Mystery Novelist and Stay-At-Home Dad
by Melissa LaScaleia
Caleb Wygal moved to the Carolinas when he was twenty-one, and has been living in the South ever since.
The West Virginia native met his wife, Tasha, in Charlotte, and the two relocated to Myrtle Beach in 2019, when she was offered a job at Dolce Lusso in the Market Common.
“I’m a stay-at-home dad, and we had family that lived nearby,” Caleb says. “We had a lot more support to help with my son, and that coupled with Tasha’s job— inspired us to move to Surfside.”
Caleb has a track record as a prolific published author; he previously wrote four books in an adventure series. His new series, set in Myrtle Beach, began thanks to the foibles of his young son.
“He was at an age where he was taking a daily nap but didn’t want to take one in his crib any longer,” Caleb says. “So I would put him in the car and drive up and down Ocean Blvd to lull him to sleep. Every day, driving past the same scenery, I began to reflect that this area has a really small town feel to it— the perfect backdrop for a story.
“I did some research about books set in Myrtle Beach and saw that there weren’t that many. So I decided to write a mystery novel— a fast, fun, clean, easy, beach read. Something that people would be able to read in a couple of days and then be able to move on and enjoy the rest of their vacation.
“The idea spawned the creation of a mystery series I could base in Myrtle Beach, with a main character who is relatable and who inspires empathy and interest,” Caleb says. “He’s dealing with the recent loss of his wife, and he learns that there may have been more to her death than he realized.”
The first book of the Myrtle Beach Mystery Series, Death on the Boardwalk, won the Pinnacle Achievement Award for Best Mystery, while a review in Grand Strand Magazine in August 2021, lauded the book as “a must-read for Myrtle Beach locals and mystery lovers alike.”
The second book in the series, Death Washes Ashore, was just released this past December. Caleb recently completed the first draft of the third book in the series, Death on the Golden Mile. It’s his favorite so far, and one that he deems very fun. He is hoping it will be out in time for summer vacation-goers.
All of Caleb’s books are published by Franklin/Kerr Press, and available on Amazon, as well as locally at Barnes & Nobels, and other boutique bookstore and gift shops along the Grand Strand.
“Since my family and I have moved here, this is the happiest we’ve ever been in our lives,” he says. “We love meeting our neighbors. Since the books have come out, I’ve met hundreds of people who love the books. It’s a wonderful feeling to have people come up to me and say something like, ‘Hey! I love your books! Thanks for giving me a few hours of joy in my life.'”