Saturday, April 5, 2008

Below Mile Zero, a story of Key West

There is an anomaly in Key West; at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming streets, on one side, a sign proclaims the start of Highway 1 with Begin Mile Zero...

On the opposite side another states End Mile Zero...

The oddity: there are another five blocks "Below Mile Zero."

Coincidentally, or not, this is the title of a new novel about Key West.

The story came to the attention of the nascent publishing company, Cre8tve1 Corporation, in the form of a letter. Oddly enough the letter was not from a wannabe author, but...

Instead of telling you, the letter appears below in its original form, complete with typos and eccentric Key West phraseology:

A letter to the Publisher:

My name isn’t on any tax rolls and I’m not in the phone book. I’ve been pretty thorough about ensuring my privacy, and that will probably get me screwed.

With my history I can't go to anyone for help because most of the police I’ve met are corrupt, and those who aren’t have no reason to believe or help me.

I am a survivor. I got through Vietnam and the drug wars in America in the 70's, more or less intact. There were casualties in both wars; I lost my family in the last one, but I got out with a little piece of paradise I could call my own. I've been living comfortably in Key West since the 80’s and figured on being here until I’m old and gray. But all that has changed….

Let me explain: This guy I met washed up here about five years ago. He was flat broke and on the run from some pretty bad people in New Orleans. An old partner of mine helped him dry out and get back on his feet. Eventually he became a friend of mine…and I don't make friends easy, experience has taught me it's a good way to get dead.

Looking at what's been happening over the past couple of weeks, and what's probably going to happen next, most likely I will be dead or in prison for the rest of my life by the time you get around to reading this.

I’ve been talking to this writer I know. I figure the only way I have of getting the record straight is to have him set it up like a work of fiction. I know this has been done before, so that the truth can come out.

He’ll have to change the names and the details enough, so that no one else can be hurt, but with enough truth in it to get people asking questions about why the DEA is importing cocaine from Cuba and killing people in America.

This writer doesn’t know I’m writing to you. I don’t want anything out of this, I’ve got enough to live well, if I can survive this mess, but I’d like him to catch a break, so I’d appreciate it if you could not mention my contacting you. I’d like him to think he got a book deal on his own.

Tony Amundsen

So compelling was this letter, and the manuscript that followed several months later, that we decided to debut Cre8tve1 Corporation with Below Mile Zero, and we've used the above letter as a Foreword.

A little something about the author, Brooke Babineau... his own words, which we elected to use as an Author’s Note:

Other than a greater degree of comfort and familiarity with advancing technologies, people have not evolved; there are no new emotions; love, hate, fear and desire continue to shape our destiny.

A website has been constructed at to support the author and a fine nail-biting nerve-tightening piece of adventure/suspense fiction.

Below Mile Zero will be available in hardcover June 1, 2008 from major booksellers and on the Internet; an advance copy may be ordered fromCre8tve1 at