Local Resident and Teacher, Jack B. Downs, Publishes First Mystery Novel with Help from the Community
Eldersburg residents join author to bring “Buried Treasure” to the national stage
Sometimes it takes a village. In the case of Carroll County resident and Community College professor Jack B. Downs and his new book, “Buried Treasure,” it surely did.
“Buried Treasure” is a shining example of the power of community. Thanks to supporters from Eldersburg, Carroll County, Greenbelt, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, “Buried Treasure” hits the national literary stage in March.
“I am truly touched by the amount of support and help from the community,” said Downs. “I’m grateful to all of them.” In describing the experience, he said, “It took a village, as they say. It really took a village of many voices for 'Buried Treasure' to see the light of day. I am incredibly fortunate.”
The journey to bring “Buried Treasure” and its characters to life spanned six years and seven drafts. Downs wrote in between attending his sons’ Lego Robotics and countless athletic activities at Oklahoma Road Middle School and Carrolltowne Elementary School and shepherding his youngest to and from Ava Wanas Montessori. He breathed life into the fictitious Paxton family in the quiet, early morning hours, before his children arose and he began his day teaching at University of Maryland.
As the story began to take shape, a chorus of supporters began to help “Buried Treasure” find its voice. The Eldersburg Critique Group plowed through each chapter, offering sage and frank advice. Members of the Eastern Shore Writers Association helped to add color to the story’s vivid landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore of the 1960s.
Finally, on December 8, 2011, the day before his birthday, Downs found a home for “Buried Treasure.” “When Apprentice House said that they wanted to publish my book,” Downs recalls, “I ran to my wife Jen. She had supported my dream to write it, and I couldn’t wait to share the news with her.”
The “Buried Treasure” village grew, as another chorus took over to escort the book to the public stage. The design team from Apprentice House and other gifted artists lent their expertise to help create the haunting book cover and story’s maps. Local residents and students reviewed the book and provided invaluable reader opinions.
The final note was sung by the Book Marketing Class at Loyola University, Baltimore, who viewed the “Buried Treasure” book trailer and offered insight and a thumbs-up as the voices of the young adult audience.
Now the countdown begins for Downs and for the “Buried Treasure” ensemble from Eldersburg and across Maryland. Soon, the voices of many will sing in unison through the pages of a labor of love that began with one man and ended with a village of people who came together to bring it to the world.
About Buried Treasure
In “Buried Treasure,” the lives of James and Dylan are torn apart when their brother mysteriously disappears on a quiet street in 1954. In the wake of the crime, their family disintegrates. Abandoned by their parents, the young brothers are thrust into a world where they don’t belong. Now they must find a way to survive.
Tormented as social outcasts and haunted by the past, James strikes out at the world, while Dylan finds safety in his brother’s shadow. When they discover a terrible family secret, they face the most difficult decision of their lives. And one man’s suicide could save them all.
“Buried Treasure” will be published by Apprentice House March 2013 and be available for purchase at Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com.
For more information about Jack Downs or “Buried Treasure,” visit http://www.jackbdowns.com/.