Everybody on Facebook is involved in this thing where you’re given a number and you have to reveal that many facts about yourself. I thought this would work, too, for my books, so I’m making it a series here at the blog. First up, five fun facts about one of my earlier works, Pithed: an Andy Farmer Mystery.

1) My father gave me the idea for this story. One night I get this call from my dad about an idea he had for a murder mystery. My father has read mysteries for as long as I can remember, and this idea revolved around a high school teacher who tries to solve the murder of his principal. As it happens, my father is a retired educator, and he taught biology for several years at the secondary level before moving on to administration. Every time I sell this book at an event I assure readers that it’s not based on a true story.

2) The high school where the book is set is based on my alma mater, which has an interesting history. Andy Farmer works at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings High School, which is a fictional setting. The school is actually based on the Jacksonville school I attended, Nathan B. Forrest High School. That’s right, it’s the same Forrest High that’s made the news lately. You’ve probably read about the petition to change the school’s name – as I hear it, in the late 50s a group of women heading a Confederate memorial type organization wanted a school named for Forrest to protest desegregation. So ever since then we’ve had a school named for a guy who helped form the Klan. I can recall petitions going around to change the name when I attended school, but we didn’t have the Internet to help spread the word.

3) The book cover won an award. This cover was designed by Stacey King, and it won an award for Best eBook Cover, Mystery at the EPIC Awards. Pretty cool, huh?

4) I wrote the first draft longhand. For the longest time, I wrote everything in notebooks. I had a technique where I’d map out the chapters, write a proposed first line to each chapter, and go from there. I employed that with Pithed and it came out pretty close to how I mapped it. I don’t write much longhand anymore, mainly because I can’t read my own writing now.

5) Pithed is the thinnest of my books. When you line up my books spines out, Pithed is super slim. It’s 117 pages in print, and it shouldn’t take you long to read.

Just makes you want to run right out and buy it, huh? Hope you enjoyed today’s trivia. I’ll be back with another book.