Book Release Announcement
Congratulations to Matt McGowan on the release of his novel 1971 by Auxarczen Press!
Grieving and more desperate by the minute, Fanny Harrod leaves Detroit in her deceased husband’s 1968 Pontiac Le Mans. In the front seat next to her is Bud, her 13-year-old stepson whom Fanny found out about days after she married the boy’s father. Fanny was just getting to know Bud – and getting used to the idea of being his stepmother – when her husband is killed in flight-training exercise in California.
She drives to the southwest corner of Missouri. Her brain muddled by sadness and sleep-deprivation, Fanny abandons Bud at a farm north of Cassville. She leaves the Le Mans too, keys in the ignition, and she hitches a ride to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Fanny keeps running, all the way to Southern California, where she thinks she needs to visit the place her husband died.
Unaware that Fanny has left him, Bud walks onto a farm and runs into the man who owns it. The farmer and his wife take him in, and Bud likes them right away.
Meanwhile, Barry County Sheriff Clifford Villines, who is trying to retire, embarks on an arduous and sometimes comedic effort to find the boy’s stepmother.
Matt McGowan grew up in Webb City, Missouri. He attended Missouri Southern State College (now University) and the University of Missouri, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in journalism. He was a newspaper reporter, and for many years he has worked as a science and research writer at the University of Arkansas, where he serves as Assistant Director of Research Communications.
His short fiction has appeared in several literary journals, such as Deep South Magazine, Concho River Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Arkansas Review, and others. His short story “Sucker Flats” appeared in issue ten of Elder Mountain and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.