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Former naval officer publishes first novel

August 05, 2012
  • G.M. Corrigan of Frederick, Md., is a former reporter who is now a freelance writer. He has just published a literary fiction novel, "Chasing Chickens: A Love Story."
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

Name: G.M. Corrigan          

Age: 65

City in which you reside: Frederick, Md.

Day job: Freelance writer

Book title: "Chasing Chickens: A Love Story"

Genre: Literary fiction

Synopsis of book: Set in the 1980s, "Chasing Chickens: A Love Story" is a story of deep-seated injury and longing for love and wholeness, as well as a commentary on 21st-century American social, political and religious issues. Walter, an intellectual writer for a book publisher, is assigned to write the introduction for a controversial book on religion. As he struggles to write a suitable intro, he goes through a series of encounters that nudge him away from his cerebral lifestyle toward one of greater personal integrity, love and creative insight.

Publisher: CreateSpace.com

Price: $15



What is your day job?

A former naval officer and award-winning reporter, I'm now a freelance writer with published credits in outlets that include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Examiner (religion and business reporter), Hagerstown Magazine and others. "Chasing Chickens: A Love Story" is my first novel.



What inspired you to write the book?

A broken love affair along with other life ordeals and a stint as the religion reporter for The Baltimore Examiner moved me to muse on love, faith, reason, religion, suffering, liberalism, conservatism, economics, male-female relations and more — and try to address all in one serio-comic novel. "Chasing Chickens: A Love Story" was the result. In many ways, the book is a 500-page love letter to a gal I fell for here in the area — but, alas, to no avail.



Are there other, established authors whose styles are similar to yours?

I'm thinking maybe J.P. Donleavy ("The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B," etc.), Walker Percy ("The Thanatos Syndrome"), Graham Greene ("Our Man in Havana") and maybe John Fowles ("The Magus") and Nikos Kazantzakis ("Zorba the Greek") as inspirational, if not stylistic confreres.

     
What themes did you want to present to readers?

Ancient, enduring and basic ones that have challenged thinkers for ages and influence current thinking and political theories — religion, sex, politics, male-female relations, atheism, science, faith, social convention, workplace dynamics, economics and the writing profession itself. The concept of an existentially blocked writer finding redemption may sound a familiar theme, but this narrative surrenders stunning, Eckhart Tolle-like insights, a suspenseful plot line and a satisfactory dramatic resolution — as well as, possibly, reader catharsis and answers to current and age-old questions.


What is your favorite part of the book?

The segment with Father Hoda, Walter and Pat at the rectory. The rectory scene distills so much of humanity's age-old questions about good and evil, faith and reason, the meaning of freedom and responsibility, the importance of religion and the true meaning of Christianity that it remains a favorite part of the story for me.

In the book I tried to touch all the important ideological and cultural hot buttons of the 1980s-to-present period, but in the rectory scene I tried to drill down to the essence of what people hold as important, and give some insight into the mind of God.



What was easy about writing this book?

The Pat character. I knew a woman just like her.



What was hard?

Keeping the plot line — that is, Walter's professional dilemma — sturdy enough to support the many themes explored.



Did you learn anything about yourself while writing this book?

How selfish I still am. The writing forced me to look at myself and my own, sometimes thwarted desires, and realize that even when I thought I was doing something for someone else, I really was trying to satisfy myself. It allowed me to make sense of suffering and what its true purpose is — as long as the right attitude is applied



Are you working on another writing project?

Yes. I have started a nonfiction book about the roots of today's rampant, societal polarization, which is one of the themes in "Chasing Chickens." In that book, I plan to say more about this dynamic of adversarialism, which is so much a part of our national ethos today, and how its leaking from its appropriate place in the political and economic praxis into the social practices of the population in general, is making us all wary of seeing each other as individuals instead of as expressions of one political ideology or another.



Is "Chasing Chickens" available in a Tri-State area bookstore?

No, it's not yet available in bookstores. It can only be ordered online at Amazon.com or at www.createspace.com/3710628

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