THE HIP SHOT
Suspense in a Small Southern Town
Hi folks, Michael Miller here, one of millions of Michael Millers around the world who do all sorts of things. There’s a pro basketball player named Michael Miller. One’s a pro golfer, one shapes surfboards in San Diego, and there are several scattered around my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, where we try to avoid being confused for one another. I’m a Michael Miller who writes stuff. That’s what I did for nearly two decades at the daily newspaper here. Before that I was a tennis bum, bellhop, shoe salesman, and I worked in a record store while earning a master’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. Now retired, I read a lot, play guitar, and take long walks to mull over ideas for songs, poems, blog posts and short stories. The most recent result of my ruminations is a novel called The Hip Shot. You can purchase it from this website. I invite you to follow my blog, like my Facebook page, and follow me on Instagram. I’ll be posting frequent updates about writing, music, and all sorts of stuff. Thanks, everybody, and keep in touch!
When Skeeter Ellington doesn’t show up for happy hour one Friday afternoon, his drinking buddies fear something is wrong. Skeeter never misses Friday happy hour. Besides, there’s little else to do in Preston but drink beer, go fishing, grow pot, or play golf. His buddies Boot, Perch, and Mervin know they must do something. Across town, Hazel Owens struggles to keep a music studio above water, and now her significant other, Dr. Carol Baxley, isn’t responding to texts or calls. When a murdered woman is found early one morning in a car at the Urgent Care where Carol works, Hazel’s worry turns into dread. Sgt. Barbara Lowrie of the Preston police, a strong-willed Lumbee Indian who has overcome much to climb the ranks, throws herself into the case. She finds a tangled web of hatred, misogyny, and possible criminal collusion within the force. Is the murdered woman connected to Carol Baxley? Are the disappearances of Skeeter and Carol connected? And who is the threatening stranger in town she’s heard about?
In the spring of 1998, I began to feel a bit burned out on the job. It was affecting my writing. In short, I was uninspired and in a rut. I needed something to renew my enthusiasm and rekindle my creative fire. So I signed up to audit a course in creative writing at USC.… Continue reading Lonesome Pines
I was sitting at my desk in the newsroom one afternoon in 1997 when a phone call from a book publisher presented an interesting opportunity. Robin Asbury had started a local imprint called Summerhouse Press, and she wondered if I’d like to write a book about Hootie & the Blowfish. I’d been writing about various… Continue reading Hootie! How the Blowfish put pop back into Pop Rock
The sixth annual “Columbia Open Studios” is this weekend, and the staff here at the Rosewood Free Press always looks forward to visiting artists in their work place and talking about the creative process. This year 70 artists across the city will open their doors and invite folks in to check out their work, be… Continue reading Visit some studios. See some art. Take some home.
Poor ol’ Gills Creek. It’s taken quite a battering over the years. Several months ago, it battered us back when it overflowed its banks during the great flood of 2015. Of course, the flood wasn’t the creek’s fault. It didn’t ask to have a bunch of poorly maintained earthen dams built along its course and… Continue reading Build the Gills Creek Greenway!
Contrary to popular local mythology, the dude in the photo is not a real Indian. He is, however, a bit of a renegade. I first met Tom Hall years ago when he and his pal Steve Von Hollen were running a roadhouse music joint called Campbell’s Station in rural Chester County. I knew right away… Continue reading Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out in Rosewood
Looking for more information, want to chat about my writings, or host a reading event? Reach out to me anytime and I’ll get back to you soon.
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