Interview with Don/Jonathan Weeks, authors of ‘Scarecrow on the Marsh’
For over thirty years, Don Weeks was among the most popular radio personalities in the Capital District region of New York State. He received a Marconi Award for radio excellence in 2005 and was inducted into to the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame four years later. He had just completed a rough draft of Scarecrow on the Marsh when he died of Merkle Cell Cancer in March of 2015. Author royalties from this project will be donated to the WGY Christmas Wish Campaign, which benefits a variety of charitable causes. Weeks worked tirelessly over the years to help raise money for the campaign.
Visit Don at:
Jonathan Weeks has published several books on the topic of baseball–four non-fiction projects and one novel. His latest work, a mystery-thriller entitled Scarecrow on the Marsh, is a posthumous collaboration with his father–former radio icon Don Weeks, who passed away in 2015. Weeks finished the book in fulfillment of a promise he made to his father before he died.
Inside the Book
Title: Scarecrow on the Marsh: A Cape Cod Thriller
Author: Don Weeks
Publisher: All Things That Matter
When the mutilated body of renowned cosmetic surgeon Randall Landry turns up at a secluded bayside marsh in the town of Sandwich, Police Chief Thom Burrough’s life is turned upside down. While investigating the murder, he and BarnstableCounty coroner Abby Rhodes will uncover a plot more sinister than anything they could have imagined. On the outskirts of Chatham, a group of terrorists has assembled to unleash destruction on Cape Cod.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Jonathan! Can you tell us where you are from?
I grew up in Schenectady, New York and moved to the North Country a few years ago. I currently live in Malone, New York, which is way up near the border of Canada.
Q: How did you come up with your title?
The first draft of the book was written by my father. It’s named for the gruesome murder that takes place within the first few pages. The murder is carried out by a mysterious man in a scarecrow costume. The novel’s main protagonist, Police Chief Thom Burroughs, spends a majority of the book trying to solve the crime before getting sidetracked by even more sinister developments.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
The Publisher accepted a lot of input from me regarding the cover design. I wanted a scarecrow and an ocean theme since the book takes place on Cape Cod. My oldest daughter and I actually made a scarecrow and took pictures of it in our backyard. We tried adding ocean backgrounds with a Photoshop program but it didn’t work so we scrapped the project. The design team at All Things That Matter Press produced the cover using the concept I suggested.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
All author royalties are being donated to the 2016 Christmas Wish Campaign—a holiday charity drive sponsored by the radio station my father worked at for thirty years (810 WGY). The campaign benefits sick and underprivileged children in upstate New York. Not only would you be buying a terrific mystery/thriller, but you’d be helping kids in need. It’s a win-win scenario.
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
The Thom Burroughs character has personality traits similar to my Father. And some of the characters in the book are based on people he knew.
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
There’s a section of the book in which the Thom Burroughs character attempts to rescue his love interest from an abandoned lighthouse complex where she is being held hostage. In order to do so, he must use a subterranean passageway dating back to the Underground Railroad. This is firmly rooted in actual history. I loved doing the research for this series of chapters. It’s always fun writing action sequences.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
My father died of Merkel Cell Cancer in March 2015. We were very close. He had completed the first draft of Scarecrow on the Marsh before he fell ill. I knew that being a published author was his lifelong dream. As he lay dying, I promised to finish the manuscript for him and try to find a publisher. The edits I made went beyond superficial grammar and spelling. It was one of the most difficult projects I have ever undertaken. I was emotionally drained by the time the novel was complete.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
I am addicted to cereal—especially the sweet kind. Apple Jacks, Froot Loops and Peanut Butter Crunch are my favorites.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Great question. Being an avid history buff, I would love to see Rome. London or Paris would be great too.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely a morning person. I’m up before 5 am most days. That’s when I do my best writing.
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
I have a cousin in Minnesota who published a scholarly book for educators. Other than that, I don’t think so. Unless someone has a hidden talent I haven’t heard about. My father was the real creative force in our family. He maintained one of the highest rated morning radio shows in New York’s Capital Region for thirty years. And he was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Yup. But I never thought I would be an author. I thought I would be the next great shortstop for the New York Yankees.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
I’d wish for a few more wishes because it’s too hard to come up with just one.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
I just want to say again that all author proceeds will go to the 2016 Christmas Wish Campaign. It’s a great charity and I hope to raise as much money as possible. I think nothing would have made my Dad happier.