1. Clog!

PUBLISHED IDan Smith head shotN
: 2014.

THE AUTHOR:  Dan Smith.


THE PUBLISHER: Square D (self-pub).

SUMMARY: Coming of age story of a high school senior whose family has fractured and he finds himself at a new school in the isolated mountains of North Carolina. He is a good athlete, so fitting in is not a major problem. He is recruited for the nationally-prominent square dance team (winner of three national championships) because mononucleosis has decimated the squad and he adjusts well, loving the sport.

The book concentrates on Eb McCourry’s adjustment and growth in light of a number of challenges. He faces violence, pedophilia, uncertainty about his future, his first love, the poverty of his past and finds inspiration in a crusty old coach who takes him under his wing.

It is a book with strong women characters (the square dance coach is based on the legendary Kay Wilkins, who died recently) and pits country vs. city, wealth vs. poverty, heritage vs. ambition.

THE BACK STORY: CLOG! is based on a true story, one I witnessed as a senior in high school. I researched it through newspaper and school files, talking to coaches and former dancers and the first draft required 28 days to write and a year to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

WHY THIS TITLE?: My young grandgirl told her friend Gracie when CLOG! came out, “My pampa has a new book called CLOG! And it’s not about what happens to the toilet.”

WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Heavy action (football and square dance, a violent father and one of the football players), good love story, politics of the times, feminist angle, good feel for 1963 and for the people and “place” of the mountains of North Carolina.

Clog  2!COMMENTS: 
Author Joe Hill, recently tweeted, ‘Coming up with fresh story ideas is an overvalued skill. Coming up with fresh ways to telling them is an undervalued skill.’ In CLOG! author Dan Smith has managed to achieve both.” William Wallace.

CLOG! does what great fiction should do: take you away from your life for a while. In this case, you’re in for a fun ride! ” Janeson Keeley.

“Dan Smith captures time and place through details and action. It was a nice trip back to that era. … CLOG! is a moving, inspiring and entertaining story.” Judy Ayyildiz (40 Thorns)

This is a great read. The author brings to life the rare and precious world of competitive dancing in the mountains of North Carolina a half century ago.” Roland Lazenby (Michael Jordan: The Life)

“Loved the story and every page of this book. It is a must read for anyone who grew up in the 60s, as well as anyone curious about that time. I should be embarrassed to say that one of my criteria for a good book is, would this make a great movie! And yes, yes, yes, this would! Eb is an unforgettable character.” Daph (internet reviewer)

AUTHOR PROFILE: This was my first novel and, after 50 years as a journalist, it was a college education. I wrote the first draft in a heartbeat (the story’s been hanging there since I was a teenager), then found out what writing a novel means. I have never worked so hard, nor been so thoroughly gratified by a project before and I still have a great deal to learn about the genre. A great deal. But I’m happy with CLOG! because, first, it was the story I wanted to tell about the people I love and respect. It is a story about my heritage, about a culture that is struggling to survive and about the dignity of the mountain people of North Carolina.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: As I mentioned, this is a story about greed vs. culture; rich vs. poor; city vs. country; ambition vs. heritage. It is about young women and young men learning who they are at a time (1963) of great transition in our country. It is a story of preservation and struggle and ultimate triumph.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: On Amazon page.

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Clog-Novel-Dan-Smith/dp/149377218X/ref=sr_1_5_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418596500&sr=1-5&keywords=clog!+paperback Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4526454

PRICE: Free Kindle download for AmazonPrime subscribers; otherwise $3.99 Kindle, $15 paperback.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: pampadansmith@gmail.com

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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