Tom Kelly spent 20 years at the Seattle Times, including covering high school sports from 1975-1978.
Fast forward a few years, and Kelly published “Cold Crossover,” a basketball mystery novel about a former coach who goes looking for his star player. The book is set in Puget Sound.
Several of the characters from the novel are derived from the author’s days at the Times, including the central figure – Coach Ernie Creekmore – the coach who goes looking for his player after that player is reported missing on a late-night Bremerton ferry.
Kelly said Coach Creekmore is a composite of three coaches he covered on Tuesday and Friday nights during his time as the preps reporter for the Times.
The characters and idea for the story all have roots in his stint at the Times. The idea itself came during a night out with coworkers.
“A bunch of us from the Sports Department used to go out for pizza and beer after work,” Kelly said. “One night, we went into a Queen Anne tavern owned by a basketball referee. When we got there we were told the guy had allegedly jumped off a ferry boat the night before. I never forgot that.”
“Cold Crossover” is available in bookstores and online.