Remembering James Craig Atchison

Craig-James-photo-190x282MECHANICSBURG, PA — It is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to a good friend of the Sunbury Press family. James Craig, who wrote by the pen name “James Craig Atchison” passed away last Saturday, surprising all who knew him. Jim, as he was known to us, was passionate about his family, his writing, and hockey. He had embarked on a second career as a novelist in recent years. I’ll never forget our first meeting in my office in Mechanicsburg. While a little naive of the publishing process, he was nonetheless completely in as an author. He talked of personally promoting his work in an attempt to build a following in the hockey community. Upon the release of his first book, “Blue Lines Up in Arms,” he made appearances at minor league hockey rinks and book stores throughout eastern Pennsylvania. While a trickle of sales followed his efforts, he was committed to the next novel, “Blue Lines and Old Money,” due to be released in September.

Christin Aswad, his editor at Sunbury Press, described Jim as her “favorite author to work with.”  Christin has been the editor for both of Jim’s novels. She was always moved by his positive energy and how appreciative he was for the help she provided.

Tammi and I shared a wonderful morning with Jim several months back, when he came to Mechanicsburg to have some author photos taken.  While the weather was not the best, Jim kept things light and was amazingly patient while we switched venues to try to find the perfect background for him. The old trolley station proved to be the place. (the picture above was taken that morning)

I last saw Jim for Jubilee Day in mid-June. He joined a half-dozen other authors for the largest street fair in the eastern USA. While some of his peers gave up early and headed for home, Jim stuck it out, sitting at his table with his books and hockey gear, casually talking with anyone who would come his way. He sold a few books and thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Jim was a reminder to all of us to have passion for what we do.  He will be missed.

Lawrence Knorr, President/CEO, Sunbury Press, Inc.

 

Following is Jim’s obituary:

bluia_fcJames Craig, 69, of Lancaster, died unexpectedly Saturday, July 30, 2016 in Salem, NJ.

Born in Wichita, KS, he was the husband of Sandra (Tweedle) Craig of Lancaster, and the son of the late William and Bonnie (Atchison) Pupikofer.

Jim was a middle school teacher in the Ephrata School District for 14 years until his retirement. He was the author of the mystery novel “Blue Lines Up In Arms”.

In addition to his wife of 47 years, he is survived by 2 sons: Ryan Craig of Lancaster, and Jared Craig and his wife Kimberleigh of Millersville; a granddaughter, Marleigh of Millersville; a sister, Karen Craig of Cleveland, OH; and his mother-in-law, Clara Tweedle of Salem, NJ.

A funeral service will be held at 3 PM on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory, 441 N. George St, Millersville with Pastor Mike Sigman officiating. Friends and family will be received from 6:30 to 8 PM on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at the funeral home, and again one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions in Jim’s memory may be made to the Children’s Ministries at Grace Community Church, 212 Peach Bottom Rd, Willow Street, PA 17584.

A sympathy card would be appreciated.

James Craig

 

 

"The puck drops here" in Atchison's new novel "Blue Lines Up In Arms"

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Blue Lines Up In Arms, James Craig Atchison’s first novel, a detective thriller woven into a professional hockey setting.

Monica was at wits end. “Damn you, Ray Beck, you’re an auxiliary policeman. You can only do crowd control! Put the gun down!”

bluia_fcSent down nine-year National Hockey League veteran and well-known fox hunter Wavy Ray Beck, and Monica Reedy, the only female detective on the city force, are an unusual and engaging pair of crime fighters. And all is fair in both love and war as they work together to stop an international crime wave bleeding into everyday Pennsylvania.

While Ray searches for a path back to the Stanley Cup Play Offs, Detective Reedy’s search for a downtown window smasher leads the two of them to discover an enterprising high-tech car-theft ring as well as an underground gambling ring, both being orchestrated by an old world crime family rooted in Brooklyn.

The underhanded takeover of a local coal company, plus a disarming real estate gambit, also adds to this story of history, mystery, danger, and chaos.

And, oh my, this naughty pair in love – “Now that I’ve found that spot, Reeds, I’m going to look for another letter.”

The puck drops here. Enjoy!

EXCERPT:
The moon was a celestial banana. Visibility above a hundred feet was zero until interrupted by a star. A yellow haze surrounded each streetlight straining to cast vision for anything alive at three-thirty AM. It was early April with moisture in the air. Silence was in charge.

This wasn’t a very big one so the sound wouldn’t travel far. But it would be heard a long way. Now it stood with winter salt still visible in streaks. FOR LEASE resting in its middle was tattered.

The rusted sign above said The Watering Hole. It would be tonight’s sacrifice and tomorrow’s news.

There were brethren yet to come. And more parts to the puzzle.

In a visceral way this was actually fun. And necessary.

If the dream is to come true, dreams of others must not.

The brick was jagged on one side. A dribble of mortar gripped a corner. But it would sail as directed and arrive as planned on the hyphen between Nichols and Deering.

Glass rained as a heavy whoosh of stale air escaped its former coffin of a scarred floor and bare walls.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Craig Atchison is a recovering advertising man who found the giver within while teaching English and Social Studies in public school and earning both MEd and MA Creative Writing degrees from WilkesUniversity, the latter founded in both fiction and playwriting. Combining his love for crime fiction as well as the sport of ice hockey, Blue Lines Up In Arms represents the maiden effort in his plannedBlue Lines series. He resides in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. For more information, see ​his website at www.jamescraigatchison.com

Blue Lines Up In Arms
Authored by James Craig Atchison
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
244 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066430
ISBN-10: 1620066432
BISAC: Fiction / Sports

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Blue-Lines-Up-In-Arms-97…