One of my favorite authors who is also a personal friend is Joe Samuel Starnes. Sam has published two novels, Calling and Fall Line. What is distinctive about his writing is the depth of the characters he creates. They are, from the most part, archetypal rural and small-town Southerners brought to life through Sam’s storytelling.
The stage for Calling is a cross-country bus. The passengers include a down-on-his-luck radio DJ and a small town preacher turned bad, very, very bad. In Fall Line we meet a stubborn old woman living in the woods who isn’t prepared to go anywhere, even though her turf will soon be a lake. And what Southern tale would be complete without the glad-handing good ole boy crooked-as-they-come politician. You even get some perspective from an old country dog.
Sam’s been living in the Northeast for a couple of decades now but he’s a Georgia boy at heart and that is clear in his writing. These are good stories and I’d recommend them even if Sam wasn’t my friend.