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Tag Archives: Kentucky Bluegrass

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Discuss secrets of writing with novelist Ron Rhody

Want to know what it takes to write a novel? Talk with Outer Banks Publishing Group author Ron Rhody, who will be one of 170 prominent authors featured at the Kentucky Book Fair (KBF) on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, KY.

Ron has written four novels, including the bestselling THEO trilogy, all taking place in Frankfort, Kentucky, where he grew up and was exposed to local lore, legends and its rich history.

Ron Rhody Women's Club

Author Ron Rhody

The Kentucky Book Fair attracts writers of all genres and patrons of all walks of life in a celebration of shared passion and mutual interest — the importance and promotion of writing and reading.

In its 35th year, the book fair attracts approximately 4.000 patrons from Kentucky and surrounding states. Each author has a booth where they sell signed copies of their books and talk with patrons about their work.

Net proceeds from the KBF fund goes to Kentucky schools and public libraries for local book purchasing and other literacy-related causes.

The KBF makes every attempt to invite writers of all genres, current events, fiction, children’s books, poetry, cookbooks, mysteries and other genres.

In recent years, KFB celebrated the attendance of authors Sue Grafton, Rick Pitino, Christy Jordan, Eleanor Clift, Laurien Berenson, Duffy Brown, Ann Ross, Mark Kurlansky, Mary McDonough, among others.

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Concerning The Matter of The King of Craw

He brooked no insult, would not be cheated, would not be pushed around. He bent a knee to no man. He was the King of Craw and the powers-that-be wanted him gone.

Concerning The Matter of The King of CrawList Price: $16.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
288 pages
Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0990679042
ISBN-10: 0990679047
BISAC: Fiction / Historical / General

Now $11.99 – Order here

John Fallis, main character of Concerning the Matter of The King of Craw by Ron Rhody

All I’m trying to do is tell a story…We live by stories

Author Ron Rhody

Author Ron Rhody

Outer Banks Publishing Group author Ron Rhody tells what it takes to write a novel based on the real life of person in this interview. He talks about his newest book, Concerning The Matter Of The King of Craw, to be released at the Kentucky Book Fair on November 5 in Frankfort, KY and how he “wrote it” rather than reporting the story.

What brought you to write about John Fallis and his life and times?

I had just wrapped up When Theo Came Home (the last, maybe, in the Theo trilogy) and was searching for a subject for the next book. I had two ideas. One was for a story about what happens when the meek inherit the earth – you know, the promise in the Beatitudes, Mathew 5.5, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth” – what would happen, I wondered, if that happened?

The end of times… everyone gone … to heaven or hell … only the meek left. What would happen? Fascinating idea to play with.

The other idea was to try to build a story around John Fallis, the King of Craw. Fallis was a real character, a fascinating character, a dominating figure in Kentucky’s capital city during the Roaring Twenties, controversial at the time, legendary now.

I grew up in that town.  I remember hearing stories about about him as a boy – most of them bad. He was a legitimate businessman on the one hand, but on the other a  gambler, a brawler, the biggest bootlegger in the whole area with a violent temper and a reputation for mayhem.

He was also handsome and charismatic and loved by the common folk because he helped them and stood up for them against the Establishment. The powers that be didn’t like that. There is speculation even today that powerful forces in the city sent a hit man to do him in.  I thought I’d try to find out about him and build a story around him. The meek could wait.

Fallis is a real person. How did you get the information you needed to craft an informed story?

The way a reporter goes about it. Search the record, talk to people.  Son Bixie Fallis’ “biography” of his father at the Capital City Museum was a start and an enormous help.  Bixie’s story is that of a loving son writing about a hero father, so it has to be taken with a certain restraint, but it is first hand and intimate.

No one is alive today who knew Fallis directly but, thankfully, there is Jim Wallace’s collection of interviews with people who lived in the Bottom and Craw and who did know Fallis. They’re in his This Sodom Land treatise done for the University of Kentucky. It is enormously rich. And there is Doug Boyd’s work in his book Crawfish Bottom. It has a whole section on Fallis.

Those two pieces, and the local area newspapers, were my principal sources. And there are, of course, people who didn’t know Fallis but have relatives who did and who remember the stories they were told. I managed to find and talk with several of them.

After that, it was a matter of imagining what might have happened or could have happened as I worked with the information the limited sources provided. I’ve tried to stay true to facts I could uncover and make sure the inferences I’ve drawn from them are fair.

