Deron Hicks is a lawyer by trade and an author by night.
The writing thing is working out pretty good for Hicks, who has practiced in Columbus but is currently the Inspector General for Georgia investigating fraud and complaints in the state's executive branch.
Out of a basement office in his home between Warm Springs and Manchester, Hicks wrote a children's mystery, "Secrets from Shakespeare's Grave."
A lot of people write books.
Hicks actually got his published on the first try.
His New Year's resolution in 2010 was to get the book published. It took until December for him to send letters to five agents he found in a book he bought.
"I got four rejection letters," Hicks said Monday during his lunch break.
A New York agent who specializes in kid's books called and asked for the complete manuscript.
By March 2011, Hicks had an agent, a publisher and started on the second book, which was part of the deal.
And it's not some fly-by-night publishing house. Hicks signed with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. That's the same publishing house that launched Columbus native Carson McCullers.
Its roots go back to writers like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain and Henry David Thoreau.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
Before anyone starts dreaming of Thoreau here, let's meet Colophon Letterford, the main character in Hicks' book.
She is out to discover the link between her family's literary legacy and Shakespeare's tomb before it's too late.
She goes from Manchester, Ga., to England, following the clues along the way.
Hicks admits the description of 12-year-old Colophon in book bears a resemblance to his 14-year-old daughter Meg, a freshman at Brookstone.
"Meg was the first one to read the book," Hicks said. "She buzzed through it in less than a night."
The books sprinkles in many references to Shakespeare's works, as well as history lessons of the places Colophon, her brother and cousin pass through, looking for a long, lost family treasure.
"The thing we don't tell the young people is there is a lot of educational stuff in the book," Hicks said.
The book is being released next month in book stores and on e-books. Hicks is lined up to speak at book festivals in metro Atlanta and Texas in the fall.
Even if it doesn't sell, Hicks figures he already won.
"This is something I can leave to my children and grandchildren," Hicks said. "I know that is selfish, but it's pretty cool to know that."
About as cool as a 12-year-old girl on a great treasure hunt.
Chuck Williams, senior editor for content, chwilliams@ ledger-enquirer.com.