Del Mar writer’s novel ‘August 9th’ plays with the idea of ‘what if?’

“What if?”

It’s a question we often ask ourselves, and a question many of Stu Schreiber’s readers have asked while reading his debut novel, “August 9th.”

The story begins on Aug. 9, 1969, when Dan Brewster, an 18-year-old student at UC Los Angeles, goes to a Led Zeppelin concert with his girlfriend, Maggie. Near the end of the band’s encore, he and a girl in the next row lock eyes — twice.

“It’s an overwhelming human connection that is rare,” explains Schreiber, a longtime Del Mar resident. “It impacts him.”

Although they don’t say a word, the pair’s momentary connection stays etched in Dan’s mind. From there, the story follows the main character’s life for the next 40 years — a story of life and love, joy and sorrow.

“People can’t put it down because it’s compelling, but it also lingers with them afterward,” he said. “It raises questions in their own lives, and I was hoping that that would happen.”

Schreiber will be the featured speaker at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the monthly “Local Author Showcase” at the Del Mar Library.

Although the book is not based on his life, some of the characters and story details reflect his experiences. He recalled the moment he met his former girlfriend 45 years ago at Hollywood Park Racetrack.

“I saw this girl who captured my eye,” Schreiber said. “It turned into (us) being inseparable for the next four years. She moved to Del Mar with me and is the woman that I probably should have married.”

A Del Mar resident for more than 40 years, Schreiber has had careers as an entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of a public company, insurance industry executive, business coach, spin instructor and racetrack clocker.

From business plans to PowerPoint presentations, Schreiber said he has always enjoyed writing, and has even co-written six books on how to start and grow a small or home-based business. But “August 9th,” available on Amazon, is Schreiber’s first novel.

“My artistic expression has always been through writing, but until just recently, it’s been nonfiction,” he said. “It’s been very rewarding and very flattering to get the kind of response that I’ve had with it.”

“August 9th” is available on Amazon.com.

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