Anyone who thinks life starts to decline once you move into a retirement community has obviously never met Don McKinney, a Springmoor resident who has recently published his first crime novel. His book, “Murder of a Modern Woman,” is a 26-year project that he was able to complete after moving into Springmoor in 2009.
McKinney has a background in writing. He worked in magazine editing for 21 years, and was an editor of a men’s magazine before moving on to work for the prestigious McCall’s Magazine for 17 years. He also taught at the University of South Carolina and has written pieces for Reader’s Digest. During the early stages of his career he started work on this novel, but work and life forced it to take a back seat. It was only after he retired and moved to Springmoor that he was able to continue his work on it.
Knowing McKinney’s background, it’s very easy to see that he drew inspiration for his novel from his own real-life work experience. The story revolves around an editor and “sometimes detective,” Jack Linder, and Thalia Stone, and editor of a popular women’s magazine Modern Woman. Linder has been hired to find out who is sending threatening letters to Stone and find out if there’s someone out to get her. Its setting is in the late 1970s and early ‘80s in New York City. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed. He admits it’s hard to write a successful crime novel nowadays unless it’s part of a series, but hopes this one can hold its own.
This has been very much a self-project for Mr. McKinney, but the amount of attention he is receiving is shocking to him. “I don’t expect a lot of attention, this was very much a self-publishing operation,” he said. The books that he did order, have already sold out and he is looking forward to getting more published. He has also had a book signing here at Springmoor that was very popular among the residents. The possibility of another book is on the horizon now at a local bookstore.
Let Mr. McKinney’s work be an example of how life can begin again at a retirement community. Some things that you never thought you could ever scratch off your to-do list can finally be accomplished once you have the luxury of retirement living.If you would like to pick of a copy of “Murder of a Modern Woman,” it’s on sale now through Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.