by JULIE E. GREENE
FALLING WATERS, W.Va. - Robert L. Saunders retired about 10 years ago as a database analyst for a government contractor, but the Falling Waters man has kept busy with his second career - author.
Saunders' fourth book, "Gathering of Cans," was released in mid-December, and another novel is expected to be published in March.
"Gathering of Cans" is based loosely on the true tale of Maisie DeVore, a Kansas woman who gathered aluminum cans to raise money for the construction of a swimming pool.
Saunders' heroine, Zoie Baker, also collects cans to raise money.
Certain cans that Baker finds, such as a gold Budweiser can, a NEHI can, and a Santa Claus Coca-Cola can, spur memories from her 56 years.
Saunders uses the story to explore subject matters he has a deep interest in during his 61 years. Those include smooth jazz, military historical facts, wood carving and marriage. The author has been married to his wife, Janet, for 19 years.
Most of Baker's story takes place in Washington County. This includes a fictional grill, Janet's Grill, inspired by J&M Grill in Hagerstown's South End.
His first two books, "Tommytown" and "The Boys from Tommytown," are stories woven around the Sharpsburg area known as Tommytown.
Saunders' fifth book, "The Monopoly Factor," is expected to go on sale in about a month. The novel is about murder involving a law firm in Baltimore.
Saunders is working on a historical novel, "The Burial of John Paul Jones," with the help of historian C. Conrad Hall of Baltimore. This will be a historical mystery incorporating historical facts, including the skepticism about whether the body entombed at the U.S. Naval Academy really is that of the Revolutionary War naval hero.
Saunders will have a book signing at noon Tuesday, May 15, at The Village at Robinwood, 19800 Tranquility Circle.
To learn more about Saunders and his books, go to AuthorsDen.com/RobertLSaunders.