Theresa Batalogianis or T. R. Monaghan for the literary world is our new addition to the “Literary Lowell+” growing catalogue of writers, poets, playwrights, historians, and others who are working with words and books in the area. She wrote to us to tell us how she wrote and published her first novel, Sweet, Sweet Jayne, available now at amazon.com and through other outlets. She lives in Pelham, N.H., and is already working on a follow up book, more crime fiction. Her journey from aspiration to idea to finished book should be encouraging for anyone who is thinking about writing a book.— PM
Theresa told us about herself: “I have traveled a different path than most to become an author, but I have one thing in common with all writers–being a reader. There is no associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or master of fine art’s degree in my background. I am a first-generation Irish American who followed the example of my parents and siblings, and whiled away my youth reading.
Who is to say who holds the moral high ground? A protective man engaged in the criminal underworld, where loyalty is the law? Or an agent of the law who breaks any number of oaths without compunction?
Two years before the establishment of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, in the summer of 1971, Richard Milhous Nixon sends a handful of federal agents across the country to gather data and research ways to combat the scourge of drug abuse.
Meanwhile, in the hardscrabble mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts, Jayne Ranney, fifteen and from a disbanded family, finds herself adrift after many setbacks: her father’s accidental death, her brother’s residence in the Billerica House of Correction, her mother’s abuse and neglect . . .
Hope of a stable future emerges when Jayne’s hired as a runner for the city’s preeminent bookmaker, Galen “the Greek” Stathakis, operating out of the Skillet Bar. With the Greek and his gang–Tao Mann, his bartender, and Jimmy Tennyson, returned from the war in Vietnam–she hopes she can finally find stability as she learns about trust and a different kind of family.
But when her life is in the crosshairs of crooked FBI Agent Thomas Archibald Curry, and the stakes rise, will Jayne find she is on her own once again?