Well, no wonder I’m a mediocre writer. My cousin Doug hogged all the literary ability in my family.
Doug McCall, who never wrote anything longer than a greeting card as far as I know, has published his first novel, and it’s a page turner and an all nighter! The Jackson, Mississippi native secretly penned the work off and on for the past 15 years. He didn’t tell a soul, just plugged away, developing a killer plot and a truly good read.
“Keeping my writing secret was a no-brainer for me,” he told me sheepishly. “Although it did present challenges from time to time. Having taken early retirement, fielding questions about how I spent my free time, while apparently doing nothing productive, became harder to answer. Having one of my sons living with me for awhile made things complicated. I would wait until he left for work each day, then hit the keyboard.”
“My reason for secrecy was to avoid embarrassment if my efforts fell flat on their face,” he continued. “I reasoned that a private failure was better than a public debacle. Not until the book was in print did I tell anyone – including family.”
I might add, that includes me, his first cousin who corresponds with him weekly. I’m the one always bragging about the books I’m writing – but not a single one has gone to press. Here, he up and trumps me while I’m twiddling my thumbs.
But I’m really proud of him and his exceptional writing ability. His use of imagery is remarkable and I was transported to Harris County, Texas where the plot is hatched – in and around Houston and Austin. Doug worked in the area for a number of years. A civil engineer and Mississippi State University graduate, he later earned his MBA and became an estate planner. The plot is loosely based on a real life experience he had with a family estate in Texas.
A central figure in the novel is homicide detective, Pete Scallion, who became obsessed with an unsolved, brutal murder that was committed in 1978. The ruthless “perp” rises to the second highest government position in the state and is positioned to become governor. All the while, Scallion keeps an eye on his Number One suspect and waits patiently. A narrow window of opportunity provides Scallion a chance to bring the suspect to justice.
It contains some really unsavory characters, and I’m wondering which of my family members he based them on – including one really deluded female. Hmmm.
The book may be ordered through Barnes and Nobles.com or Amazon.com. There are several other book seller web sites listing it, but he said those two are the most reputable.