Wal­dorf man co-pens po­lit­i­cal fic­tion novel

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By SARA NEW­MAN snew­man@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @in­dy_­com­mu­nity

Tim Tre­anor is no novice to the writ­ing process, but he is to the pub­lish­ing scene.

The 65-year-old Wal­dorf man col­lab­o­rated on a novel ti­tled “Cap­i­tal City” that was re­cently pub­lished by Stra­tus Books Lim­ited, a U.K.-based com­pany.

Along with Lee Hur­witz, a Rockville-based writer who works at the Li­brary of Congress, Tre­anor penned a novel sur­round­ing the in­ner work­ings of a cor­rupt Wash­ing­ton, D.C. mayor as he tries to run for a fourth con­sec­u­tive term and mad­ness en­sues. Hur­witz’s back­ground, work­ing in Wash­ing­ton gov­ern­ment dur­ing the Mar­ion Barry years, pro­vided much of the frame­work of the novel.

“The truth was stranger than fic­tion in the D.C. gov­ern­ment when Barry was mayor,” Hur­witz said. “It was a crazy en­vi­ron­ment to work in. So, af­ter I left the District gov­ern­ment in 1989, I started work­ing on a novel called ‘Cap­i­tal City’.”

“This guy is kind of like Mar­ion Barry on steroids,” Tre­anor said of the con­nec­tion be­tween the real and fic­tional may­ors. “Barry cer­tainly was no saint, but I don’t think he killed any­body or had any­body killed, at least not to my knowl­edge.”

The book is the first pub­lished work of both au­thors, though Tre­anor has writ­ten about 20 dif­fer­ent works in his life­time, in­clud­ing short sto­ries, nov­els and plays. His first novel, a work of sci­ence fic­tion ex­am­in­ing the tense re­la­tion­ship be­tween the United States and Rus­sia as they try to take con­trol over Mars, was writ­ten when he was 17.

“It was aw­ful,” Tre­anor said of his first en­deavor.

Re­cently, his play “Drac­ula: A Love Story” was staged in the ninth an­nual Cap­i­tal Fringe Fes­ti­val in Wash­ing­ton, in ad­di­tion to an in­ter­ac­tive mur­der mys­tery play staged by the Port To­bacco Play­ers and toured to other lo­cal the­aters.

Tre­anor, a trial lawyer for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, and Hur­witz met at a Wash­ing­ton In­de­pen­dent Writ­ers con­fer­ence in the early 2000s. Hur­witz told Tre­anor about his book and his de­sire to find a co-au­thor. In­ter­ested, Tre­anor then met with Hur­witz’s literary agent, Diane Nine, and from there the pair be­gan to col­lab­o­rate, send­ing each other about 10 drafts of the book be­fore it was com­pleted. Tre­anor said Lee’s first draft “had good bones,” but be­cause he didn’t have much ex­pe­ri­ence in fic­tion writ­ing, Tre­anor helped de­velop the char­ac­ters and var­i­ous side plots.

“Work­ing with Tim was great. He is a skilled writer and very easy to work with,” Hur­witz said.

“It was a dream,” Tre­anor said of the joint au­thor­ship. “Lee had no ego. He wanted to make the best book pos­si­ble… If every col­lab­o­ra­tive ex­pe­ri­ence were like this, then au­thors would be clam­or­ing to col­lab­o­rate.”

Though nei­ther had col­lab­o­rated on a book with a fel­low writer be­fore, Tre­anor said that much his writ­ing is rarely a com­pletely solo ef­fort.

“Writ­ing is of­ten col­lab­o­ra­tive de­pend­ing on what you’re do­ing,” Tre­anor said. “Drac­ula: A Love Story” in­volved ad­vice and sug­ges­tions from di­rec­tors and ac­tors in­volved in the fes­ti­val and Tre­anor said each per­son brought some­thing dif­fer­ent to the ta­ble.

“It was my play but it had their fin­ger­prints all over it with my en­thu­si­as­tic con­sent,” Tre­anor said. “It’s not en­tirely a cru­sade of my own.”

Tre­anor credits Hur­witz’s per­sis­tence in find­ing a pub­lisher for the book and Nine’s ex­per­tise.

“I can’t stress enough the use­ful­ness of a good agent,” Tre­anor said.

Through­out the process, Tre­anor said he learned to “tem­per my ex­pec­ta­tions” as a writer.

“When I first started writ- ing, I ex­pected to get pub­lished, go on ‘The To­day Show,’ be­come a lec­turer or speaker and tell oth­ers how to write like me, talk to [Steven] Spiel­berg about movie po­ten­tial. It’s not that way at all,” Tre­anor said.

Tre­anor said the jour­ney to be­come a pub­lished au­thor is much more dif­fi­cult and in­volves more re­jec­tion than he orig­i­nally imag­ined. Still, he states the au­thor who takes re­jec­tion per­son­ally will have the hard­est time suc­ceed­ing.

Now, Tre­anor is work­ing on a three-novel se­ries about what hap­pens when the baby boomer gen­er­a­tion hits re­tire­ment age and So­cial Se­cu­rity, Medi­care and pri­vate pen­sion sys­tems max out. As a so­lu­tion, the lead­ers in his novel have de­vel­oped a virus which at­taches to the re­mains of the Salk po­lio vac­cine, which stopped be­ing ad­min­is­tered in 1962. They fig­ure if they can wipe out the boomers, they can bring Medi­care and So­cial Se­cu­rity back into bal­ance, Tre­anor said.

Tre­anor will have a book sign­ing for “Cap­i­tal City” at the Books-A-Mil­lion in Wal­dorf at 2 p.m. on Satur­day, Jan. 28.

“Cap­i­tal City,” the book co-au­thored by Wal­dorf res­i­dent Tim Tre­anor, cen­ters around a cor­rupt Wash­ing­ton, D.C. mayor as he aims to run for a fourth con­sec­u­tive term.


Tim Tre­anor of Wal­dorf col­lab­o­rated on a po­lit­i­cal fic­tion novel, ti­tled “Cap­i­tal City,” with Lee Hur­witz, a Rockville-based writer. Tre­anor will have a book sign­ing event at Books-A-Mil­lion in Wal­dorf at 2 p.m. on Satur­day, Jan. 28.

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