William

Rawlings

Author of Southern Stories

 

 

Latest Events and News Items.....

 

The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes
I am pleased to announce that my latest book, The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes, is available to readers in both print and digital form.  With this book, I am in some ways returning to my roots as a writer.  While my last three books have been nonfiction, this is a rapidly moving tale of suspense set in Savannah.

This new work focuses on John Wesley O'Toole, a disbarred Savannah attorney who is trying to get his life back together after his release from prison following a vehicular homicide charge.  No longer able to practice law, he's become an art dealer after inheriting his grandmother's gallery on Liberty Street.  O'Toole is in deep financial trouble and about to lose everything when he is contacted by Abraham Deign, a wealthy businessman.  Deign offers him a hefty sum to find a missing painting, and with it, his estranged granddaughter, Lucy.  When Lucy's body is discovered in a burned out car near where she and O'Toole were due to meet, he is arrested on a charge of kidnapping and murder.  Things go downhill from there....

As with any good mystery story, things are never what they seem.  It's a tight, complicated plot, with an unexpected surprise ending.  I think you'll enjoy it!

If you would like a copy, books or available through your local bookstore, or online from both Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble (barnesandnoble.com).

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.

12/12/19 6:00 PM 
Speaking Engagement
Washington Memorial Library
1180 Washington Avenue
Macon, Georgia

12/14/19
Mercer Press Authors Luncheon
Hotel Intercontinental Buckhead
Atlanta, Georgia

12/19/19 5:00-8:00 PM
Book Signing 
Books on Broad
112 East Broad Street
Louisville, Georgia

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

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

News and Notes

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


  • Coming Soon:  Six Inches Deeper, my tenth book, is scheduled for release by Mercer University Press in Spring 2020.    Like my ninth book, The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes, this book is also a bit of a change, in that it's a true-crime account of a horrific murder that took place in south Georgia in 1972.  It was one of those stories that needed to be told, for multiple reasons.  The tale is one of power, money, sex, race, and of course murder and courtroom drama.  I couldn't have created a more interesting plot, but this one is all true.  I think readers will find it both fascinating and enlightening.  

  • 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 exisiting lighthouses on Georgia's barrier islands.   In truth, with radar, accurate maps and GPS, lighhouses 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.