First-Time Author Turns Small-Town Background Into Compelling Novel

Teen love and loss takes center stage in new book released by Dog Ear Publishing. Author Erik Edwards based the story on his own life.

Oreanna, IL, May 28, 2019 --( Living in a small town can be a double-edged sword. It’s nice because everybody knows who you are; on the flip side, everybody knows who you are and your entire life’s story. A new book released by Dog Ear Publishing tells the story of a young man from a small town who reaches for something more, only to have life snap him back into reality.

“If You Were There” opens with 17-year-old Jason Parker in an absolute rage over his circumstances, including the insults of his girlfriend. Just because she’s right about him doesn’t mean it’s easy to hear. But instead of fighting it, he considers a desperate – and final – action that would rock his small Illinois town.

The story flashes back to a year earlier, and young Jason is at loose ends, having broken up with his girlfriend. His dad is absent for months at a time on his construction jobs, so Jason tries to fill his time with video games, family visits and movies. As a teenage boy, girls are never far from his mind, and one in particular intrigues him. And being from a small town herself, they have an immediate connection.

For a while, he is able to dispel the loneliness of his small town life with a new relationship. He and his girlfriend spend hours together, and life improves for a short time for the young man. When disagreements arise, they are able to work them out, and they soon begin to develop strong feelings for each other. But an unexpected event will wreak havoc on their young lives, and it’s possible Jason will never recover.

In the end Jason realizes that he must keep a promise he made to his first love if he is to honor their time together. “If You Were There” uses gritty storytelling to explore how people deal with expected choices in their lives, for good and bad, providing a serious framework for a coming-of-age tale.

This is the first book for author Erik Edwards, who grew up in a small town. He’s been writing since he was a child, from short stories to journal entries but rarely showed them to anyone. He’s now ready to share this true story after a lifetime of holding it in. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two daughters.

For additional information, please visit

If You Were There
Erik Edwards
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-6882-4 196 pages $14.99 US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

Dog Ear Publishing partners with authors to shape content that resonates with readers as diverse as the books we publish. Our mission is to leverage expertise, technology and relationships to form a meaningful and lasting bond between creators, content and culture as a whole. Dog Ear Publishing is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and can be contacted by phone at (317) 228-3656 or through
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