BIG WILLIS WITHERS
Here it is 1954 and Big Willis Withers is bigger than ever. His gossip column is now in 500 newspapers. He’s just received a note of bravo from President Eisenhower. His radio show’s Hooper rating soars off the scale. And now – to no one’s surprise – his first novel has sold a million copies. He’s flipped away his younger life’s big goal – editor of a country newspaper. And why not? He’s become somebody. Pundits en masse are riding down to his farm near Hodge, NJ, to interview the guy. You can safely say that everything’s going his way. But better stay tuned. This week and next, while riding luxury streamliners across the continent to promote a second novel, he plunges into a continuing scene of truly major disasters. Egregiously – his wife falls off a thousand-foot cliff. He learns of his daughter’s abortion. His agent has been stealing royalties, and the agent’s young protege is fleeing from her step father’s incestuous felonies. Even potentially worse, he’s suddenly famous and his new fame has made his own shady past vulnerable. Nothing’s going his way. But smile anyway. His wife was already hospice bound. His daughter becomes a talent agent in Hollywood. Her boss is Willis’s former agent, whose protege has becomes a reporter on the Hodge Gazette. And, the protege’s boss is the former novelist Big Willis Withers. So, all aboard!