For over thirty years, Don Weeks was among the most popular radio personalities in the Capital District region of New York State. He received a Marconi Award for radio excellence in 2005 and was inducted into to the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame four years later. He had just completed a rough draft of Scarecrow on the Marsh when he died of Merkle Cell Cancer in March of 2015. Author royalties from this project will be donated to the WGY Christmas Wish Campaign, which benefits a variety of charitable causes. Weeks worked tirelessly over the years to help raise money for the campaign.
Jonathan Weeks has published several books on the topic of baseball–four non-fiction projects and one novel. His latest work, a mystery-thriller entitled Scarecrow on the Marsh, is a posthumous collaboration with his father–former radio icon Don Weeks, who passed away in 2015. Weeks finished the book in fulfillment of a promise he made to his father before he died.
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About the Book:
Title: Scarecrow on the Marsh: A Cape Cod Thriller
Author: Don Weeks
Publisher: All Things That Matter
When the mutilated body of renowned cosmetic surgeon Randall Landry turns up at a secluded bayside marsh in the town of Sandwich, Police Chief Thom Burrough’s life is turned upside down. While investigating the murder, he and BarnstableCounty coroner Abby Rhodes will uncover a plot more sinister than anything they could have imagined. On the outskirts of Chatham, a group of terrorists has assembled to unleash destruction on Cape Cod.
Would you call yourself a born writer?
No—I may have been born with the ambition to write but I don’t consider myself a natural writer. The process has always been grueling for me. I’m one of those guys who tampers with everything as I go. I can’t get to chapter 2 before fixing Chapter 1.
What was your inspiration for Scarecrow on the Marsh?
Scarecrow on the Marsh is actually my father’s novel. It was his lifelong dream to be published. He was able to complete a rough draft before he fell seriously ill with Merkel Cell Cancer. As he lay dying, I promised him I would finish the book and try to find a publisher. It was the most difficult project I have ever taken on.
What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
I like stories that feature underdog characters beating overwhelming odds. I think this is a theme that has universal appeal.
How long did it take you to complete the novel?
Scarecrow on the Marsh took about six months to complete. I honestly thought it would be an easier process. But I was wrestling with the grief of losing my father. We were very close. And every session with his manuscript opened up fresh wounds. The changes that needed to be made went beyond grammar and punctuation. I struggled to preserve every element of his story. I think he would have been pleased with the final product.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
I’m rather obsessive about writing. I usually get up around 5 am and go straight to my computer. I often wake up with fresh ideas. They don’t appear to me in dreams or anything. They’re just there when I wake up. If I don’t start writing quickly they fade away. I usually spend two or three hours writing every day. I also work 40 hours a week at another job.
What did you find most challenging in writing this book?
Like I said before, my father and I were close. I considered him my best friend. We shared similar interests in everything and gave each other advice on just about every topic. We lived over three hours apart, but I would visit him regularly. We would talk on the phone for hours at a time. Losing him was devastating. Though he had a very successful career in radio, this novel was a lifelong dream for my father. So that put a lot of pressure on me. I wasn’t sure if I had the emotional fortitude or the writing skills to finish it.
What do you love most about being an author?
I love the escape that writing provides. There’s no better therapy (at least when your writing is going well). I love the feeling of triumph you get when a publisher offers you a contract. And the first time you get a copy of your own book in your hands—it’s a real high.
Did you go with a traditional publisher, a small press or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
I knew my father would have wanted his book to be traditionally published. I didn’t have a literary agent so most of the big publishing houses were closed to me. Since his novel was set on Cape Cod, it fell into the genre of a “cozy mystery.” I started to reach out to publishers who specialize in that sort of thing. In the end, I chose a small indie publisher with a print-on-demand format. I really like the arrangement. It decreases publishing costs and increases author revenue. All of my author royalties will be donated to my father’s favorite charity—the WGY Christmas Wish Campaign. It benefits sick and underprivileged children in upstate New York. My father was part of the annual campaign throughout his radio career, which lasted for thirty years.
Where can we find you on the web?
I’m not promoting any of my own work at this time. I created a Facebook Author Page for my Dad with links to purchasing information and book giveaways. There are also pictures from his radio career and private life. Anyone interested can go to Facebook and search for Don Weeks.