Fran Cannon Slayton at New Dominion Bookshop June 13

Fran Cannon Slayton will be at the New Dominion Bookshop for conversation and book-signing of her newly published first novel,

When the Whistle Blows

Saturday, June 13 from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Jimmy Cannon loves trains. And he wants more than anything in the world to work on the B&O Railroad when he grows up. After all, his father is the foreman in Rowlesburg, West Virginia, and every last one of his ancestors has worked on steam engines from the time the Cannons first came to America from Ireland in the 1800’s.

But it’s the 1940’s and times are changing. Jimmy’s father doesn’t want him to work for the railroad. In fact, his father doesn’t seem to understand anything Jimmy wants.

Fast-paced and action-packed … join Jimmy on the ride of a lifetime through midnight Halloween romps in graveyards, robberies, explosions, a secret society, and maybe even a dead body or two.

Newcomer Fran Cannon Slayton’s powerful first novel captures the serendipity of boyhood by shining a spotlight on the peak adventures of Jimmy’s life. But at its heart, this is a story about a boy and his father in a time when trains reigned supreme. Told through vignettes of Jimmy’s life growing up in a railroad town, When the Whistle Blows captures the very core of boyhood—its Halloween mischief, its hunting day mystery, its championship football game surprise, and its nighttime adventures.

Fran Cannon Slayton lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and When the Whistle Blows is her first book. Her novel was inspired in large part by the stories her father, aunts, uncles, and cousins told her about Rowlesburg, West Virginia. Many of her relatives actually worked on the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad. To find out more about Fran, visit

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