Concerning The Matter Of The King Of Craw is my fourth novel.  I think it is the best. I’ve learned a lot listening to Theo. The first three books are about him and make up the Theo trilogy. They did not start out to be trilogy. But one story led to another and then became three.

Like Concerning The Matter, they are set in Frankfort, which is Kentucky’s capital city – a jewel of a place, a river town in a Bluegrass Valley that has a character and a feel to it that works on me like magic.

All I’m trying to do is tell a story that makes the reader want to know what happens next and feel satisfied when one gets to the end. A story. A good story. That’s all. We live by stories.

The Theo books are about a young man who starts out as rookie reporter assigned to cover a bizarre murder which he leads him to a career in big time newspapering in New York City and other world capitals and ultimately back to that little town on the river trying to decide whether to run for Governor.

Along the way there are two other murders. He’s implicated in one of them. There is political intrigue and malfeasance, graft, blackmail, Melungeons, and, of course, a girl, Allie, who becomes a woman and who is in and out of his life through it all. I don’t know whether Theo runs and gets elected or not.

At present, I’m not interested in finding out, but I may want to.

The first three books I “reported.” I grew up newspapering, That’s the way you tell the story – who, what, when, where, why – and, if you can figure it out, how. I think they’re good books. They move fast and the stories are compelling.

I didn’t “report” Concerning The Matter Of The King of Craw.  I wrote it. There’s a difference. The who, what, when, where, why, and how are there. But there’s more. I think I’m getting the hang of it.

When you start a novel, who are you writing for?

I’ve given that a lot thought. The straight of it is that I’m writing for myself. I’m telling myself the story. If I can hold my interest, keep the story moving, touch a cord of emotion, be intrigued by things I didn’t know, discover something of value in the motives and actions of my characters, I’m happy.

All I’m trying to do is tell a story that makes the reader want to know what happens next and feel satisfied when one gets to the end. A story. A good story. That’s all. We live by stories.

Is there another book on the horizon?

I imagine. For a long time I’ve wanted to try a memoir of a sort. Not a real memoir. A string of stories or vignettes that tell of some of the things – people, places, events – that have mattered and may hold some interest for others. I’m not sure I have the courage to do that. There is the remembering of course. Pain came along with the good times. Not sure I want to revisit all that.

And there is the matter of ego. I’ve never been accused of being overly modest, but there seems something so egotistical about presuming to do a memoir that I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with trying one.

Otherwise, there’s Theo. Might be interesting to see if he could get elected and find out what challenges he would face as Governor of the Grand & Glorious Commonwealth of Kentucky and how he’d handle them.

And, of course, there’s the meek. I’ve often thought that given the prospect of an uncertain Heaven, or the beauty and bounty of Mother Earth, I’d opt for her.

We’ll see.

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Concerning The Matter of The King of Craw

He brooked no insult, would not be cheated, would not be pushed around. He bent a knee to no man. He was the King of Craw and the powers-that-be wanted him gone.

Concerning The Matter of The King of CrawList Price: $16.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
288 pages
Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0990679042
ISBN-10: 0990679047
BISAC: Fiction / Historical / General

Now $11.99 – Pre-order here

 

Ron Rhody at Buffalo Trace

New Novel dramatizes life of Kentucky’s legendary John Fallis

Front cover final choiceKentucky Native Son Ron Rhody’s exciting new book, Concerning the Matter of The King of Craw, will debut at the Kentucky Book Show November 2016

Pre-order your copy at the special publisher’s discount, $11.99. Click here to pre-order.
Ron Rhody's King of Craw Pre-order

Click here to pre-order your copy.

Based on true events!

The essence of good and evil is a certain disposition of the mind.”

                                                                                                       Epictetus

“To those in that section near the river where the poor lived, that section where the bad-ass bars and the honkey-tonks and the cat-houses huddled, to the people in that part of town they called the Bottom, and to many others all over town that were poor and powerless, he was revered. He stood up for them.

To the proper folk of the city, though, he was Lucifer unleashed. He was the King of Craw and they wanted him gone.”

Set in the Roaring Twenties in Kentucky’s Capital City, the story spins around John Fallis, a legendary figure in Bluegrass folklore, and two boys who fall into his orbit.

A successful businessman, a gambler, a bootlegger, movie-star handsome, charismatically compelling, and deferential to no one, he was the champion of the common man and the scourge of the Powers That Be.

