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Hancock English Instructor Pens Novel to be Released in September

A novel written by Allan Hancock College part-time English instructor Mark James Miller that blends surfing, friendship and murder will be released in mid-September 2015. Red Tide is being published by Texas-based Black Rose Writing. 

Red Tide is my first novel. I am very proud to be a published novelist,” said Miller, who has been a part-time English instructor at Hancock since 1995. “It is not easy to get a publisher interested in the work of an unknown author.”

Red Tide is about best friends and avid surfers, Pete and Tom. The two venture into an abandoned power plant outside their small beachside community and witness a murder. They vow never to tell anyone about the crime, but their lives begin to spin out of control and they leave town. Eventually, the two realize they cannot continue to run and they return home to tell the truth.

Miller describes the book as a coming of age story, as well as literary fiction and action-adventure. It addresses themes of friendship, loyalty, good versus evil and the dysfunctional American family. Miller said it took about three years to write the novel. 

“For many years I wanted to write something autobiographical but didn’t know how to put it together. Finally, I came up with the idea as a way of uniting the different themes and plot elements I wanted to use,” said Miller, who serves as president of the Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College, which represents more than 400 part-time instructors.

Miller hopes readers are able to take life lessons away from his book.

“I want my students, and anyone else who reads Red Tide to realize people cannot run away from themselves, and their consciences will follow them wherever they go,” said Miller. “I also hope they learn good can triumph over evil and that every life, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has value.”

The book will be released online and in select stores on September 10, 2015. The college will host a book signing event on campus later in the fall.

—Gina Herlihy represents Allan Hancock College.

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