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Local writer to release novel, ‘Faces Of The Gone’

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The book cover of “Faces of the Gone” by Brad Parks.

Reception is Tuesday at Christchurch

The public is invited to Christchurch School for a reception marking the debut of mystery novelist Brad Parks’ first novel, “Faces of the Gone,” at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8, the day the book (the first in a series) is released by St. Martin’s Press.

Parks draws from his experiences as a staff writer at the Washington Post and the Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) to create the novel’s main character, Carter Ross, an investigative reporter for the fictional Newark Eagle Examiner.

“The inspiration for Faces of the Gone is a real-life quadruple homicide I covered for The Star-Ledger that took place over Thanksgiving weekend in Newark in 2004,” explained Parks. “Newark is a natural place to set a crime novel, because obviously some bad things happen there, but what really fascinates me is how the good people living there deal with—and overcome—those bad things.  Their strength is one of the main threads in my fiction.

“I spent 10 years as a reporter in Newark and came to love the city’s history, character and people.  It’s a place with so much energy and character, and it really loads up a writer’s toolbox with possibilities,” said Parks.

While set in New Jersey, Parks’ crime fiction writing came to life after he and his family moved to Middlesex County. Parks’ wife, Melissa Taylor, is director of guidance at Christchurch School, where the couple lives with their young children. “It can be a bit of disconnect, living in such a beautiful place while writing these gritty crime novels,” said Parks, 35. “But we love the area and enjoy raising our family here.”

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Author Brad Parks
Parks’ debut novel comes on the heels of an award-winning 20-year journalism career, which includes recognition by the Associated Press Sports Editors, National Headliner Awards, and the National Association of Black Journalists. The New Jersey Press Association gave Parks its top enterprise reporting award for his 40-year retrospective on the Newark riots.

The reception on December 8 will feature a talk by Parks titled “The Power of Storytelling,” and holiday music performed by the school’s student choir.

Parks will sign copies of  “Faces of the Gone,” which will be available for purchase, with proceeds going to the Christchurch School English Department.

The book signing is free and open to the public. It will be held at Christchurch School, on the fourth floor of Bishop Brown Hall.

For more information or directions, contact Jennifer Homer at 804-758-2306 ext. 157.

The hardcover “Faces Of The Gone” sells for $25.99. Contact Parks at (973) 951-4332 or for more information.

Parks’ second book in the series, “Eyes of the Innocent,” is due out in 2010.

posted 12.03.2009

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