The Burning of the Piping Rock–It’s a Family Affair

It’s a family affair. From the beginnings of the novel  The Burning of the Piping Rock, the novel’s inspiration, artwork and production have been a family affair. Having recalled so many things about Saratoga Springs from family discussions, I began the novel as a way to relay King family history and Saratoga Springs history that could not be told in a straight history. My father George King, one of the two main characters in the story, spent hours recounting his days working for the owner of MacFinn’s Drugstore, James Leary, of Leary’s connection with the mob, and what happened in MacFinn’s as a result. My mother also shared family memories, some terrifying, of my father’s working for Leary and how it nearly ended our family. There is so much truth in this “history/mystery.”

The great response to the book is certainly due in part to the artwork of Black Swan Image Works in Colorado. Not coincidentally, the artist is Michael G. King, my brother. His derived his design and color palette from the late `forties/early `fifties mystery novels, but definitely gave it his own stamp. And the photograph of Piping Rock Casino? It was a Kodachrome taken by my mother, Jane King. Most of its original colors, except the yellow, had faded, leaving a haunting image that my brother used beautifully.

My wife Sara and my daughter Julia read drafts and provided, constructive criticism, inspiration and proofing. Michael, too, provided very constructive criticism. Sara, most of all, provided the push to get it published, for which my debt to her is boundless.

The Burning of The Piping Rock . . . . It’s a family affair.

Until the next time,



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