DenoTrakasOn May 21st, the Pat Conroy Literary Center’s Visiting Writers Series and Porch Talk blog will welcome Deno Trakas, five-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Prize and author of Messenger from Mystery, a new literary thriller published by Pat Conroy’€™s Story River Books imprint. Deno will appear in conversation with Mindy Lucas, co-host of Porch Talk.

Sponsored in part by the Pulpwood Queens book club and held in the Technical College of the Lowcountry’€™s MacLean Hall auditorium, this event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale and autographing thanks to NeverMore Books.

Here’s what some other southern writers have to say about Trakas’€™s new novel:

“Set against the backdrop of South Carolina and Iran, Messenger from Mystery is equal parts coming of age tale, love story, and international thriller. Deno Trakas has crafted a power narrative, one that is incredibly relevant in today’s world.” – James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize finalist for Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor

“Messenger from Mystery couldn’€™t be more timely in our age of terrorism, both domestic and foreign. This riveting and thoughtful book is equal parts love story, history lesson, and international spy thriller – €”and the whole of it provided me with a story I couldn’t put down. Thank you, Deno Trakas, for such a fine novel!” – €”Bret Lott, College of Charleston

“Deno Trakas shows a talent for enlarging his focus and sustaining the keen interest of his readers in a richly honed cast of characters and a complex narrative unfolding against an historical event: the capture of Americans as Iranian hostages in the 1980s. A clash of cultures, the pull and push of personal relationships, and rising senses of duty and forgiveness create the driving force of this novel, but at its beautiful beating heart, this is a profound love story.” – Elizabeth Cox, Robert Penn Warren Award-€“winning author of A Question of Mercy

About the Author: Deno Trakas is the Laura and Winston Hoy Professor of English and director of the writing center at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He has published fiction and poetry in journals and anthologies, two chapbooks of poems, and a memoir entitled Because Memory Isn’t Eternal: A Story of Greeks in Upstate South Carolina. Trakas is a five-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project Prize and a recipient of the South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellowship in Fiction. Messenger from Mystery is his first novel.

About the Interviewer: As a reporter for the State, Island Packet, and Beaufort Gazette newspapers, Mindy Lucas covered book news and literary events such as the South Carolina Book Festival and Columbia’s One Book, One Community city-wide “big read.”€ She also interviewed writers including Larry McMurtry, Ron Rash, Mary Alice Monroe, Ellen Malphrus, James E. McTeer II, and of course, Pat Conroy. Prior to her newspaper career, Mindy was a freelance journalist for publications around the southeast and an advertising copywriter. She is now a content strategist for a Columbia-based marketing communications firm and lives with her husband David and their cat Earl in Beaufort, South Carolina, just a bicycle ride away from the Pat Conroy Literary Center, where she serves as co-host (with Janis Owens) of the Porch Talk literary blog.

Deno Trakas and Mindy Lucas will be in conversation at the TCL Auditorium (building 12) on May 21 from 3:30 – 5 pm. This event is free and open to the pubic. For more information visit