By Donna Campbell Smith
Author RJ McCarthy’s newest novel, released recently by Scuffletown Press, is a departure from his crime fiction stories into literary fiction. One of the Boys is set in a rural Southern town.
Synopsis: Case Parnell’s coming-of-age is framed by the wisdom of Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird). Case anticipates a world based on fairness. Disabused of this keystone belief by his parents’ divorce, his life is traumatically altered by a football injury and further scorched by a mindlessly cruel comment from a coach. Case enters adulthood adrift.
Through subsequent years, though his morality remains intact, his perpetual struggle with self-expression leaves him questioning the purpose of his life. Uplifted by his few close relationships, Case battles to retain hope and to remain true to himself, refusing to let someone else define him. Ultimately, he comes to respect the life he has compared to one he once tried to imagine.
Raised in New York, RJ McCarthy has lived in the South for sixty years, and for years was a member of the Franklin County Arts Council. He won the 2015 Carolina Prize in Writing for his short story, “Do You Love Me?” and the 2016 Carolina Prize for “Honor.”
McCarthy received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and worked as a Clinical Psychologist before retiring in 2006 to write full-time. Prior to his retirement, he pursued an unofficial apprenticeship, writing in the niches between family and work demands for thirty-five years. His innumerable agent rejections speak to his perseverance.
McCarthy has published seven novels, including this most recent One of the Boys. He and his wife, Susan, reside in Norfolk, Virginia, together with five aging rescued animals, two dogs and three cats.
One of the Boys and McCarthy’s other titles may be purchased on Amazon.com.