Just in time for Halloween, Waunakee’s Jerry McGinley writes a spooky and gruesome mystery | Entertainment


GENA KITTNER For the State Journal

Wisconsin author Jerry McGinley from Waunakee has written poetry, flash fiction, and novels. His latest mystery, “A Driftless Murder,” was published in September by the University of Wisconsin Press. In the book, a former Army medic finds human entrails while hunting in western Wisconsin. What follows is a chilling mystery involving humans hunting humans in the Wisconsin No-Drift Zone and a retired cop who appears unable to get it right according to the book.

Q: What is your background as a writer?

A: I taught high school English for 34 years and worked in the summers in the UW teaching workshops for high school AP teachers. In the 80s, I started to write poetry. Later, I edited Yahara Prairie Review, a poetry magazine, featuring poets from Wisconsin. Then came two online magazines of poetry and flash fiction. Trying to write fiction came with the evolution of word processors. I’m such a horrible typist that I could never type a 300 page story. In the 90s, I decided to try to create a novel. I ended up writing several.

Q: “A Driftless Murder” is your sixth book. Are there any overlapping characters in your previous works?

A: Two previous books had characters appearing in “A Driftless Murder”. In fact, my first novel, “Joaquin Strikes Back”, was about a high school football team. It was released in hardcover and was also recorded as an audio drama. My second novel, “Miles to Go Before I Sleep,” features Pat Donegal. He starts off as a secondary character but eventually becomes the main character. This book was published 20 years ago by The Fiction Works. Years later, I thought about relaunching Pat Donegal’s career. I have collected 10 stories titled “Lake Redemption”. I wanted reader reactions to my characters. I published it myself, only around 100 copies. Then I put Pat Donegal and Shea Sommers back to work. This is how “A Driftless Murder” was born.


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