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Newton grad Sheridan pens first book

Special Photo. Newton High grad Larry Sheridan is a first-time author.

Special Photo. Newton High grad Larry Sheridan is a first-time author.

COVINGTON -- Ask Larry Sheridan how he came up with the idea for his new novel, and you'll learn the circumstances are just as curious as the mystery that unfolds in the book.

Sheridan always wanted to write a novel, but had doubts about whether he could see the process through to the end. Then one day, as he describes it, a movie began playing in his head and he couldn't shake it. The plot became the basis for the book.

"What I've tried to do is write and describe what I'm seeing as it's happening. It's as though I'm watching a movie in my head and I'm trying to create a very visual experience for the reader that they can become immersed in ... I didn't know where the story was going until I got there," he said.

Sheridan has a full-time job in the financial services industry, so finding time to write was a challenge.

"I turned to my wife and said, 'I may try to write a book,' just to see what she would say. She tried to explain to me how much time I don't have. It almost became a challenge to see if I could do it or not," Sheridan said.

He spent nights and weekends writing and completed the novel in much less time than he predicted -- seven months.

"Once I started it came pretty quickly. What I thought was the hardest part, the writing, was the easiest part. The editing was painful," he said.

The book, titled "A Work in Progress," centers on Jeremy Jackson, a man who takes a business trip to Las Vegas, gets in an auto accident and wakes up to find his world in chaos. He is interrogated about events and actions he can't recall and finds himself fighting an organization that most people don't know exists.

"Regardless of the risks, Jeremy realizes it is time to change from being a work in progress to becoming the man destiny is challenging him to be -- or to die trying," the synopsis reads.

Once a draft was completed, Sheridan hired an editor and decided to self-publish.

"One of the challenging parts I found was that agents and publishers operate very differently from what I'm used to. I couldn't spend the time I needed to develop those relationships," he said.

The book is currently available on Amazon.com for Kindle and is being reformatted for Nook and iBooks.

"One of my goals was in the first four weeks it was out there to have 10 positive reviews. I hit that number in less than three weeks," he said.

Sheridan has already started on the sequel. The story is coming to him much the same way the first one did.

"I think about it while I'm in traffic or it comes to me in a dream. Something hits me and I see it unfold and try to get it down on paper and flesh it out from there. I don't use an outline. I'm sure that will make every English teacher out there cringe," he said.

Sheridan moved to Newton County in fourth grade and stayed until he graduated high school. His father is Roger Sheridan, mayor of Newborn. Sheridan currently lives in Atlanta.

For more information, visit www.larrysheridan.com.