ST. JOSEPH AUTHOR PUBLISHES FIRST NOVEL
By Jena Sauber St. Joseph News-Press
While out running several years ago, Nshan “Nick” Erganian came up with an idea. Now, that idea has become a reality with his first novel, “Keeper of the Mountain,” published in March.
“I came up with the idea about a brand-new teacher, 22 or 23 years old, fresh out of college, headed to her first job,” Mr. Erganian says.
In his novel, that new teacher, Susan Clark, is headed to Auburn, Mo., for her first teaching job. But when she doesn’t show up for work on her first day, the retired school superintendent and town sheriff get worried. They embark on a race against the clock to find Clark before it becomes too late.
The book includes many unique characters, such as Jubile Walker, whose uneducated parents had to guess how to spell his name when he was born (they got it wrong), and Spook Daniels, whose real name is James Earl Daniels and whose father was one of three traveling handymen — James, Earl or Daniel.
“There are lots of stories about looking for missing people,” Mr. Erganian said. “What drives this one is the unique, quirky characters.”
He credits his wife, Marylin, as a main collaborator on the book. They bounced ideas off each other, and both worked on the editing of the book. Now, they say they are happy with the final product.
“We like the storyline,” Mr. Erganian says. “We had fun developing the characters.”
This is Mr. Erganian’s first novel; he’d previously published two short stories titled “Mom Was a Baseball Legend” and “Grandpa’s Guide to Caring for Twin Toddlers,” in the “St. Joseph Writers Guild: An Anthology: Poems, Short Stories, Essays, and Memoirs.”
Previously, Erganian served as a public school superintendent, healthcare administrator and professional consultant. He and his wife, both St. Joseph natives, also owned two orchards before retiring.
Much of the inspiration for the book came from their own lives, he says. For example, the lead character in “Keeper of the Mountain” is a retired school superintendent who owns an orchard.
“Despite what they say in the beginning of the book, the disclaimer that says ‘No one is this book is real, they are all fictitious,’ I think many authors create characters that are modeled after someone they knew at one time,” Mr. Erganian says.
The book is available on Amazon in soft- and hardback and ebook editions ($4.99 and up). The couple also has signed copies available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Erganian says they have enjoyed sharing the novel with family, friends and readers across the country. They also like hearing feedback through e-mail or Amazon reviews.
“The purpose of it isn’t to make money. The purpose is to touch someone’s heart,” Mr. Erganian says.
Mr. Erganian’s next novel, “Desperate Reunion: A Promise,” which he’s co-authoring with his wife, is based on their experiences serving on the reunion committees for Central High School and Lafayette High School. In the book, one man, spurred by a promise to his wife, makes it his mission to find out what happened to the classmates they haven’t seen or heard from since graduation and get them to the 25th class reunion. The Erganians hope to publish it by late this fall.
Read more here: St. Joseph Author Publishes First Novel.