Mark Nunn and his wife of 37 years, Sharon, have lived in Summerville more than seven years and love it so much that Nunn decided to write a novel about it.
“Summerville,” which was independently published and is available on Amazon.com and Kindle, is a fictional coming-of-age story that involves family dysfunction, redemption, revelations, friendships and more. The story takes place in Summerville, and is intertwined with the town’s history, with the storyline covering events between 1947 and 1967.
“The story is interesting – Summerville inspired it and, to me, it’s a lot like reading ‘The Body’ by Stephen King,” he said.
The couple is originally from Charlotte, N.C. Before moving to Summerville they resided in a condo in Mt. Pleasant, overlooking the Wando River.
One Sunday afternoon the Nunns found themselves driving around Summerville, hungry, and decided to pick up some chicken from the local KFC.
When Nunn tells the story he recalls driving their dark blue Pontiac Firebird with the T-tops off. He spotted an abandoned restaurant which by its outline, appeared to have been a Hardees, and decided to park there to eat their food.
Then an idea came to Nunn – what if a person came to a place like Summerville and began to see buildings, cars and people from the past, moving about their business anytime said person looked into their rearview mirror? If they looked anywhere else they would see the “present” but in the mirror they would only see the “past” but not just any “past” – the year 1957.
A ghost story idea began to form for Nunn. What if this person was a 16-year-old boy who was unknowingly driving a car on July 4, 1967 that had killed someone in a hit-and-run on July 4, 1957? And what if seeing the past in his rearview mirror was part of a haunting by the victim – an African-American teenager killed 10 years before the Civil Rights Movement by a white man?
Nunn’s story focuses on the 16-year-old boy dealing with this situation, all while acquiring his first job and first girlfriend, and getting no support from his dysfunctional family – particularly his father.
“I am 58 years old, but I was 16 once and remember the struggles of coming of age when for a time, your father was a ‘god’ who lived on the mountain top,” Nunn said. “I also remember the joy of driving your first car with all the freedom it brings and remember the magic and mystery of the first girl you fall in love with.”