The Brookhaven resident’s “Dropped From Heaven Above” — a layered page turner about the exploits of a dog and his human sidekick — was released nationwide earlier this month.
Its unveiling is the culmination of a seven-year process to create and ready the project for mass consumption.
“I never had a plan; … it just sort of unfolded,” said Woods. “It was quite an experience.”
“Dropped” is a semi-autobiographical tale chronicling the adventures of four-legged Rocky and his owner, Isaac — the former based on Woods’ real-life pooch of the same name; the latter a creative stand-in for the author.
The protagonists wend their way from Atlanta to Los Angeles and back to Sarasota and Palm Beach, Fla., undertaking one adventure after another.
Woods has taken a liking to the work’s description by some as “a kinder version of Kerouac’s ‘On the Road,’ but with a dog.”
He estimated the book to be 60 percent factual — the remainder marked by embellishments.
“It’s classified as fiction, but the people who know me know that a lot of it is very real. … I’ve been on the road in those particular places,” said Woods.
Like Isaac in the book, Woods harbors visions of taking his story to the big screen. Woods’ familiarity with that world — via stints as an actor, screenwriter and indie film producer — shows up best in the “extremely visual” writing style on display in “Dropped.”
“You feel like you’re in a movie as you’re reading it,” he said.
The Brookhaven native acknowledged his chief influence is noted novelist-turned screen scribe Michael Goldman, who penned classics like “Marathon Man” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Woods, a Cross Keys High alum, nurtured his creative side early on. After majoring in theatre at the University of South Carolina, though, he created and helmed a young men’s clothing line with offices in Los Angeles and New York before delving into the entertainment industry. He returned to Atlanta in 1996, unexpectedly crossing paths with Rocky, a free spirit with a “cocky little prance,” four years later.