Showing posts from September, 2021

Moonshine, Murder and Mayhem

  My ancestors came to the hills of north Georgia in 1782 and built a log cabin on a flat piece of ground in a cedar grove which, by the time I was growing up, had long since been replaced by a chicken coop.   They were a rough lot, having migrated from Scotland to the mountains of Virginia/North Carolina almost a century earlier as outlaws fleeing some kind of political persecution—or at least that’s the story the family tells.   I’m not at all sure about the political part, but outlaws—yeah, I can see that. The bedtime stories of my childhood were not necessarily fairy tales. Southerners have a notoriously celebratory relationship with the macabre, and one of my earliest memories is the tale of a Creek ancestor of mine who had the temerity to marry into our family. Apparently, he was not widely embraced as an in-law.    He was found one morning floating face-down in a creek that bounded our property, “his long white hair streaming out behind him”.   The law ruled it suicide, but wa

A Stranger Comes to Town

  I love this quote!  It reminds us that a story doesn't begin until something changes.  Think about all your favorite books, the ones that really pull you in: they all begin with a change.  A stranger comes to town.  A road forks. An opportunity is offered.  A body is found.  It should also remind you that, if you happen to be a teller of tales, anything you write that delays getting your reader to part where something changes probably doesn't belong there. The story begins where something changes. Today I'm excited to announce that my story about a stranger coming to town is finally available!  UNFIXABLE: A BUCK LAWSON MYSTERY is the quintessential story of change, both for the fictional character and for me, the writer.  Buck Lawson, a favorite from The Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries , is a man desperate to change his life.  In an attempt to escape, not only his past, but the environment in which he is continuously defined by his reputation, Buck takes a new job and moves