Books

Wendell’s Dr. J. cleans up with crime novel

“Sweet Carolina Morning” is the second in the Willow Hill series by Southern fiction writer Susan Schild. In this novel, Linny Taylor is nearly 40 and about to marry her love if circumstances don’t get in the way.
“Sweet Carolina Morning” is the second in the Willow Hill series by Southern fiction writer Susan Schild. In this novel, Linny Taylor is nearly 40 and about to marry her love if circumstances don’t get in the way. Lyrical Press

“Unclean Payback” (CreateSpace) is the debut novel for Wendell resident Jerry Hayes. Hayes based the book on events he observed as a janitorial contractor.

“After developing a love for writing in Vietnam in the late ’60s and completing a course in the fundamentals of writing, I thought it would be interesting to give folks a peek into the world of housekeeping,” he said. “It’s very deceptive how a rest room can look clean but be crawling with germs.”

The story of John Colby, a good man trying hard to get ahead, is fiction, but was inspired by the racism Hayes experienced as a business owner. It fueled his anger against a system that was slow to implement reforms that would allow participation by minority-owned businesses.

“Shame to say, but it took probably 15 years to write, because I would write bits and pieces at different times,” he said.

Hayes, who has owned Dr J Building Services for more than 30 years, says most people call him Dr. J. He spent a year as a human-interest writer for a bi-weekly newspaper and continues to study writing on his own.

New titles

“Sweet Carolina Morning” (Lyrical Press) is the second in the Willow Hill series by Southern fiction writer Susan Schild. In this novel, Linny Taylor is nearly 40 and about to marry her love if circumstances don’t get in the way. The books are set in the fictional North Carolina town of Willow Hill. Schild, who lives in Johnston County, categorizes the books as wholesome reads. The series’ third book – featuring a girls’ trip to Dollywood in an RV – is scheduled to be published in January.

“A Chance for Change” (UNC Press) by Clayton native Crystal R. Sanders explores how the Child Development Group of Mississippi Head Start program produced a political battle between poor black mothers and grandmothers and white Southern congressmen. The book tackles issues including educational justice in the South, the importance of early childhood education and the post-1964 civil rights movement. It is part of the John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture.

Mary Ann Claud continues the saga of the dysfunctional Ward family in “Whirlygig” (Lystra Books). The book, set in Parkersburg, S.C., tells of the challenges facing an ambitious and bright woman who refuses to accept the status quo. Claud, who began writing professionally in the 1970s, lives in Tryon.

Bookwatch

Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett will talk about her book “Carolina Israelite: How Harry Golden Made Us Care About Jews, the South, and Civil Rights” (UNC Press) at 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 18, on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Harry Golden was one of the most famous North Carolinians after his book “Only in America” took the country by storm. Hartnett tells how and why this editor of a small Charlotte newspaper gained fame and helped the country through challenging times.

Triangle-area authors: We want to hear about your new book. Send information to bookbeat@newsobserver.com. As space permits, we will mention self-published books by local authors that are for sale on commercial sites.

  Comments