Alumni Author Spotlight: Tom Fegan '78
Tom Fegan ’78 was an active member of the campus community when he was pursuing his Marketing degree here at Texas Wesleyan. He wrote and served as editor of The Rambler, was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and was recipient of the Guardian of the Golden Shears. Fegan has spent much of his career in the steel industry, and now works as a security professional. He has pursued writing for many years, and is excited to announce the publication of his first book, Panther City: Stories of Crime Set in Fort Worth, Texas. His book is published by Alliance Publishing, founded by TXWES classmate Perry Cockerell ’78 and home to many alumni authors.
Check out the fascinating history that inspired Fegan’s locally-based crime story collection and hear what he has to say about the writing process:
Give a brief synopsis of your book.
The book details the efforts of homicide detective David Tomkins and his investigations into murder cases in Fort Worth. He has a girlfriend that is a lawyer for the U.S. Attorney's Office. She aids in counterbalancing his life outside his job. Tomkins is a prayerful man and yet conflicted with the ordeals surrounding the criminal justice system.
What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration for this book began as a boy. My parents owned Burger & Shake in downtown Fort Worth. It was originally behind the Fort Worth Police Station where the Federal Building is now. Every Sunday we would go the business as a family, and my mother would take me and my sister outside to watch the police officers unload the paddy wagon. Even after our business moved to West 7th Street we continued to have police officers and detectives as customers. While I worked there I would hear tales about what was going on in the streets. Reporters from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram shared stories as well. Although I heard many people say that Fort Worth was a quiet town, I knew better. There is crime and a night world of intrigue. A sleeping panther resembles this town; if awakened it can be dangerous. Panther City has always been my favorite nickname for Fort Worth and that is why.
What were the biggest challenges about writing and getting published?
The greatest challenge as a writer is sitting down and doing it. Publishing can be a worry, and there is the question of acceptance. I have found always keeping a project going keeps me from being concerned about the reception of my work.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
I read somewhere - writers write! It can be several pages or just one sentence, but write something daily. I began writing Letters to the Editor for the Fort Worth Star Telegram, and got published in small publications. No matter what your dream is, be it writing or anything else, take God with you and get your feet moving in that direction. You will end up where you need to be.
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