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Rob Jeffers has it all: fame, money, and the life of a rock and roll star. Frank Peters is a regular guy, a newspaper reporter who just happens to have a passing acquaintance with the Great Jeffers. As Jeffers’s career shoots up, Peters’s fortunes follows in his wake.
And when Jeffers passes away at the height of his fame, Peters’s life begins a steady unravelling. Until a chance encounter on a minor story gives him a new outlook on the celebrity lifestyle, and new hope for his own future.
After graduating, I decided to make a stake for my future in California. Naturally, imbued with youthful naïveté (a nice euphemism for stupidity), I submitted my portfolio at the L.A. Times and The San Francisco Examiner. I naturally figured that it would require only a cursory examination for them to see my undeniable genius and hire me on to work on their front pages.
Didn’t work out that way, not at all, and by the time I’d worked my way through the second tier, and then the third tier papers, I finally managed to snag my first professional newspaper job.
Lodi, for Chrissakes. I mean, that Fogerty guy even wrote a song once about the dumpiness of Lodi. However, by the time they floated the offer, I was so hungry, cold, and desperate that I would have taken anything. Then, once I’d moved my few knapsacks of belongings down there and found a room I could rent by the month, came what seemed like the final indignity.
They put me to work writing obituaries.
Understand, in the early eighties, practically everyone in newspaper work got started in the obits. Even so, it seemed like the drudgiest of drudge work. Six days a week, I sat at my desk, scanning the death notices, calling hospitals and checking with the cops to fulfill my daily quota of morbidity.
About the Author:
A high-school teacher, former college instructor and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of numerous short horror stories. He’s also written three crime thrillers, The Group, When You Have to Go There, and And the Devil Walks Away and one horror novel, The Litter. Recently, he’s begun working on the Sam Quinton private eye series. The first Quinton book, Squatter’s Rights, was nominated for the 2021 Shamus award as Best First PI Novel. The second book, Heel Turn, was released in March of 2021, while the third in the series, Double Frame, came out in March of 2022. The fourth Sam Quinton book, Clean Win, will be released in March of 2023.
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