Steve McCondichie received his MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and works as a “real estate novelist.” He and his lovely wife of over thirty years, his children, and his grandchildren live in Newnan, GA, and Amelia Island, FL. Lying for a Living is his debut novel, published by SFK Press in Atlanta, Georgia.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @SMccondichie.
About Lying For a Living
Jesse Few peddles lies. His boss and clients order a couple. His married girlfriend gets a few. His family buys several. But he saves the top-of-the-line dishonesty to sell to himself.
The forty-nine-year-old suburban rogue focuses on boozing with his golf buddies, chasing much-too, younger women, and surviving the Great Recession that’s raging across the South like it’s the Big Bank’s March to the Sea. His rambling approach to life and love is challenged when his boozy mom believes she’s being stalked by her long-dead first husband and his woebegone son skirmishes with a megalomaniac preacher.
A cowboy-up moment drives him to decide whether he’ll saddle up and rescue his loved ones from these imminent threats or retreat to the familiar comforts of denial, avoidance, and blowing up watermelons with black market machine guns. This is an irreverent mid-life coming-of-age story where an unwitting father and son wrestles with his capacity to mature into a bona fide adult.
Praise for Lying
Life begins to spin out of control for a 49-year-old man in this debut novel about a midlife coming-of-age.
Jesse Few is a salesman whose carefree, man-child days of drinking and philandering have caught up with him. As the successful sales and marketing department manager at Papier Mondiale, a large French corporation with a base in Atlanta, Georgia, Jesse finds his work demoralizing, as he spends too much time laying off salesmen. His thrice-widowed, 81-year-old mother, who has a great fondness for her afternoon cocktails, is suffering from the early stages of dementia; his sideline real estate investment business is tanking after the 2008 economic collapse; and his son, JJ, has just been arrested for drunk driving. Worse yet, JJ’s 17-year-old girlfriend, Melanie, was in the car with him, and her father, Pastor Sonny of the First Baptist Church of Dwyer, is a former member of a motorcycle gang—and he’s not amused. McCondichi endows his protagonist with a good deal more depth than initial impressions would indicate. For example, he gradually reveals Jesse’s sympathetic back story over the course of the narrative, and also shows his genuine devotion to his mother (“Somehow, his mother was going to be the first one he helped”); Jesse eventually uncovers a dark secret that’s been tormenting her, releasing her from terrifying hallucinations. He also bravely embarks on a dangerous mission to rescue his son from the clutches of Sonny and his paid minions. The narrative moves at a good clip as Jesse navigates his way through one crisis after another, among a fully developed cast of supporting characters. Along the way, he figures out how to become the adult that his aging mother and teenage children truly need him to be.
An enjoyable page-turner with a reluctant hero who’s as engaging as he is impulsive.
Jesse Few isn’t a bad man. He’s just slipped a little, and then a little more, and then . . . well, you get the picture. But faced with a family crisis, Jesse answers the call in his own, inimitable way, and in the process confronts his greatest enemy—himself. This wonderfully entertaining debut, full of vivid southern characters, announces Steve McCondichie as a writer to watch.
Steve McCondichie offers readers a likable rogue in Jesse Few and quickly has us rooting for Jesse to become the lovable hero of his story. In addition to creating a memorable protagonist, McCondichie also provides us with a distinctive and surprising cast of secondary characters who keep the scenes fresh, funny, and sometimes poignant. The fact that Jesse grits his teeth and continually makes the hard choices between bad and worse options in Lying for a Living offers all of us hope for change and personal growth.
Jesse Few, the hero of LYING FOR A LIVING, is a great creation, a Viagra-popping traveling paper salesman with a married girlfriend, a hot ex-wife he can’t get over, troubled children and a posse of salty golfing buddies who have his back as Jesse sets out to avoid adulthood and fails, as all the good ones do. The story of his journey to save his son moves like Jesse’s pearl-colored Escalade, barreling up the shoulder past the gridlocked traffic on the interstate. I couldn’t resist it.