Before the Benedict Mafia, before the Warlord turned life in Woodvale upside-down, aspiring writer Ron Bently was eager to find out what surprises awaited him in his eighth grade year at Woodvale High. Unfortunately, the first of these turns out to be his best friend, Robby Therman, transferring to private school, but with the WHS drama club looking for new members, Ron won’t be lonely as long as he can prevent bullies like Jared and Eddie from derailing his good time. Everything seems like it’s falling into place–until Ron and Robby discover two ends of plot by a shadowy arsonist to burn through both their schools, and no one with the power to stop it will listen to them. It’s up to the separated friends to save themselves and everybody else, but even they can’t predict the final, nasty surprise lurking right under their noses….
The winner of Ron Bently’s Drag Race will receive a year’s supply of Anastasia Beverly Hill Cosmetics, and a cash prize of one hundred thousand dough-lahs. Seriously, if Night of the Crimson Twig was conspicuously the work of a repressed gay teenager, this never-published-at-the-time prequel is even more so. Beyond the fact that you could replace every instance of the term “best friend” with “boyfriend” and end up with a story that makes a hell of a lot more sense, there’s a boys-in-wigs-and-makeup costuming element that blew me away when I read the story again. I must’ve gotten it from my time in the drama club, but the implications sailed right over my head. The first run of this book yielded only two copies–one for me, and one for the childhood friend/fan I chose to inflict it on as a gift–but that’s enough to qualify it for admission into the CANNon. If you want to read it out of morbid curiosity, use the Contact Me form and I’ll send you a link to order it.