M. Dyland Raskin doesn’t know if he’ll publish again, and he’s fine with that. He’d rather be happy than have a writing career.
Photo by Stephen Bartlett.
PLATTSBURGH — M. Dylan Raskin wrote his second book while homeless, shacked up in a walk-in closet.
The advance bought him his first house and led to a sort of peacefulness he’s grown accustomed to.
His editor warned against happiness, and Raskin doesn’t know if he’ll ever publish again. But the author, whose first memoir garnered comparisons to “Catcher in the Rye” and was picked up by a few universities, is fine with that.
“There is a wonderful pleasure with not publishing,” said the author of “Little New York Bastard” and “Bandanas & October Supplies.”
“I can write for myself.”
Today, he mixes mochas and other coffee beverages at a local coffee shop and on the road. He’s content, no longer gripped by anger, and enjoys the life he’s carved out for himself in Plattsburgh.
“I think if you spend a lot of time in a place, you are that place,” he said. “I was that cynical city for 28 years, and now I am here and mellow.”
Raskin grew up in Queens, which, along with his father’s death when Raskin was 15, molded his personality.
“I wanted to get out my entire life.”
As early as elementary school, he felt the urge to tell stories but didn’t take it seriously until 20 to 21.
Cynical and frustrated, he hated nearly everything and everyone and ran away to Chicago for a week at 22. That journey birthed “Little New York Bastard,” a coming of age memoir and road story.
“I was a punk kid with a bad attitude, and I thought if I moved away everything would get better,” Raskin said. “But I took myself with me.”
When his mother became ill with Ovarian cancer, they started spending practically every other weekend in Lake George until her death in 2004.
“We were inseparable,” Raskin said. “We wouldn’t even do anything, just hang around.”