Hard Way Out by Robert Mackey

All John wants is a little inspiration for his next book. And what better place to find it than among the homeless of Spokane, Washington? At least, that was what he told himself when he packed a suitcase, left his wife and teenage son, and settled in beneath the underpass to make new friends.


Now, he’s the only person in what he’s named “the living room” with fresh clothes, a subzero tent, and warm blankets. The people living under the highway, though, are far more than just fodder for an interesting story.

Bear, a giant of a man with a kind smile and infinite patience, takes an interest in John when he sees the man talking to himself—another experiment—and offers to show him the ropes of homelessness. And it consists of far more than anyone would expect. Through the kindness of strangers, the strength in numbers, and a few physical altercations, the limits of John’s body and sanity are tested in a world everyone else would rather ignore altogether. But when it comes down to what really matters, what lies beneath it all, John has to come to terms with both why he really left home in the first place and just what type of man he wants to be.

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Robert Mackey is a retired construction worker and real estate investor turned writer. Robert’s works intended for the mg/ya age groups are free of sex, killing and profanity. His works for adult audiences can’t even begin to make this claim.

Robert currently resides near the megalopolis of Addy, Washington, a hamlet working desperately to attain the coveted ‘One Horse’ status. So far all they have is those stick ponies you know, the stick with the little plastic head at the end that you hold between your legs and run around playing cowboy? Actually, half the people in town have those and the other half have stick cows. Every spring the people with the ponies round up the people with the cows and chase them into the hills to pasture for the summer. It’s pretty quiet around town in the summer. (Got a little sidetracked there.)

Robert lives there with his lovely wife Janice and his teenage son Joshua who has a vocabulary consisting of two sentences which Joshua feels are sufficient to get him through the balance of his life. They are as follows, “Huh?” and “I don’t know.” In case you have any toddlers and are trying to teach them to speak, these few words should be all they need to master in order to make it through high school. These sentences must always be used in conjunction with one another and in the order in which they’ve been presented.

Robert lives by the following adage: No matter how many heads have to roll in the attainment of you goals, be certain to smile and wave at them as they pass. It’s best to do your beheading on a hill with your opponent uphill from you to insure the head actually rolls and to prolong the amount of time you get to smile and wave. (Very important.)

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