John L. Daly ‘75, a biology major while at Denison, and president and owner of Executive Education, Inc., has published his first novel, “Tool & Die.” This is Daly’s second book.

“Tool & Die” is the story of love, life, and death in a manufacturing company. Daly’s tale contains plenty of business substance for readers interested in management and finance, but its charm lies in the human side of his story.

“It is an unusual novel,” Daly says. “I hope readers will find the early chapters to be interesting stories about good people trying to do good work. Then the team’s lives get turned upside down and they struggle to keep everything together.”

“I think most readers who have ever worked in an office will be able to relate to the story because most of the situations I describe came from things that I saw happen. We would all like to be part of some of these real life situations and others we would all like to avoid.”

The first ten years of Daly’s career were relatively drama free, as he worked with good people who cared about doing good work. The next decade, however, was a bit rocky, and he observed three different “bad bosses” up close. “Tool & Die” features many of the real life incidences of his career, condensed into a single fictional story.

Daly played with the book’s manuscript for more than 20 years. During that time, he also wrote a business book, “Pricing for Profitability,” published by Wiley & Sons, and honed his writing skills on dozens of smaller projects including seminars, professional articles and a string of eight one-act plays produced by The Players in Detroit. Last summer he found time to work on “Tool & Die” again and finished it four weeks into his COVID-19 quarantine.

In the book, Fairlane Tool and Manufacturing Company thrives despite competing with huge publicly traded automotive parts suppliers. When a new executive joins the team, the conflicts threaten to destroy the collaborative corporate culture and work life becomes an everyday struggle.

May 18, 2020