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McKinney Finishes Novel in Retirement

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Don McKinneyDon McKinney

Three years ago in an interview with The Retirement Resource Guide, Don McKinney mentioned he would like to work on a mystery novel he had begun many years ago. As a resident of Raleigh’s Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community, he was continuing to write, but monthly book reviews and editing Springmoor’s newsletter might leave time to finish his first attempt at novel-writing.

And apparently it did. The recent publication of Murder of a Modern Woman, his first crime novel, ended a 26-year project left on the back burner until moving into Springmoor in 2009.

McKinney’s broad background in writing included magazine editing for 21 years and serving as editor of a men’s magazine, True. He moved on to work for the prestigious McCall’s Magazine for 17 years, later teaching at the University of South Carolina and writting pieces for Reader’s Digest. During the early stages of his career he began working on the novel, but work and life prevented its completion until he retired and moved to Springmoor.

Murder of a Modern WomanMurder of a Modern Woman

In view of his background, it’s easy to see that McKinney drew inspiration from his own life-work experience. The story revolves around an editor and “sometimes detective” Jack Linder and Thalia Stone, a popular women’s magazine editor. Thalia hires Linder to find out who is sending her threatening letters and perhaps is “out to get her.” Its setting is New York City in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Plenty of twists and turns keep the reader interested although McKinney knew it was hard to write a successful crime novel nowadays except as part of a series. That explains his shock at the amount of interest the novel has received.

“I didn’t expect a lot of attention,” he says, “This was very much a self-publishing operation.” Meanwhile, the books he had ordered have already sold out, and more are on the way; the possibility of another book is definitely on the horizon, thus launching his own crime novel series.

If you would like to pick up a copy of Murder of a Modern Woman, it’s on sale now through Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.