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Author holds book signing

Jeff Barganier’s face lit up when he talked about his book that he penned in 1998, called “The Slash Brokers.”

Barganier held a book signing for his more recent children’s book, “The Crooked Tree,” at High Horse Gallery in the Camellia City on Thursday night.

The idea behind his first book, which is a fictional tale about the selling of human body parts, came about when the retired lawyer was chopping down wood trees with a machete.

“I got tired and still was chopping little trees, and the machete landed in my left leg,” he said. “The next day at the office it was bandaged up and I was telling them (my coworkers) what happened.”

Barganier worked at a securities firm as a stockbroker, adding that all of his colleagues were laughing at him.

As a result of the laughter, Barganier was given the name “slash broker.”

“As a joke, I went to my office and sat down and typed ‘The Slash Broker,’ which is the first line of this novel,” he said.

After writing more of the novel, he passed it around the office and received praise for his work.

“Then I got paranoid because people kept coming back and bugging me asking me what I was going to do next,” he said. “So, I brought it home and kept writing.”

Seven chapters in, he receives a copy of “World” magazine in the mail, which in turn morphed his book about the illegal sale of body parts.

“The cover story (of ‘World’) was about the communist Chinese killing their political prisoners and selling their body parts,” Barganier said. “It actually had a picture of the people’s liberation army shooting people. I said, ‘OK. Boom. My book’s about these guys.’”

Barganier said the book’s first few pages are from an actual transcript of a congressional hearing in 1995, then holds the fictional tale and closes with questions about the illegal sale of body parts.

“It starts out in a securities firm, and then it kind of morphs into a story of intrigue, where the communist Chinese have infiltrated the U.S. financial system,” he said. “This young broker gets caught up in it, and it just goes from there.”

Additionally, Barganier said there’s a love story entwined in the book as well.

When talking about “The Crooked Tree,” Barganier said his children’s book is the polar opposite of “The Slash Brokers.”

“We go from dark to light,” he quipped.

Barganier said he was sitting on a log and was studying a tree that was crooked in the forest. He prayed and asked God how the tree is crooked?

“Then, the story came to me,” he said.

Barganier said he rushed home and typed the story out.

“The Crooked Tree” is for readers ages 3-103.

Barganier, who lives in the Pike Road community, retired from the securities business 10 years ago, and has received critical acclaim on a national level. “The Slash Brokers” was well received by newspapers in Alabama. During the late 1990s, he was a guest of numerous national talk radio programs and TV shows regarding his novel.

Barganier said he’s an elder attorney and writes freelance.