Bill “Slim” McCulloch’s first novel has been a long time coming.
“I tried writing the story in my 30s, but I had no idea how to write fiction so the story didn’t come together until I was in my 60s,” said McCulloch, who had careers as a journalist, musician and freelance writer before finishing his novel. “And even then it took forever to get it right.”
“A Dandy Little Game” (Open Books) was released three days after McCulloch’s 74th birthday. A battle with cancer a few years ago pushed him to the finish line. “They say nothing focuses the mind like a glimpse of one’s own mortality,” he said.
Set in Chicago during World War II, the book tells the story of an unlikely romance between a Jewish gambler and a young ingénue who is intrigued by Chicago’s gangland history.
To win his true love’s heart, the gambler stages a risky stunt, only to wind up being hunted by the law and the mob.
McCulloch, a Pittsboro resident, is already thinking about a sequel. “If I live long enough, I’ve got at least one more book in me,” he said.
He will hold a book launch party at 4 p.m. on March 22 at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. Also known as Windy City Slim, McCulloch promises to sing at the event.
Dr. Nicole Swiner sets out to nix the idea that you have to do it all in “How to Avoid the Superwoman Complex” (Amazon). Swiner suggests that too much emphasis is put on “necessary evils,” when in fact they might be detrimental to your happiness. Swiner is a family physician in Durham.
Philip Gerard is back with a historical mystery thriller set in the Outer Banks. “The Dark of the Island” (John F. Blair) tackles contemporary politics, including controversy over offshore drilling, along with the history of German saboteurs during World War I. Gerard is a professor of creative writing at UNC-Wilmington.
“As We Go Forth” (Professional Woman Publishing) is Joyce Roland’s anthology of eight African-American nurses who were in the fifth class entering Winston-Salem Teachers College in 1957 seeking a BSN degree. Roland is a retired associate professor of nursing at N.C. Central University.
In Cary writer Jennifer Riley’s mystery, “Cremation Urn” (Amazon), a young woman is thrown for a loop when she holds a mock funeral to mark the end of her marriage and becomes a suspect in her ex-husband’s death. “Cremation Urn” is the first in Riley’s Weston Investigates series.
Registration is open for the N.C. Writers’ Network 2016 Spring Conference, to be held April 23 at UNC-Greensboro. The conference features intensive workshops in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, as well as publisher exhibits, on-site lunch with author readings, and an open mic. For information and to register, visit www.ncwriters.org
Triangle-area authors: We want to hear about your new book. Send information to email@example.com. As space permits, we will mention self-published books by local authors that are for sale on commercial sites.