William

Rawlings

Author of Southern Stories

 

 

Latest Events and News Items.....

 

Interview with Dough Dahlgren April 10, 2020
In case you missed it, I had a great web radio interview about Six Inches Deeper with Doug Dahlgrean on April 10, 2020.  If you'd like to hear the interview as a podcast, click HERE.
Praise for Six Inches Deeper
Thorough and meticulous, William Rawlings’s Six Inches Deeper chronicles the disappearance and discovery of a murdered
woman, the murder investigation, the trial, and its aftermath. This journalistic work concerns the August 1972 disappearance of
Hellen Hanks. ...The book takes a chronological approach to the crime, tracing the investigation’s steps, beginning with initial
reports of Hanks’s disappearance and the conflicting stories of Wilcox and his associates. ...Much space is given to recapping
the murder trial in detail, in the prose of a newspaper chronicle. Sources, including news accounts and trial transcripts, help
to recreate events; witness testimonies, questions about race and police interrogation, and the high-profile defense attorney’s
courtroom theatrics fill in the gaps regarding what really happened. Six Inches Deeper is a scrupulous exploration of a tragic
case that illustrates how small coincidences, like a plow hitting a shallow grave or a witness revealing a key mistake, ensured
that a perpetrator paid for his crime.
—Jeff Fleischer, Foreword Reviews (March/April 2020)
 Thorough and meticulous, William Rawlings’s Six Inches Deeper chronicles the disappearance and discovery of a murdered woman, the murder investigation, the trial, and its aftermath. This journalistic work concerns the August 1972 disappearance of Hellen Hanks. ...The book takes a chronological approach to the crime, tracing the investigation’s steps, beginning with initial reports of Hanks’s disappearance and the conflicting stories of Wilcox and his associates. ...Much space is given to recapping the murder trial in detail, in the prose of a newspaper chronicle. Sources, including news accounts and trial transcripts, help to recreate events; witness testimonies, questions about race and police interrogation, and the high-profile defense attorney’s courtroom theatrics fill in the gaps regarding what really happened. Six Inches Deeper is a scrupulous exploration of a tragic case that illustrates how small coincidences, like a plow hitting a shallow grave or a witness revealing a key mistake, ensured that a perpetrator paid for his crime.

—Jeff Fleischer, Foreword Reviews (March/April 2020)

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

THE GIRL WITH KALEIDOSCOPE EYES


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.


***************************


Another Great Review for The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes 

I love a story that keeps you guessing and turning the pages.  This was the case with The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes, a crime mystery set in beautiful Savannah, Georgia.  William Rawlings is a masterful story teller, and his descriptions of the characters as well as this historic town make the reader feel as if her is there watching it all unfold.


In this story, John Wesley O'Toole, a disbarred former attorney, is trying to make a new start in life as an art dealer following his release from prison.  He is struggling financially when he is approached by a prominent wealthy businessman and offered a significant sum to help recover a painting that's been stolen by the man's estranged granddaughter, Lucy.  After Lucy is found dead, O'Toole is arrested and jailed as the prime suspect in her murder, and it seems that there's no one he can trust to help him prove his innocence.  There's no one he can trust, period.


This is a book you won't be able to put down.  My advice is that you block out a few hours before diving in. If you're like me, you just won't be able to stop reading and trying to answer that immortal question, "Who dunnit?"  Highly recommended.

Michael Buffalo Smith

Kudzoo Magazine

February 2020


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.

The COVID-19 Pandemic is causing many events to be cancelled or postponed.  I will keep this list up to date for any signings, talks, or other events that will be rescheduled.

6/18/20 7:00-8:00 PM
Webinar featuring Six Inches Deeper
Ga. Center for the Book/Decatur Library
Details and how to register to attend 
   online will be posted when finalized.

6/25/20 12:30 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Hudson Library
554 Main Street
Highlands, North Carolina

7/14/20
Book Club Discussion 
  of "Six Inches Deeper" (Private Event)
Highlands Country Club
Highlands, North Carolina

7/16/20 5:00-8:00 PM
Book Signing for "Six Inches Deeper"
Broad Street Books
112 East Broad Street 
Louisville, Georgia

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

9/29/20 10:00 AM
Book Club Discussion (Private Event)
Columbus, Georgia

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



TO BE RESCHEDULED
Presentation and Book Signing as part of
  The Author Entertainment Series
University of Georgia/Griffin Campus
Griffin, Georgia
DETAILS TO FOLLOW CLOSER TO DATE

POSTPONED--Will be rescheduled
Book Signing for "Six Inches Deeper"
Citizens Bank of the South/Main Office
Sandersville, Georgia

POSTPONED--Will be rescheduled
Book Signing for "Six Inches Deeper"
Righton Books
Redfern Village 
St. Simons Island, Georgia



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 late winter 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.