Jay Paul Hodgkins, a former editor and reporter here in Ocean City a few years ago has published his first novel, Colin Rose: At Magic’s Dawn, aimed at a teen audience and available through any eBook retailer.
Hodgkins spent years as a news reporter for The Daily Times, Worcester County Times and was eventually promoted to Beachcomber editor before leaving for greener pastures (his hometown) a few years back. Since then he’s been focused on energy reporting, most recently taking a position with Princeton, NJ firm NRG Energy.
The novel is centered on a young boy – 12 year-old Colin Rose, who discovers that magic and mythical creatures are indeed real and are beginning to make themselves known to the wider world. Colin’s fate is to become the wizard that will establish and control equilibrium between the traditional world before magic exists and the one that exists after.
Hodgkins credits the inspiration for one of the characters from a piece of art he saw at Sunfest. Covering the event he was tasked to interview an artist. The one he discovered crafted trolls from wood and found objects within the forest and crafted elaborate backstories for the critters.
Hodgkins returned with a troll to the office, and while he was formulating deeper ideas about the piece of art.
“He used to torture us with the troll, making it talk and enjoying the discomfort it caused me,” I said, because my own cubicle was two down from Hodgkins at the time, and I was a favorite target.
“But Brian – I’m just a troll. Who couldn’t love me?” Hodgkins would reply in the troll voice.
Again, no one local had any idea Hodgkins was working on this project and the deeper meaning he was associating with the troll. However, secrets are not normally in the effusive Hodgkins repertoire. If you’re friends with writers it’s safe to assume they have a number of unrealized projects bouncing around their brains, but the matter of fact announcement by Jay Paul Hodgkins via Facebook took more than a few by surprise.
Colin Rose: At Magic’s Dawn is self-published and available for $2.99 at most eReader outlets. A PDF of the novel can be ordered through www.jayhodgkins.com or www.facebook.com/ColinRoseWizard.