Author of Southern Stories



Latest Events and News Items.....


The Next Book:  The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire
Release Date Confirmed!
Mercer University Press has set March 2016 the release date for The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire.  From my perspective, everything is done, including the editing, selecting the photos and illustrations, etc.  All that remains is a review of the galleys, and making an index as the last thing.  
The book turned out to be a bit longer than 100,000 words, with nearly 700 footnotes, and many, many references.  While that may be a bit overwhelming, recall that this is a new and definitive history of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, one of the more bizarre and dangerous (if I can use that word) episodes in American history.  

Here is the description of the book from the Mercer University Press Spring 2016 Catalogue:  

Fifty years after the end of the Civil War, William Joseph Simmons, a failed Methodist minister, formed a fraternal order that he called The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.  Organized primarily a money-making scheme, it shared little but its name with the Ku Klux Klan of the Reconstruction Era.  With its avowed creed of One Hundred Percent Americanism, support of Protestant Christian values, white supremacy, and the rejection of all things foreign, this new Klan became, for a brief period of time in the mid-1920s, one of America’s most powerful social and political organizations.  Shamelessly adopting the symbols of the hooded robe and burning cross from the movie, The Birth of the Nation, and exploiting the sense that America was headed in the wrong direction, the order spread rapidly to every state in the nation. While often using intimidation and violence against its foes, the Klan was responsible for the election of supportive politicians at all levels of government. Following a disastrous attempt to influence the presidential election of 1924, and with increasing public awareness of the Klan’s corrupt and violent nature, the order faltered, becoming a mere wisp of its former self by 1930. This original and meticulously researched history of America's second Ku Klux Klan presents many new and fascinating insights into this unique and important episode in American History.

And The Book After That:  What I Am Writing Now....

With The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire completed, I am working on my eighth book, the one to follow.  The tentative title is The Strange Fate of the Confederate Constitution, and Other Stories from Georgia's Historical Past.  It's  long title I know, but it is descriptive of the book's content.  For some years I have written shorter magazine pieces on a wide variety of topics, many of involving Georgia's history.  It was suggested that a collection of my works might be of interest, and after some thought I agreed that it would be.   I find history fascinating, and there are many events, topics, happenings, etc.  that are important and often little-known, but don't warrent an entire book.  So, dividing them into historical periods, and writing a few new short pieces to fill in the gaps, I hope to complete this manuscript by mid-2016.  It should appeal to those interested in Southern and/or Georgia history, and is designed to be a good resource as supplemental reading in university and high school AP history courses.  

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.   But don't take my word for it, read the book.  

I think if you ask any author about his or her book, they'll tell you it's great.  But, hey, they wrote it!  So, read someone else's thoughts.  Cllick Here for a review from Goodreads.  If you would like to see more, check out the reviews on amazon.com.

For those of you still not certain as to whether or not to get the book, here is a copy of the first chapter to whet your appetite.  To read it, click HERE.

Hear a Podcast Interview on A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff

On October 16, 2015, I was honored to have the opportunity to do a internet radio interview with Doug Dahlgren.  His show, on which he interviews authors and other interesting folk, is titled The Prologue.  The interview, which I hope you will find interesting, lasts about an hour.   Not only do we discuss A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff, we also discuss my forthcoming book, The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire.   To listen, click HERE.

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.

12/14/15 6:00 PM
Speaking Engagement
Book Club
Sandersville, Georgia

2/16/2016 2:00 PM
Speaking Engagement
"The Second Coming of the
  Invisible Empire"
Reinhardt University
Waleska, Georgia

3/25/2016 Details TBA
Speaking Engagement
Spartanburg County Historical Assn.
Spartanburg, South Carolina

5/5/16 7:00 PM
Speaking Engagement
Lincoln County Historical Society
Lincolnton, Georgia

6/?/2015 Details TBA
Speaking Engagement
Highlands CC Book Club
Highlands, North Carolina

6/30/16 2:00-4:00 PM
Speaking Engagement
"Mysteries and Mummies"
Center for Life Enrichment
Highlands, North Carolina 
(Details TBA)

9/1/16 2:00-4:00 PM
Speaking Engagement
"The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire"
Center for Life Enrichment
Highlands, North Carolina
(Details TBA)

News and Notes

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

New Magazine Article on the way:  The interesting thing about writing non-fiction, especially historical non-fiction, is that it is interesting!  By that, I mean that as you write on one topic, you frequently come across others that are just as fascinating.  The problem is  that one simply doesn't have time to drop what you are doing and flit off to write on the other topic.  But, such discoveries make for great magazine articles.  The upcoming Winter issue of Georgia Backroads magazine (out in November 2105) will feature an article on a great little bit of Georgia history, the "reign of terror" of the Ku Klux Klan in Macon in the early 1920s.   While most folks associate the name of the Klan with acts of racist violence  (not to mention their anti-Semiticism, anti-Catholic, and anti-immigrant rants), in Macon during the heady early days of the revived order, most of their self-rightous violence was visited upon white, native-born, Anglo-Saxon Protestants.  There were kidnappings and floggings, the most high-profile of which involved doctors, businessmen and others accused of violations of some unwritten moral codes.  The "outrages," which occured over a period of two years, led to arrests and a dramatic series of trials in late 1923.  Again, in sharp contrast to the popular perception of the Klan, these events involved men of prominence.   The story became a national one, with heavy national coverage in such newspapers as the New York Times.