Local Author Talk and Book Signing

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Date(s) - 04/15/2014
6:00-pm - 7:30-pm

Library Auditorium


Author Rita Sims Quillen Weaves an Adventurous Tale
of a World War I Deserter in Southwest Virginia

Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc, of Johnson City, TN, is proud to announce the release of the Appalachian historical fiction novel Hiding Ezra, written by respected author Rita Sims Quillen. Quillen, a semifinalist for Virginia’s Poet Laureate in 2012, has published two full-length poetry collections: Counting the Sums and Her Secret Dream. Hiding Ezra, her first novel, was inspired by a true story from Quillen’s husband’s family and details how a WWI deserter struggled to survive and evade arrest in the rugged mountains of Southwest Virginia.
In Hiding Ezra, Quillen unfolds a deeply emotional understanding of the complexities of war, loyalty, and family. The adventurous drama is a narrative that deepens our love and appreciation for the characters and the region. Hiding Ezra captures the rural hardships experienced in Southwest Virginia during the tumultuous times surrounding the 1918 influenza pandemic and WWI.
The tale is of a farmer, Ezra Teague, who is forced to choose between fighting for his country and taking care of his family. Like more than 175,000 other young men, Ezra chose his family—not because he was a coward or a pacifist, but because he was practical and because he felt his Christian faith called him to do so. Hiding Ezra is also a love story, as we see the girl of his dreams, Alma Newton, try to figure out how to extricate Ezra from his predicament. Hiding Ezra is the story of an adventure, a quest, and a chase, as the authorities—including local boy Lieutenant Andrew Nettles—try to bring Ezra to military justice.
Quillen lives in Southwest Virginia on Early Autumn Farm in Scott County, Virginia. “I based my story line on a family tale, but in doing my research, I surprised at the number of men in our region who were faced with the same dilemma.” The book cover is beautifully illustrated by locally prominent artist Willard Gayheart.