By Maggie Fraser
The Winning Streak is the tale of a man who just can’t lose.
Author Bob Buckel, who was publisher of the Springtown Epigraph for 25 years, said he’d always wanted to write a book.
Buckel left the Epigraph six years ago and worked at the Wise County Messenger for three years, where he rediscovered his passion for writing in-depth stories.
“All my life, I wanted to be a writer. And I got to write some fairly long features. It was a running joke among the staff at the Epigraph that I loved to write features,” he said.
“I would get obsessed with stories. Writing this book allowed me to get obsessed with this one story for months.
“When you start writing something like this, it takes on a life of its own.”
Now a program facilitator for Strong Fathers, Strong Families – which encourages fathers to engage with their children through a series of school outreach programs – Buckel said he finally had time to pursue his lifelong dream of writing a book.
“Usually, I’m done with work by 9:30 in the morning,” he said. “And since most of my work is out of town, I’d be in a hotel room and finished by 9:30 a.m. with all this free time to spare.
“So I’d go to the library with my laptop and hang out and write, rewrite and rewrite again. It took me about a year to finish.”
The plot of the book came to Buckel when he was in Seattle with his wife at a Mariners game.
In the game program, Buckel saw a ticket to enter a prize drawing to win a lifetime supply of cheese snacks and began to wonder what might happen if a person won every contest they entered.
After a mysterious encounter with a meteor on his 25th birthday, Winning Streak protagonist Scott Burroughs finds that his luck simply won’t run out.
“Everything he touches, he wins,” Buckel said. “He buys a scratch-off on the way to work and wins $1,000. All the traffic lights turn green for him.
“Every time he throws something in the trash can, it goes in. When he plays pickup basketball, he just can’t miss.”
However, Burroughs’ persistent good luck threatens to derail his new marriage.
“His wife grew up in a wealthy family, and one of the reasons she loves him is because he isn’t wealthy,” Buckel said. “All of a sudden, he gets some money and becomes obsessed with it, and that’s where the conflict comes in.”
At 114 pages, The Winning Streak is light summer reading that Buckel hopes will amuse and entertain readers.
“I really like this size,” he said. “It’s not intimidating, and it’s not going to demand a huge chunk of your life to find out whether it’s good or not.
“It may not make the New York Times bestseller list, but I hope it will make people here happy when they read it.”
The Winning Streak can be purchased at http://www.iuniverse.com, and the Azle News office will have copies for sale during a book signing event on Friday, Aug. 3 from noon to 3 p.m.
For more information, call (817) 270-3340.