Gateway Professor in the Running for Books

Gateway Community and Technical College English professor, Rock D. Neelly, is in the running to win the Books by the Banks Peoples Choice Author Award for his first novel, The Purple Heart Detective Agency.

Fans can vote on their favorite writers by selecting four winners in the Peoples Choice Book Awards category and may vote multiple times. There is no cash prize for winners in this category, but winners will get an award and special recognition at the festival. Categories include: Best Fiction Book, Best Nonfiction Book, Best Kids Book, and Best Young Adult Book. The contest is sponsored by Scripps Howard Foundation.

To help Neelly win, go to http://booksbythebanks.org/author-awards/, and vote for Purple Heart Detective Agency. Dont wait. Voting ends Oct. 1.

The Neellys novel is described as The Hurt Locker meets Chinatown or American Sniper meets Sam Spade tells of two veterans, turned detectives, seeking a missing celebrity. Taking a new case with a beautiful client seems straight forward enough, but each step becomes more dangerous than the last as these detective soldiers move toward a reckoning requiring dependence on each other for survival.

Neelly has been working behind the scenes on detective novels as a freelance editor. With some encouragement from his mentor, Robert Beattie, he decided to try his hand at detective writing. His inspiration for The Purple Heart Detective Agency came from veterans in his classes at Gateway. I just really admire these guys, said Neelly. Neelly plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to the veterans program at Gateway. He sees this an opportunity to give back to these American heroes.

The detective novel is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com and other on-line retailers.

For more information about the Books by the Banks event, go to http://booksbythebanks.org.