Former Mt. Pleasant resident writes book detailing the horrors of meth
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
After being an attorney for 12 years, Josh Hornaday, formerly of Mt. Pleasant, was so moved by the problems meth addiction had caused in some of his cases, that he wrote and published a book, “The Meth Conspiracy.”
“I was introduced to a handful of really tough cases that involved meth and how meth plays a role in destroying a marriage,” said Hornaday. “In a couple of the cases, one of the parents had introduced some of the older children to meth use. In one case – it was absolutely insane – we had this white-collar neighborhood and the teen-aged kids were making meth in their basement. It was absolutely insane. And so that’s really the idea of where the idea of meth being kind of a force of its own came from for the book.”
Hornaday uses a fantasy/science-fiction genre to tell a story of the dangers of meth use and addiction. “This is some good geeky stuff, but it also has a firm moral message to it,” Hornaday says of his book. “I’m pretty cynical, being a lawyer, but it was kind of a wake up call for me, these cases. The idea of them became this book where you have this character who is kind of thrown into this world where human beings are forced into meth addiction and how he deals with it, if he is going to accept it or do something about it.”
Hornaday and his family moved to Mt. Pleasant the summer of 1986, and it was quite memorable for Hornaday. “I’ll never forget that because that was the year, that summer we moved, that Mayor King was killed. I’ll never forget that.”
Hornaday’s father was from Iowa and had wanted his children to experience life on a farm, so he bought a farm in Mt. Pleasant and the city became a home to Hornaday, leaving him with several lasting memories.
“I took a journalism class from Christie Vilsack, and she was the first teacher I had who encouraged my writing. It was a journalism class, though, so I had to write,” said Hornaday.
Hornaday also spent a significant amount of time growing up in Homer, Alaska, and when he found out that both towns were experiencing meth problems, he began to do some research.
“I remember that I had heard about some meth problems going on in Mt. Pleasant and at the same time I heard about some meth problems going on in Homer, Alaska. So there were two towns that were thousands of miles away both dealing with the same problems. You could take the situations in Homer, Alaska. And just remove the names and locations and hand it to someone in Mt. Pleasant and they would say ‘Yeah, that’s out problem.’ It was the same problem and I did some research and its everywhere.”
Getting his book published was no at easy process, according to Hornaday.
“I got a lot of rejection letters, a lot. It was actually kind of bittersweet. One publishing company picked it up and then after about a year they decided they didn’t want to do it. Then another one picked it up right away. It took years. I would say it took three to four years from the firm concept in my mind of what I wanted to do to the point where I actually shaped it up to pitch to a publisher. They have an automated system where you can literally get a rejection in five minutes. You can spend half an hour to an hour putting together this query letter the way you want it and then get a rejection in five minutes. You really have to want to do it.”
Apparently, Hornaday wants to do it. He is already working on the sequel to his first book. “I have had such a good time with writing the first one, and the second one seems to be coming along at an easier pace that I will probably keep on writing. I would love for this to continue into a series.”