He was the King of Craw.

The story begins just before the night of the Big Shoot-Out when he takes on the entire city police force and sets his fabled reputation in stone. But the way he died remains a mystery to this day. Did the powerful forces in the city have him killed or was it the gambling fight it was purported to be?

Though this is a story and not a history, most of it happened. John Fallis, Craw, Crawfish Bottom are names that still resonate and questions about his early end are still unanswered.

This is the first piece of fiction built around the man and the place, full of action and drama, most particularly for readers drawn to mystery and the on-going battle between good and evil.

Whatever you ultimately decide about JF’s place on the scale of good and bad or the particulars of his death, you won’t be bored.

The Publisher

Last Bluegrass Drama Released Today, Nov. 1

Ron Rhody’s last novel in the THEO Trilogy,
When THEO Came Home, now available


FRANKFORT, KY – Kentucky’s Capital City is reeling as a new Governor’s actions play havoc with the town, a perfect murder is still unsolved; there is a suicide, a showdown, and a long-ago love rekindling—that’s what he had to deal with When Theo Came Home, the concluding novel in Ron Rhody’s Theo Trilogy.

When Theo CamAuthor Ron Rhodye Home was released at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort on Saturday, November 16, but Outer Banks Publishing Group is offering a special pre-launch price of $12.99 .

The Kentucky Book Fair is the state’s largest. It is co-sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Libraries & Archives, the University Press of Kentucky, and The State Journal, the capital city’s daily newspaper. Held at the Frankfort Convention Center, the Fair attracts over 150 authors and averages over 4,000 attendees. All proceeds go to support public schools and libraries throughout the Commonwealth.

The three books in the Theo Trilogy are set in the Commonwealth’s fabled Bluegrass region and the Capital City of Frankfort and cover a time span ranging from the early 1950s to the first few years of the 1980s.

Rhody grew up in the town he writes about and began his career there. He’s been a reporter, a sportswriter, a broadcast newsman, and covered the Kentucky legislature before moving on to a career as a corporate public relations executive in New York and San Francisco. Both cities figure in this story, too, and the mountains of the Southern Appalachians where snake-handling cults still thrive.

The two other books that make up the Theo Trilogy are Theo’s Story, published in 2010, and Theo & The Mouthful of Ashes, published in 2011.

Order your copy at a special pre-launch price of $12.99, list $15.99.

“The characters are richly drawn. The action runs at a riveting pace. What happened When THEO Came Home is a helluva read and a fine, fine story.” – Ian Kellogg

When THEO Came Home is the concluding novel in the THEO Trilogy. The other books in the series are: THEO’s Story and THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes, both available on Amazon in print and ebook format and in fine bookstores everywhere.

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When THEO Came HomeLast novel in the THEO Trilogy
List Price: $15.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
360 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0982993101
ISBN-10: 0982993102
BISAC: Fiction / Suspense

OBX Author Ron Rhody weaves another Bluegrass drama in last THEO novel

A prominent newspaper columnist kills the man mostly likely to be the next Governor of Kentucky – and gets away with it. Ten years later, the death of his mentor brings him back to the scene of the crime.

Last novel in the THEO Trilogy

Last novel in the THEO Trilogy

Outer Banks Publishing Group author Ron Rhody has completed the last novel in the THEO trilogy, When THEO Came Home, available in November 2013.

This riveting story takes the reader through San Francisco to the canyons of Manhattan to the mountains of southern Appalachia where snake-handling cults still thrive.

The action takes place mostly in Kentucky’s fabled Bluegrass section and in Frankfort, the state’s capitol city, which is in turmoil in the midst of policies put in place by the new governor that are crippling the city.

What happens when Theo comes home is not what anyone expects – most particularly Theo.

Pre-order your copy at a special pre-launch price of $12.99, list $15.99, now through November 1, 2013.

“The characters are richly drawn. The action runs at a riveting pace. What happened When THEO Came Home is a helluva read and a fine, fine story.” – Ian Kellogg

When THEO Came Home is the concluding novel in the THEO Trilogy. The other books in the series are: THEO’s Story and THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes, both available on Amazon in print and ebook format and in fine bookstores everywhere.

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When THEO Came Home
List Price: $15.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
360 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0982993101
ISBN-10: 0982993102
BISAC: Fiction / Suspense