By Joseph Pratt
Rhonda Hughes says she has done it all, from teaching and being a librarian to working communications. She is excited to now add author to her long list of titles and careers, since she has finally wrapped up the production of her first self-published novel, “Bessie and the Grey Lady: Eerie Tales from an Appalachian Family.”
Hughes says that she studied history and library science, as well as data processing and business administration at Morehead State University. She has also worked all over Appalachia over the years. Throughout this period of time, she has written many stories and told many more.
Through telling these stories over the years, interested parties began asking her to publish, so that they could have copies of their own. After being asked enough, Hughes said she began promising friends, and those who enjoyed her stories, that she would make an effort to publish.
The writer says that she has written many novels over her lifetime, even a romance trilogy she calls “In Perfect Union,” which she is planning to release soon. This anthology of family owned ghost stories is the first she has published, however.
“This book is a collection of stories my family and I have come up with. I even hesitate to say I wrote the book, because my aunt told me many of them. They are stories that have been in our family for a long time,” Hughes said.
Now married, Hughes said that the family horror stories come from the Haskins and the Parkers. These stories even have ties to other locals, such as local artist and business owner Charlie Haskins, since some stories have relevance to his great-grandparents, grandparents, and father.
“The stories within the novel are in no chronological order, but are placed to flow and keep the reader interested,” Hughes said. “I can’t stand a story that starts with a bang, but fizzles out.”
The novel is published through Amazon, and digital copies are available for $3.99. Hughes plans on releasing a physical copy soon, but she is waiting to find the right price for printing, in order to save customers the most money.
Hughes said she has set out to be more serious about publication and plans to self-publish more of her stories as she wraps up final touches through the publishing and book building aspects.
“It has surprised me just how exciting publishing this book has been for me,” Hughes said. “I’ve written many books and only close friends and relatives have had the opportunity to read them. I love that there is an opportunity for more people to read my work now.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.