Author of Southern Stories



Latest Events and News Items.....


New Book on the Way!
I am pleased to announce the forthcoming release of my tenth book, Six Inches Deeper, in early March 2020.  This is a nonfiction account of a true crime, all factual and totally fascinating.  I've reproduced below a page from the Winter/Spring edition of the Mercer University Press catalogue.  This briefly summarizes the events covered in the book.  The official release date is March 3, 2020, but copies are available now for pre-order from Amazon.com.  With that said, I'd urge you to wait and purchase a copy from your local bookseller.  Digital copies will also be available for those who prefer e-readers.  
The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes

As an author, while you think your book might be good, it's a bit awkward to say that.  You hope others, perhaps more objective, will say that for you.  So..., with great humility I present a December 2019 review from the noted Jackie Cooper.  I hope his words say all that is necessary.

William Rawlings Barrels Back Into The World Of Fiction With


When I first discovered author William Rawlings he was writing mystery novels, really good mystery novels. But then he decided to concentrate on non-fiction books exploring the history of the South. He lost me there as I am not a fan of non-fiction but apparently others are as the books were very successful. Still it was with great pleasure and anticipation I discovered he had released a new novel with the title THE GIRL WITH KALEIDOSCOPE EYES.

This new novel takes place in Savannah, Georgia, a city that has longed intrigued me. The central character is a disbarred attorney and convicted felon named John Wesley O’Toole. Since getting out of prison he has returned to Savannah and is running the art gallery once owned by his grandmother. His wife divorced him while he was in prison and he has to pay child support for their two children. His finances are in worse shape than he is.

Things look up when he is contacted by a wealthy man who wants John to search for his missing granddaughter. He feels John is the perfect man to find out her whereabouts as his granddaughter Lucy took with her a somewhat valuable painting. By finding the painting John should be able to find Lucy. It sounds simple in theory but in execution it is much more difficult.

John’s investigation ends up putting him in the predicament of being accused of murder. He is alleged to have been connected with a burned up vehicle that had a body of a young woman in the trunk. Once again John’s life is careening out of control and there seems no hope of justice finding a way into his life.

In William Rawlings mind however there is a way, and his presentation of it is a wonderful read. We go through more twists and tuns than you can imagine, but imagination is key in Rawlings work. He is also adept at creating fully described characters, something that more famous authors seem to be unable to do these days.

THE GIRL WITH KALEIDOSCOPE EYES is a fast paced thriller that will hold you captive page after page. It is a complex and complicated story but Rawlings manages to sort it all out in the end with a conclusion you just didn’t see coming.

If you want a story you can settle into and enjoy for a few hours, this is the book you need. Rawlings might have left the fiction world for a few years but his story skills did not rust. He is back and better than ever.

Want to See All of My Books?--Here's a Link to Amazon's Author Page

The Strange Journey of the Confederate Constitution
The Strange Journey of the Confederate Constitution, and Other Stories from Georgia's Historical Past. is a collection of 17 shorter pieces on Georgia and Southern history, ranging from the significance of the invention of the cotton gin and the Great Yazoo Fraud, to the true story of the Lost Confederate Treasure, to the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.  Somewhat more than half of these have appeared in Georgia Backroads magazine over the last decade, but have been reworked for this book.   Two of the pieces ("A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff "and "The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire") were expanded to become full length books.

The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire

The history of the various "Ku Klux Klans" since the Reconstruction Era of the 1860s and 1870s is a complicated one, and often misunderstood by historians and the public alike.  In 1915 William Simmons, a former minister and fraternal order organizer launched a new "beneficial fraternal order" that he named "The Ku Klux Klan," based almost solely on the popularity of the then-current blockbuster movie, The Birth of a Nation.  Started primarily as a money-making scheme, and borrowing the movie props of the burning cross and white-hooded gowns, Simmons's Klan grew from a few thousand members in 1920 in Georgia and Alabama to as many as 5 million members in all 48 states by 1925,  Promoted by a pyramidal marketing scheme, it enriched its founders while attracting members from all social classes nationwide. Attempting to turn its membership power into a political movement, the Klan failed, and was essentially defunct by the 1930s, finally declaring bankruptcy in 1944.  It's a fascinating tale of this vile organization, and one that will surprise you.

A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff

A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff is a saga of two inextricably intertwined tales, the infamous Rawlings-Tarbutton murder case of 1925, and the crash of the cotton economy in Georgia (and the South) of the same era.  Sound like a strange combination?  It's not.  From about 1795 until the 1920s, the entire life of many of the southern states was based on the production of cotton.  Men became rich.  And when it all fell apart, lives were forever changed.  It was a fascinating and little known era.   In this popularly written account, I integrate local and regional history and economics that forever changed the South and Southern small towns in particular. 

Event Schedule
Upcoming events for the next few months are
listed below.  If you or your book or social club
are looking for a speaker, please contact me.

1/18/20 8:30  AM
Speaking Engagement
The Men's Breakfast Club
Carlyle Place
Macon, Georgia

1/31/20 5:30 PM
Broad Street Books Book Club
Louisville, Georgia

2/4/20 12:00 Noon
Speaking Engagement
Valdosta Book Review Club
Valdosta Country Club
Valdosta, Georgia

2/4/20 4:00-6:00 PM
Presentation and Book Signing

Turner Center for the Arts

527 N. Patterson Street

Valdosta, Georgia

Speaking Engagement
Annual Meeting of Federal 
   Court Advisory Committee
Ritz Carlton Hotel
Amelia Island, Florida

8/25/20 2:00 PM
Speaking Engagement
Center for Life Enrichment
348 South 5th Street
Highlands, North Carolina

10/8/2020 10:00 AM
Speaking Engagement
Center for Life Enrichment
348 South 5th Street
Highlands, North Carolina

News and Notes

There is always something happening.  Here are the latest odds and ends that may be of interest to you:

Book Number 11:  I am working on a book scheduled to be published in 2021, a larger format and richly illustrated work on lighthouses of coastal Georgia.  The book will consist of two parts, a general history of lighthouses, especially in the United States, and a second part focusing on the five existing lighthouses on Georgia's barrier islands.   In truth, with radar, accurate maps and GPS, lighthouses are now relics of the past, but beautiful and inspiring monuments at the same time.  I think this book will be a good mix of history, technology and beauty.  I'm enjoying the journey of writing.