Michael Young, a lifelong resident of Atlantic City, didn’t get in trouble with drugs until he was almost 40, he said. He’d lost a good casino management job and turned to drugs to make some money. Then he got hooked, arrested and convicted, he said.

But he didn’t waste a minute of his seven-and-a-half years in federal prison in Morgantown, W.V., where he met famous white-collar criminals such as Chelsea Clinton's father-in-law, the former Iowa Rep. Ed Mezvinsky, convicted of fraud.

“I met doctors and lawyers and everybody. All they were doing was Martha Stewart time” for crimes such as insider trading, he said.

He took classes in selling real estate and doing home inspections, and started writing. And the counselors helped him kick drugs for good, he said.

Now 52, he says he’s the only African-American man to write “a giddy romance novel,” and a four-book murder mystery/thriller series for a broad audience, his “From the Past” series. All are available at online booksellers.

He calls “The Women of All Seasons” giddy because it’s funny, he said, based partly on family stories first set down by his dad, Leon Young, who was working on a family history when he died at age 42. Bethel Baptist Church in Atlantic City plays a role, too.

His dad worked for Atlantic City public works, as Michael Young does today. He’s been married 34 years to Michele.

Now he’s writing a trilogy about a female serial killer. That’s pure fiction, he said, based on what he learned about psychology, reading book after book in prison.

Sandy T-shirts

Sue Lotozo, of Cape May, has created two T-shirts — one to honor local NBC weatherman Dan Skelton for his no-drama forecasting, and the other to acknowledge the New Jersey spirit in the face of Hurricane Sandy. It reads, “Sandy not So Dandy, but we are Jersey strong.” The shirts are available for $15 each at the Flying Fish Studio in West Cape May and at theflyingfishstudio.com. Five dollars from each sale goes to support the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

Guardian Angel

Security Officer John McGuire is Shore Medical Center’s November Guardian Angel of the Month for his service to grateful patients who have said “thank you” through a donation to Shore Medical Center in his name.

McGuire, of Mays Landing, joined Shore in May 2000 following a career in the U.S. Marines, a hospital spokesperson said.

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Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

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