Dr. Jeff Newberry, a professor at ABAC as well as the Poet in Residence will publish his first novel, “A Stairway to the Sea” this December.
After five and a half years of working on the novel, Newberry will fulfill one of his biggest dreams. Newberry says he has been writing most of his life, and when he was younger he wanted to become the next Stephen King.
He earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. Not long after earning his Ph.D., he started to work on his novel during the summers.
After hearing an excerpt of “A Stairway to the Sea” at a writing conference, Pulpwood Press moved to contact him immediately.
“My friend was the one who was reading the excerpt at the conference, and Pulpwood Press told him to get in touch in me as they wanted to hear more,” Newberry says.
Then in July, Newberry discovered that his novel would be getting published.
“A Stairway to the Sea” is a mystery novel focusing on an Iraqi war veteran and the Gulf War.
Although the novel is wrapped in politics and intrigue, it also deals with more familiar themes such as home and friendship.
Newberry says his hometown was a big inspiration for the fictional town in his novel.
Formerly having distaste for his hometown of Ports Saint Joe, Newberry found himself appreciating his hometown after writing about it.
The novel is written in first person and Newberry had to do a lot of researching. He thanks his friend Vince Justin for help with resources. “This novel includes many different police procedures and laws. I would ask him about different types of police terminology at 11 at night.”
The novel is nostalgic to him, as it deals with the first Gulf War and partisanship.
Newberry’s hard work paid off and “A Stairway to the Sea” will be available in hard cover and Kindle in December, and soft cover in the spring.