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Bizarro by Dan Piraro

In Jail for Self-publishing?

By DAN PIRARO

If you have ever seen Dan Piraro’s critically acclaimed comic Bizarro (and you have: it is published daily in over 360 papers), you know that he doesn’t see the world like the rest of us do. His single panel gems are a unique concoction of surrealistic imagery, social commentary, and witty plays on words. Indeed, if Salvador Dali, Garry Trudeau and Oscar Wilde had an illegitimate child, that child would be Dan Piraro.

 

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.

______________________________

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

 

The Killing Road, based on a true story by Scott Fields

Author found it emotionally difficult to write The Killing Road

Outer Banks Publishing Group Author Scott Fields

Author SCOTT FIELDS

Author Scott Fields talks about his new novel, The Killing Road, and why he decided to dramatize this true story and how hard it was to write such a book.

What made you dramatize the true life events of The Killing Road?

I was at a book signing when a young couple came up to me and the woman told me about a time when three members of her family were killed by a maniac who eventually killed twelve people in a three week period. She gave me the phone number of her grandparents. I met with them and they gave me a scrapbook that was full of everything I needed to know.

What is your fascination with real life crime stories? Why do you think you are so interested in true crime? Your earlier novel, The Mansfield Killings, is also based on true events.

Normally, I prefer feel good stories. I like a story with a conflict but a happy ending. The Killing Road and The Mansfield Killings began by someone telling me about some events that happened years ago. Something clicked inside me when I heard about each one, and my regular life was put on the back burner.

What do you hope to accomplish by writing The Killing Road? By writing any book?

Most everyone has a hobby, and mine just happens to be writing. For all my life ideas would pop into my head. If they stayed there for several years, then I took them seriously and would eventually turn those ideas into a novel.

How did you go about starting The Killing Road? What was involved?

After several interviews and trips to the library for additional information out of the newspapers, I was ready to begin.

You said it was hard writing The Killing Road. What did you mean by that?

It was extremely difficult to write about some of the things that he did. It only took me four months to write The Mansfield Killings, and it took me two years to write this one. He was incredibly vicious and did some things that I described in the novel but will not discuss them today.

Do you have another book on the horizon?

I am about halfway finished with a little more upbeat kind of novel. Imagine a mafia hitman turning into a pastor and becoming obsessed with taking care of kids with cancer. I have a real problem with kids getting cancer, and I just had to write a story about it. This will be one more way of feeding my hobby.

__________________________________

The Killing Road
Now $12.99 directly from the Publisher for a limited time

Click here to order your copy!

List Price: $17.99
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
220 pages
Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0990679035
ISBN-10: 0990679039
BISAC: Fiction / Crime
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You and your book are your brand

book, Outer Banks Publishing Group, Outer Banks Publishers, Outer Banks Publishing, Outer Banks, Outer Banks, OBX, OBX books, OBX Publishers, OBX Publishiing Group

Richard Ridley

Be Honest, be Transparent

So, this isn’t the first time I’ve floated this idea out there, but it’s something I like to touch on from time to time to remind indie authors what an author brand really is. Using the word brand suggests that there’s an artificial construct involved. That you as an author are being directed to create a persona that you think meets readers’ expectations.

Every time I get into this discussion with people I’m reminded of a scene from the classic television show Seinfeld. When Jerry and George are pitching a show to the television network executives, they’re asked what it’s about, and George excitedly proclaims that it&’s about nothing. The network executive is confused because it can’t be about nothing. It has to be about something, but George insists that it’s not. Jerry interjects that even nothing is something.

That exchange encapsulates what an author brand is. It’s nothing. That is to say it’s nothing false. It is you. It is your interests, your opinions, and your personality. It is everything you love. It can even be everything that drives you crazy. Wherever your passions lie, that’s your brand. There is nothing to do to build a brand other than to be yourself, genuinely, fervently, and openly.

Building and maintaining an author brand is, at its core, you being honest about who you really are. If you are, your brand will thrive and help grow your community. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen as long as you stay committed to that principle. In turn, your community will help grow your readership.

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.
Reprinted from Createspace Community Blog
IMG_3143

Writing is like exercise – you need to keep in shape


Writer and Internet marketer Aaron Harris notes five good reasons why you should write every day especially if you have a blog or website. His five reasons to keep in shape as a writer are:

  1. You are someone’s idol, hope, and inspiration
  2. Your works could be a part of someone’s daily routine
  3. No matter how bad you write, there will always be someone who loves your work
  4. Writing helps you loosen up, relieve stress
  5. Writing is simply one of the best ways to express yourself

Read the rest of Aaron’s article published on the Digital Donut site.

 

coloring-books-adults-johanna-basford-4

Believe it or not

Adult Coloring Books dominated sales in 2015 and will continue…

Video provided by Fox

Nine of the 20 books on Amazon’s current bestseller list contain few words and belong to a genre that didn’t exist two years ago. Welcome to the biggest publishing craze of the year: coloring books for adults, writes Susannah Cahalan in the New York Post.

