All in the Family

reunion, harvest 015

Author Doug McCall – the REAL writer in our family

My first cousin, Doug McCall, will be in Starkville on Thursday to sign his latest novel “By Proxy: A Final Good Deed.” He’ll be at The Book Mart on Main from 4 – 5 p.m.  If you’re in the neighborhood, come join us.

This is Doug’s second novel and a third is almost complete. His first, “Harris County” was a murder mystery he based on a true event which occurred in Houston, Texas.

Doug is a MSU graduate with a degree in civil engineering. He worked for Georgia Power & Light for several years, then switched to insurance and worked for Southern Farm Bureau.  Somewhere along the way he went into financial planning in The Woodlands.

More recently he returned to his native Mississippi and purchased a restaurant. After getting held up at gunpoint, he decided to do what he really wanted to do all along.  He wrote a book!

Without telling a soul, including his immediate family, he penned his first novel and presented it to us two years ago. His second just hit the shelves this past fall. Both books are real page turners.

“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.”

Doug is such a gentle soul, and I’m amazed that he can dream up such “Bad to the Bone” characters who spin their evil through both novels.  I’m wondering if this is his “darker side” just needing an outlet!  Nah, not possible.

“I loved “By Proxy”, said Nell Slaughter of Starkville.  “After wading through some of the books I’ve been reading lately (Mrs. Lincoln was the latest and it was a bit tedius to say the least), this was a real joy because it is  tightly written and fast paced, and the tale is woven through many (geographical) locations  I’m familiar with.”

The latest is also very poignant and I cried.  For me, that is the test of a good novel.  Any book that makes you laugh or cry is pretty darn good in my opinion.

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