set in his native Henry County, Ky.
is a former newspaper
Helen E. McKinney
PENDLETON, Ky. (December 2012) After years
of writing about the outdoors through syndicated columns, John Henry
Hoffman decided it was time to try his hand at novel writing. Knowing
he possessed the experience to accomplish this feat, the outcome centers
on events in and around the tiny town of Lockport, Ky.
Ive always wanted to write a novel, said Hoffman,
71. I chose fiction for the latitude it gave me and the locations
because of the familiarity. This is my first full-length novel.
released his first
novel, Lockport Blues.
Lockport Blues is the result of Hoffmans
efforts. It is the first in a series of Jace Sterling mysteries. Sterling
is a Henry County sheriff who teams with FBI agent Dee OBrian
to investigate a series of tragic murders that first occurred in 1958
and seem to be repeating themselves in the novels 1978 setting.
In the course of the book, Sterling finds himself ensnared in a trap
laid out for him by a former Mafia enemy, who is out for blood. When
he teams with OBrian, these two characters become embroiled in
the crossfire of events taking place in the small rural community of
Lockport, which is in Henry County, Ky. Their investigation also takes
them and a veteran law enforcement team to Washington, D.C., and to
London in search of the truth.
I based the book on many similar incidents that did take place
in Henry County but kept it fictional, said Hoffman. While there
was no certain case in particular that Hoffman singled out, the
area (Lockport, Gratz, Monteray and Guiestville) has lots of history
of Ku Klux Klan and criminal activity.
Over the past 20 years, Hoffman has written and had published several
award-winning short stories, including, Ghost of the Tracks
and The Sawmill Hollow Buck. He majored in English at Ohio
State University with an emphasis on creative writing.
He began writing for Landmark Newspapers in 1996. My weekly columns
appeared in 29 of their community papers for about five years,
said Hoffman. The columns were titled Bluegrass Outdoors.
He worked from 1994 until 1999 as a radio talk show host at WKX (AM
and FM) in Eminence, Ky. The show was a call-in outdoors program, also
known as Bluegrass Outdoors.
Hoffman is originally from Cleveland. He has lived in Cincinnati, Dayton,
San Francisco, Orlando, Fla., and Minneapolis. He is a veteran of the
U.S. Marine Corp, having served from February 1962 until February 1966.
My father was a Marine who saw action on Iwo Jima during World
War II. I was attracted to the Esprit and reputation of the Corp,
said Hoffman as to why he chose to enter the Marines.
I am currently working on two more full-length novels, he
said. One is a sequel to Lockport Blues and another
about my time in the USMC and Vietnam. Hoffman lives in Henry
County with his wife, Terry.
When not hard at work writing, Hoffman enjoys fishing and bird hunting
with his Weimaraner, Keiser. He also listens to audiobooks,
preferring crime and spy fiction genres. His favorite authors include
John Grisham, John Sandford, James Lee Burke, W.E.G. Griffin and Ed
As to his own writing career, I like the latitude one gets when
writing fiction. Its a creative outlet for me.
Lockport Blues can be purchased
at Barnes & Noble book stores or online at Amazon.com or directly
from the publisher at:
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