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"Wrong Side of a Working Man" Helps Us Understand the Plight of the Working Class

About the Concept

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“Wrong Side Of A Working Man” is a ground-breaking modern-day adult illustrated fantasy novel set in the contemporary world in which Alex Cides wakes to find his wife has disappeared, his daughters fear him, and a mysterious curse has thrown him out of balance with the universe. Set in the underbelly of Los Angeles, Alex discovers that ten challenging tasks stand between him and a new start, or total destruction.

This modern-day mythic tale was written by author, filmmaker, and artist, Justin DiPego. A Los Angeles native, Dipego is the founder of DiPego Now Entertainment and currently lives in Santa Monica, California.

Please continue reading for an exclusive interview with him.

How would you describe "Wrong Side Of A Workingman?"

Wrong Side of a Workingman is the story of an electrician, plying his trade across Los Angeles when his life suddenly goes to hell. He develops a chronic pain and flights of anger. His wife leaves him, he loses his job and an East LA mystic delivers the news that a curse has been put upon him. To lift the curse, he has to perform ten mythic tasks across the Southland, to reset his balance and the balance of the city itself. Inspired by the Twelve Labors of Hercules, it’s also an inside look at chronic pain, an exploration of the hidden corners of the city, and the secret mysticism that binds us all.

How did you come up with the concept for this story?

I was inspired to tell this story on several levels. I spent many years working in construction, as a handyman and especially installing skylights, which means I got a candid peek into literally hundreds of homes and small businesses. I wanted to explore and share the glimpses into the many worlds that exist across the Southland of Los Angeles and the trials of a blue-collar tradesman working throughout the city, while also delving into my own experience with chronic pain. But I didn’t want to write an essay or a treatise, so I reached back into my love of fantasy and mythology to borrow a framework to stretch the story across.

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What type of reader do you think will enjoy this book?

Fans of Urban Fantasy and mythology will find themselves at home, but so will readers of thrillers and suspense. Los Angeles itself is a character in the story, and I hope Angelinos will find a special, insider’s take on our city, and outsiders will discover facets they never suspected.

Tell us about the central protagonist in the Wrong Side Of A Workingman, what drives him?

Alex Cides is an electrician, a grown up LA punk rocker and a loving husband and father. Though he carries the fiery passions of his Greek heritage, he is even keeled, comfortable in his masculinity and gentle with his great strength. But when the curse befalls him, he loses all that. He’s driven not only to regain his family, and right the mythic balance of the city in the process, but also to not devolve into the easy redoubt of toxic masculinity and violence.

Is there a central message to the book that you hope readers take away?

My first goal is always to tell an entertaining story, to capture the imagination of the reader and take them on an unexpected journey. But beyond that, or beneath it, I’m telling a story about people and neighborhoods we don’t see a lot in the mainstream and how interconnected we all are. I hope readers will see how Alex’s struggle to achieve personal balance exposes those connections in the world of his mythic adventure, and in our real world as well.

Do you plan on writing any more books?

Wrong Side of a Workingman is the first book of a trilogy, so I have at least two more books to write in that world, plus I have other novels brewing. I’m also a screenwriter and filmmaker and there are various projects in different stages of development always keeping me busy. Watch this space for more.

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