More than 2,000 have hit stands since 2013 and the genre’s two biggest bestsellers, “Secret Garden” and “Enchanted Forest,” have sold a combined 13.5 million copies in 50 countries, she wrote.

“Adult coloring books are key factors in three of the top four adult nonfiction categories,” according to Kristen McLean, director of new business development for Nielsen Book.

“They make up 14 out of the top 20 for games/hobby/activity, including the top three slots. They are 40 out of the top 50 in art/design. There are even three in the top 20 in self-help,” she was quoted an article in the ABA Winter Institute’s look at 2016 bookselling trends from Publishers Weekly.

So what is the attraction to coloring books? People consider it therapeutic, stress-relieving and calming. Adrienne Raphel in her piece in The New Yorker called the trend, the “Peter Pan Market” as adults turn to coloring to relive the joys of their childhood.

Starre Vartan wrote in Mother Nature Network (MNN) that MNN’s own Robin Shreeves is a fan, “I enjoy them because when I’m doing them, I don’t think about anything but colors. They take me away from life’s problems without a lot of effort. So do many other creative endeavors, but with the coloring book, I can do it for 10 minutes instead of the time it would take me to do some other things. I don’t do it often, but I pick it up from time to time and get lost for a bit,” Shreeves wrote.

“Coloring fulfills a creative urge and is also soothing and calming,” wrote Jan Hornbeck Chapman, an Ohio-based youth librarian in her 60s, according to Vartan.

Vartan also quoted Sophie Hessekiel, a college student at Vassar in Poughkeepsie, New York, echoes Chapman, even though she’s at a completely different stage of life. “Coloring lets you think about nothing for a little while, and the feel of a marker on paper is very soothing,” she wrote.

 

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Pentatoxic

Be Happy

Enjoy this Holiday Season

with one of our favorite songs by Pentatonix

May your holiday be blessed with joy and happiness from our family to yours.
Anthony & Family

Happy Holidays

If in London…Poet Owain Glyn is a Guest Panelist at the London Convention at Foyles Bookstore Dec. 12

Poet Owain Glyn

Poet Owain Glyn at home writing

Owain will chair a panel discussing how to get the best from literary sites such as Wattpad, and how this can lead to ever wider followings, and even publication.

The convention will be attended by more than 150 Wattpad authors, poets and writers who will participate in the discussion.

Foyles was once listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest bookshop in terms of shelf area (30 miles/50 kilometres) and number of titles on display. It is one of the largest bookstores in the UK.

Owain is a Welsh exile, currently living on the wild coast of Cornwall, UK, a land of legend, from King Arthur, and Merlin, to mermaids, pirates, and smugglers.

Windswept - Poems of Love

Get Windswept into love

Inspired by his surroundings and his love of words he writes on a wide range of subjects, from romance, to humour, politics, dark spiritual matters, and children’s poetry. He writes in a style which he hopes is accessible to all.

Bring some love into your life – order your copy here for $10.99.

And if you want to know more about Owain, see the interview by Phoenix Rainex on her site.

And be sure to read JT Twissle’s excellent article on how Owain creates his poetry, The Passionate and Whimsical Poet of Penzance on her site.

_______________________

Windswept – Poems of Love
List Price: $10.99
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White Bleed on Cream paper
140 pages
Publication Date – September 30, 2015
Outer Banks Publishing Group

W & G Foyle Ltd. (usually called simply Foyles) is a chain of book shops with seven locations but is best known for its flagship store in Charing Cross Road, London.

Concerning The King of Craw – a new Ron Rhody novel

Ron Rhody

Ron Rhody

Outer Banks Publishing Group author Ron Rhody is finishing up a new novel based on true events and the nefarious characters that lived and ruled in an area called the Kingdom of Craw in Kentucky’s Capitol City during the heady days of the Roaring Twenties.

Famous throughout the southeast, Craw was Storyville on the Kentucky, the Barbary Coast in the Bluegrass – gambling and women and booze, knife fights and gun fights and party till the lights go out. Anything. Any time. All the time.

The plot revolves around John Fallis, a real character, renown as the King of Craw, and two boys who fall into his orbit. Fallis was a Robin Hood to the poor and powerless and the devil incarnate to the powers that be.

They wanted him gone and his story has taken on mythic proportions in the area.  His death is still a matter of controversy.

We’re shooting for a publication date of mid-year.

Front cover lo res CHere’s a sneak peak at one of the cover drafts.

Ron is the author of the THEO trilogy of novels, Soccer, a Spectator’s Guide and Wordsmithing, the Art and Craft of Writing for Public Relations. See all his titles on Amazon.

 

10 Most Popular Modern Authors

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Pray for the people of France

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We stand with France