Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


September 5, 2013

GARY'S WORLD: Author bringing new novel to Crossville

CROSSVILLE — About six years ago a writer who has since become a dear friend of mine came to Crossville and stayed in a cabin at the invitation of another friend and wrote the rough draft of a novel that is scheduled for release Sept. 10, 2013 published by Mercer Press.

“Mother of Rain,” the new novel by author Karen Spears Zacharias, will capture your heart if you love tales and adventures of historic Appalachia and Tennessee.

Next Friday, Sept. 13, Karen will return to Crossville to give a presentation at the Art Circle Public Library during a local author open house event.

The new novel is dedicated to Charles Gordon Wofford (Flash), the Crossville resident who encouraged Karen to come spend some time in Cumberland County in that cabin and work on her novel.

Gordon, who was also a dear friend of mine thanks to Karen, has since passed away in 2009 after a long battle with cancer. Gordon, a Vietnam veteran, and Karen became friends after he read a previous book by Karen, “After the Flag is Folded,” and saw her appearance on Good Morning America.

Karen, whose father was killed in Vietnam, wrote that book from the family’s viewpoint of losing a family member to a war in the 1960s and the aftermath and continuing to live in the South.

Gordon told me, “After reading that book it got me to thinking about what it was like for the families. The survivors at home and not from the veteran’s point of view. It changed everything for me.”

I met Gordon in 2006 after Karen, who lives thousands of miles away in Oregon, encouraged him to go to the local newspaper to tell his story of meeting the family of the man who was killed in Vietnam while saving Gordon’s life.

It’s a story I’ve written about several times before. We all became friends after that story.

Gordon was a master storyteller. He would often tell stories of the past and his raspy, southern-accented phrases and the way in which he worded events made his stories deeply interesting and entertaining.

What makes Karen’s newest book “Mother of Rain” special is that several of the characters are based on family members of Karen’s childhood times in Tennessee, where she spent much time with her great-aunt ‘Cil in Christian Bend.

It’s through the telling of these tales and the sharing of these stories with readers today, that preserves family heritage and old times and the experiences shared demonstrate what life was like in the south, decades and lifetimes ago.

Although this is Karen’s first novel, she was written several non-fiction books in the past and is an experienced author and journalist who uses those skills to present stories based on evidence and facts.

This presentation, will also include an appearance by Ann Hite, author of “The Storycatcher,” which is a ghost tale set in 1939 in North Carolina.

Karen is on an extensive book tour of the South right now and Crossville is one of the places she has planned on visiting for years once this book was published.

Karen is looking forward to brining “Mother of Rain” home to Tennessee and sharing the characters and stories with Crossville.

The author’s event is at the Art Circle Public Library from 9 a.m. until afternoon. Karen Spears Zacharias will give her presentation from 11 a.m. to noon. A lunch sponsored by the Friends of the Library will follow at noon.

• • •

Gary Nelson is a Crossville Chronicle staffwriter. His column is published each Friday. He may be reached at

Text Only
  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar