Crime novelist and former area resident Steve Copling will return to his roots for a book signing Friday, April 21, at St. Clair High School.

The event will be open to the public from 7 to 8 p.m., with an invitation-only event from 6 to 7 p.m.

Copling will feature his latest book, “Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares” at the event. The book is his first in the genre of young adult fiction.

“Hall of Nightmares” depicts a dark world where the human race is in danger and controlled unknowingly by the Seven Princes of Hell, angelic embodiments of the seven deadly sins.

Humanity’s fate lies in the hands of the book’s protagonist, Sage Alexander, a gifted warrior who will rise to bring about the demise of the fallen angels and their descendants.

Copling currently lives in Plano, Texas, and has been in law enforcement and corporate security for more than 35 years. He has a vast resume of experience within his field, working in field training, crime prevention, SWAT, criminal investigations, narcotics and internal affairs.

Copling never intended to be an author. He wrote his first book as a favor to his sister, who was writing a screenplay about a murder. Since he had an extensive background in police work, his sister had asked Copling to take a look at her work. He told her the fictional suspect would have been caught immediately, and agreed to write the story for her. That work was never published, but it did spark an interest in writing for Copling. He went on to write two crime novels, “The Listener” and “The Shooting Season.”

With his extensive background and knowledge of police procedures, Copling often draws on his experiences in his writing. However, Copling’s books are profanity free and suitable for younger readers.

Copling is currently working on a third adult novel, “The Noise Before Defeat.”

“Hall of Nightmares” was born out of a request from Copling’s grandson, who wanted his grandfather to write him a book for Christmas.

Copling and his wife Carolyn are both graduates from St. Clair High School and grew up in Lonedell. They have been married nearly 40 years and have three grown sons and five grandchildren.