Four authors coming for signing event next Friday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 31, 2016

By Deirdre Parker Smith

South Main Book Co., 110 S. Main St., formerly Literary Bookpost, will have four authors signing their books Friday, Aug. 5. All will be there at 6 p.m.

The first is Nancy Stancill, author of “Winning Texas” and “Saving Texas,” featured on this page.

Salisbury’s Philip Herman will sign “Chasing Shadows,” a mystery in the art world, and “Behind the Canvas,” a sequel about Nazi art thefts.

Singer Marie Norway will sign her memoir, “It Started With a Dare.” It details her life on the road and tells how her career and family grew.

J. Robert Kinney will sign his first book, “Precipice,” a thriller. Kinney is from the Concord/Kannapolis area. Kinney answered a few questions about his writing and the book through email:

Q: The book is thriller with a lot of mystery and shadowy figures. Where did you get your inspiration for that?

A: I’ve always been interested in this type of story, with characters in the shadows and a lot of intrigue. When I was young, I read The Hardy Boys and various whodunit tales. Then I grew up reading Ludlum, Grisham, Peretti, etc. And now, I have a Brad Meltzer on my bedside table and a stack of other mysteries on my to-read list. My interests fuel my inspiration for my own writing.

In addition, mysteries are of particular intrigue for me because I’ve always loved puzzles. And mystery stories are puzzles at heart. I like to try to solve them and figure out what’s going on before the author reveals it fully. So when I write in the genre, I like to keep things hidden, dropping little hints and clues along the way, but refraining from full revelation until near the end to give readers that chance to build theories and try to solve it along the way.

Q: You’ve studied some fascinating subjects. Has that helped with your writing?

A: Absolutely. I studied psychology as an undergraduate and forensic science for a master’s degree, so criminal motivations and how to investigate their crimes is something I’ve spent a lot of time learning about and seeking to understand. Whether it’s knowing how to read blood spatter or gunshot residue patterns to understanding how AFIS (the national fingerprint database) works to having a knowledge of serial killer psychology, I try to instill that knowledge into the stories I write. And with my current education in terrorism studies and international relations, you can expect to see those topics pop up in future books as well!

In addition, I think the utilization of my education in my book adds a realistic feel to the writing that is often lacking in the genre. When I come across poor forensic science or other elements/facts in a book that are incorrect, that really pulls me out of the story, so I do my best to ensure the procedures I describe are as accurate as the medium and genre allow.

(For his full Q&A, see