Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Small Story for Page 3 by John W. Germond


Harry Fletcher can’t for the life of him figure out what exactly the ‘nugget’ of information his colleague, Eddie Concannon, uncovered prior to his death is. Picking his way along the threads of information, Harry soon finds himself at odds with government officials and his own newspaper seems to be involved in the collusion. Join Harry as he deciphers the clues and enjoy a journey into the world of investigative reporting set against a colorful back drop of characters and locations.


Although I wrote fiction as a child and teenager, I didn’t seriously consider writing as a career until I worked at the National Public Radio affiliate in Charleston, South Carolina.  I was hired as the secretary/receptionist fresh out of secretarial school, and I practically venerated the four journalists for whom I worked.  They talked about how great it was working in Public Radio where they didn’t have to worry about their stories clashing with the interests of advertisers or sponsors, because at the time PBS and NPR were supported entirely by government grants.  My bosses had complete Freedom of Press.

Harry Fletcher does not have that freedom.  His colleague, Eddie Concannon, was working on “A Small Story for Page Three” prior to his death.  A gurbernatorial candidate led a commission investigating corruption in the judicial, State’s Attorney’s and police departments that led to several indictments.  It was that commission that catapulted him into favor for the candidacy for governor.  Concannon told his wife he’d uncovered a “nugget” prior to his death, and Harry decides to follow it up before writing the story.  As he follows the leads, he clashes with his publisher who makes it clear—the editors and reporters do not determine what goes into the newspaper; he does.  It doesn’t matter who has corroborated the story—if the candidate says it didn’t happen; it didn’t.  Printing it could hurt the man’s candidacy.  (And Richard Nixon never had any tape recorders in the Oval Office because he said he didn’t.  Printing the Watergate story could hurt Nixon’s presidential legacy. Really?)  Why is Marcotte so invested in killing this story?

Harry is an old-fashioned newspaper man.  He’s more interested in writing the whole story than in finding a sound-bite or grabbing the front page.  He tracks down leads and corroborates them with more than one source, and he protects his sources.  But we don’t just see him at work.  We see him at home where his marriage to a younger woman is going through a rough patch, which doesn’t help matters.  One of his sources is an attractive woman whose husband is also out of town, and an envious colleague reports a bit of flirtatious banter during an interview as a full-blown affair.  While the story is told in first person, Mr. Germond’s characters are all fully-drawn, interesting, and engaging.  The story is fast-paced and a real page-burner.

I would love to see more from this retired newsman who finally wrote that novel so many journalists have stuffed in a drawer, but he left us three days before this book was released.  At least he got to see the galleys.  RIP Mr. Germond, and thank you.

Length: 224 Pages
Price:  $5.95

You’ll notice I always include the publisher’s buy link.  That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price from the publisher.  Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%.  When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left.  So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40.  If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive.  Plug the USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory.  I actually download my books using “Save As” to a “Books” file I created on my computer that’s sorted by my publisher, friends, and books “to review,” and then transfer them to my Kindle from there.  That way, if there’s a glitch with my Kindle, the books are on my computer.  Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

Thanks for visiting. RIW

No comments:

Post a Comment