please welcome Kirk Haggerty
to Mid Week Tease
“Heart of Texas” by Kirk Haggerty
How does a journalist from liberal Boston survive a year in conservative Texas?
Daniel Preis, a young journalist from Boston, wants to work at the prestigious Globe. Instead, he scrapes the bottom of the barrel at a soft-porn magazine called ‘Leather and Lace’. His reputation takes a turn for the worse when he writes a rebuttal on how dumb Texas people are. Only to learn that his next reporting assignment is a year in Texas (specifically a town called Hamilton), to meet the locals. There, he encounters motorcycle gangs, starts a book shop, gets his nose broken in a shooting accident, kills a rattlesnake, chases tornadoes and falls in love ... A new style of fish-out-of-water, romantic comedy.
Well, I became an overnight pariah at least in Texas; the new public enemy number one, right up there with bin Laden and Dillinger. My hate mail box rose to astronomical heights, but Mr. Bronsworth was enjoying every minute of it. He got his desired shit storm and a jump in sales. Like a seedy network producer in ecstasy over soaring ratings, a virtual Scrooge McDuck wallowing in mountains of money. I was hoping it would soon pass, like a headache or a bad dream. It didn’t.
“Have a seat,” said Uncle Scrooge – er, I mean, the boss. I sat down and accepted one of his bourbon whiskeys. He had the best window view of Fenway Park, and was a devout Red Sox fan, with paraphernalia tacked across his office wall. “Son, you’re the best damn asset this magazine has.” His Boston accent was stronger than anyone I’ve met. It was like a character from an old gangster movie. “It’s not the lingerie or the titties, but your blog.”
“Thanks. Just doing my job.”
“I want to send you on a wicked assignment.” Everybody in Boston likes to throw in the word ‘wicked’ to spice things up. “You’ll be down there for a while.”
“Down where?” I hoped he meant Australia.
“My boy, you’re going to good old Texas. I’m sending you down there to find out first hand if they’re that backwards, and write it up.”
I had to take another sip of whiskey to calm my nerves. Was he sending me to my death? “Mr. Bronsworth, they’ll shoot me if I even set foot there.”
Ten Facts about main character:
1. Daniel Preis is an only child from Boston, whose father is German.
2. Most people mispronounce his family name as ‘Preece’ but it’s supposed to be ‘Price’.
3. He loves to write. He got an iMac for his 13th birthday and wrote Star Trek stories on his friend’s blog.
4. After college he lived in Berlin for 4 years as a journalist for the nightclub magazine ‘Berlin-Berlin’.
5. Daniel currently works as a blogger at ‘Leather and Lace’ magazine, writing about the political culture of young people in America.
6. His parents own an exclusive bookstore in Boston, but Daniel doesn’t want to work under the shadow of his parents.
7. He loves his girlfriend Debbie, but due to his naiveté, he can’t see that she doesn’t love him quite as much.
8. Daniel is too often manipulated by his boss, Mr. Bronsworth, to do anything he pleases or be fired. This forces Daniel to accept the one-year assignment in Texas.
9. Outside of writing, Daniel is good at kickboxing.
10. Daniel has to learn to widen his perspective about people in other cultures (i.e. Texas) and win the love of Karen, his assistant manager at the new bookstore in Texas which he has opened.
Kirk Haggerty was born and raised in Los Angeles, but has been living and working in Germany for over 20 years. He is married and has three sons.
Kirk started writing in 2009 and Heart of Texas is his fourth published novel.
Kirk’s other books are: How to Steal a Lion, The Spymaster of Cologne and The Notorious Expat Wives (with Lilian Kendrick)