel her shaking. You can’t blame her. You’re scared out of your shit too. You don’t even bother trying to comfort her.

“I’m going to throw up.” Emily pulls away and runs to the bathroom.

You head down the hall to help her and glance back at Jason. His head snaps hard to the right and he stares directly into your eyes.


You launch yourself at him,  cradling him in your arms. “Jason. Wake up please. I’m right here.” You rock him back and forth. He feels cold.  A stone.


You don’t want to.  The very idea of doing it brings a stabbing pain in your stomach.  Your hand reaches out, swings through the air and slaps him hard across the cheek. Immediate silence. Jason looks at you, stunned. He starts to sob, tears pouring down his face.

“Why did you hit me, Daddy?” He pushes you and recoils into the headboard. “Why did you hit me?”

Emily runs in the doorway and jumps over you to get to her child. “Shhhh, baby.” She reaches back to you with one hand and grabs your wrist. “You were having a really bad nightmare and Daddy was trying to help you.” She puts her hands on his face and looks right into his eyes. “Daddy and Mommy would never hurt you. You know that, right?”

“But he hit me in the face. I was asleep and he hit me in the face.” Bursting into uncontrollable sobs, Jason buries his face into his mother’s embrace. Feeling fear and shame beyond words, you get up from the bed. Rubbing your hands on the top of your head, you pace around the room.

“Fuck!” You slam your hand down on the top of the bookshelf, knocking the soccer-ball lamp and all of the books on the top shelf to the floor. “Just great.” You kneel down and start picking up the mess.

Jason’s words are muffled by Emily’s arms. “That’s another quarter for the swear jar, Daddy.” First a moment of quiet and then the three of you start laughing. It starts quietly and Jason looks from you to Emily and back again. When it lets loose, it’s breath-stealing, foot-stomping, rolling-around-on-the-bed, tension-relieving hysterics.

You sit on the floor as tears roll from your eyes. Eventually you catch enough breath to say, “How about a dollar for this one, big guy?” Which just starts Jason and Emily laughing all over again. You stand up and resume putting the books back on the shelf. You leave “1,001 Fairy Tales” for last just like Jason would.

When you finally put it on the shelf, it doesn’t hit the back and stop. It keeps going into the wall.  Through the wall like it wasn’t there anymore. You pull the book back out and grab the soccer-ball lamp. Aiming it down closer, you try to take a better look. You see a dark crack where the back of the bookshelf should be. You turn to make sure Emily and Jason aren’t watching, and slowly reach your hand into the darkness. It feels moist and scratches your fingers like brittle branches on a dead tree after a cold snow thaw. It opens slightly, welcoming you inside. You feel it pulling you in deeper. Confused and frightened you’re screaming inside to stop and back away. Roaring to pull your hand back from the dark. Still, your hand slides deeper into the black. Farther than it should be able to. Your shoulder is pressed against the spines of the children’s books lining the top shelf. How can your hand still be moving further in? The branches dig deeper into your skin. Warm blood begins to flow down your forearm. Your panic finally takes hold and you are about to retract your hand when you feel it.

It’s cold and soft. It must be old, very old. You can feel the dust and something squishy like mold. You move your fingers a little to the side to get a good hold. There are no more brittle branches stabbing and scratching. You pull what looks like an ancient, dust-covered book off the shelf as if it were resting there next to “Goodnight Moon” the entire time. The blackened cover was probably expensive leather at one time. The faded string is still tied around the book keeping secrets locked inside. If you were to pull the knot out, the entire thing would disintegrate. You reach down for “1,001 Fairy Tales” to put it back on the shelf but it’s not on the floor. You look around for it and it’s already tucked away on the shelf exactly where Jason likes it.

(c)2012 alex m. kimmell

booktrope publishing

“the Key to everything”

will be available June 18





please visit booktrope.com for more information

 follow me on twitter


“the Key to everything” is almost here!


It’s comming!

We’re putting the final touches on “the Key to everything” and if all goes according to plan it looks like you’ll be able to order it on June 18. 

It will be up for sale on Amazon, bn.com and iTunes.  And if you want a preview of it, you’ll be able to read the entire book on booktrope.com. 

I’d love to hear what you think of it.  Comments, reviews, suggestions or “I thought drummers couldn’t read?”  So I’m inviting everyone to come out to your computers on release day and chat me up on twitter!  Follow me at @twodoggarage and join in on the conversation!

Much Love,