For They Know Not What They Do: Two Novellas
Let Me Die: Zack Mitchell finds himself unwillingly pulled into solving his best friend Joel Thomas' cause of death. Eighteen-year old Ronald Blaine, a black man with a storied past, trying desperately to break from gang inclusion and claw his way out of poverty, claims he was acting in self-defense when he shot Joel on a dark street in a poorer section of Las Vegas. Zack is asked by Joel's widower to attend Ronald's arraignment. During his trip to Las Vegas, where there once was a garden of racial anger and rage, a seed of doubt is sewn.
For They Know Not What They Do: Bill Baxter, racked with emphysema, dies at the foot of a cross while trying to cleanse his guilt for an act committed during his senior year at a Maryland Catholic high school. To further make amends, Bill leaves the majority of his inheritance to Margaret Chase, a deeply religious cleaning lady who works at Baxter Satellite. Sam Baxter, Bill's ruthless brother and C.E.O. of Baxter Satellite, works furiously to deny Margaret her just inheritance.
About the Author
Tim McCleaf is a software engineer by trade. He is a self described “writer wannabe.” For They Know Not What They Do is Tim’s first novel but by no means will it be his last. He is concurrently working on efforts two and three.
Born on January 19th, 1963 in Leonardtown, Maryland, to a high school teacher, Tim is one of six children. After graduating from Leonardtown High School in 1981, Tim entered the University of Maryland pursuing a degree in journalism. During his senior year in high school, Tim held down the sports editor position for the now defunct St. Mary’s Beacon newspaper. It was during this time Tim realized his future in writing wouldn’t be as a reporter. “After I got over the rush of seeing my byline, I realized journalism was real work. Back then, my deadline was Monday morning. It was not unusual for me to go directly from the office to school. I just didn’t have the discipline required to be a reporter and remain sane.”
After two years studying nothing in particular at Maryland, Tim transferred to St. Mary’s College of Maryland and centered in on an applied mathematics degree. After his junior year, Tim married his high school sweetheart, Karen, and together they worked to complete their degrees. In 1985, Tim completed his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. A master’s in computer science would follow in 1993.
“Ten years ago while on a business trip to Las Vegas, I conceived the baseline for the first novella Let Me Die. It would be seven years before I would put the story in my head into the memory of my laptop. Nearly all of my writing is done early in the morning before the rest of my family wakes up. Thirty-seven query letters to literary agents resulted in thirty-seven rejection letters. Most considered Let Me Die too short. Therefore the second novella, For They Know Not What They Do was born out of necessity. One day while visiting my mother, she showed me her high school yearbook. Several of her male classmates mysteriously changed schools after their junior year. It is a mystery that neither she nor any of her classmates have solved to this day. Several more letters to literary agents convinced me I should mail these letters in boomerang envelopes. It also convinced me to self-publish my book.”
“After the first printing, I received enough positive feedback to produce a second addition. Based on reader feedback, a final chapter was added to the first novella. Several obvious gaffs on my part were also corrected.”
Tim and Karen live in Hollywood, Maryland. They have three children, Amber, Lindsay and John. When he’s not working or writing, Tim plays rugby for the Washington Poltroons. He also coaches his daughter Lindsay’s basketball team and loves going to his daughter Amber’s cross-country meets. Golf is his vice. John, four years old, is his ally. “Before John, I was severely out-numbered.”