Let’s pause now for a short intermission

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The Cash and Carry, a general store operated by Alex Green in Markham, played a key role in the Shedrick Thompson story.

I started this blog in January with the goal of describing what it was like to write this book and get it published. One question that I faced immediately was how often to post. I hoped to develop interest in the book before publication, but I didn’t want to turn off potential readers with too much horn-tooting. After about a month, I found a rhythm of once a week that I was comfortable with. Today marks 17 Tuesdays in a row that I have written about some aspect of this book. But the string ends today.

My decision follows the news from History Press that publication will occur on Monday, Sept. 12, instead of July, as I originally thought. That means that the arrival of the book is still four months away. As my editor said, “We are basically in a quiet period.”

My guess is that The Last Lynching in Northern Virginia resides on someone’s computer at History Press headquarters in Charleston, S.C., awaiting transfer to its presses. So, as doctors tell prostate cancer patients, this is a period of “watchful waiting.”

I’ll resume this blog closer to press time, probably in late August. That’s when History Press expects to “set up author events, create press releases, send out review copies and provide promotional material,” according to one of their marketing staff. So, please, stay tuned.

Hold your horses there, Jim

A Fauquier County farm, 1940
A Fauquier County farm, 1940

Banks Smither, my editor at History Press, read this website last week and offered a word of caution. He said it appears here as if the title of my book has been determined, and that the book will be published in July 2016. Neither is certain.

The title I gave the story is Death on Rattlesnake Mountain: Virginia’s Last Lynching. I’m guessing that the first part of the title, Death on Rattlesnake Mountain, is set. Banks told me a story about how a member of the editorial board at History Press headquarters in Charleston, S.C., said he liked that part of the title. It’s the subtitle, Virginia’s Last Lynching, which may have to be tweaked. Banks also said that it helps sales if the name of the locality is in the book title. So maybe the new subtitle could be: How a 1932 Attack in Fauquier County became Virginia’s Last Lynching. I don’t know, that seems a little wordy to me.

As for the publication date, I think I’ll use an old newspaper trick. In a news story if I didn’t know exactly when something happened, I would say it happened recently. In this case, I’ll say that publication will occur this summer.