A washed up professional wrestler trying to jump-start his career while juggling three wives in three different cities is the subject of The Masked Demon, the latest novella by Monticello’s Mark Spencer.

Spencer, a professor of English and dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has authored seven books, including The Weary Motel, Love and Reruns in Adams County, and a nonfiction novel entitled A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House.

Spencer has received the Faulkner Society’s Faulkner Award for the Short Novel, the Omaha Prize for the Novel, the Cairns Short Story Award, and four Special Mentions in Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses.

His latest work is set in 1962 and tells the story of a wrestler known as “The Masked Demon” in Oklahoma City, “Bible Bob” in Dallas, and “Samson The Strong Man” in Houston. In Oklahoma City, his wife is the moody Darlene, aka lady wrestler Darla The Goddess of Sweet Sin; in Dallas, he’s married to sweet-natured Candy, a former Sears and Roebuck sales girl fascinated with President Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe; and in Houston, his wife is the prim Rachel Marie, daughter of a fire-and-brimstone preacher.

Dr. Robert Moore, a poet and UAM faculty member who writes under the pen name “Red Hawk,” calls Spencer’s latest book “hilariously, grandly funny and then tragic in a way that turns classic tragedy into farce . . . Arthur Miller and Shakespeare would love this novel; so do I.”

Spencer has published numerous short stories in journals such as the Charitan Review, Florida Review, South Dakota Review, Laurel Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Natural Bridge, Amarillo Bay and Clapboard House.

Spencer currently lives in Monticello with his wife and children in the famously haunted Allen House, the subject of A Haunted Love Story.