Kevin Winchester (kwinches on QT) has signed with agent Adam Friedstein of .
In the small town where Robert Williams is beginning his movement of armed resistance against racism, Franklin McAllister, a local Ku Klux Klan member, is working against him when Franklin’s brother, Harley, returns home and joins an interracial band that Williams supports—an unforgivable act, as far as Franklin is concerned.
On Trembling Ground is a literary novel of 102,000 words, which readers of authors Ron Rash and Kathyrn Stockett will enjoy. It is the story of two brothers, Franklin and Harley McAllister. More than anything, Harley wants to play music professionally but after nearly fifteen years touring juke joints in the South, he returns home broke and unsure how to advance his career. Franklin is a member of the local Ku Klux Klan, and is intent on preserving “the Christian way of life” in the South. As racial tensions in the community rise, Harley is offered the chance to play in an interracial band with Addie Johnson. Harley chooses to follow his dream, and once the Klan hears of it, they force Franklin to choose his allegiance—to his family or to the Klan’s cause. He chooses the Klan and is willing to destroy his brother and their family as a result.
The historical nature of the novel arises from “the Kissing Case.” Two African-American boys, ages eight and ten, were accused of raping a twelve-year-old white girl in Monroe, NC in 1958 and Robert Williams used the ensuing publicity to begin actively promoting his idea of armed resistance against racists. Three years later, he fled Monroe for Cuba as a riot engulfed the town. The tension-filled years from 1958 to 1961 provide the setting for the novel On Trembling Ground. The novel utilizes alternating, first person narrators to reveal the community’s struggles and Harley and Franklin’s attempts at coming to terms with their past and current differences, their family heritage and legacy, and their new roles in those struggles.
I received an M.F.A. from Queens University of Charlotte in 2005. Sections of On Trembling Ground appeared previously in “Gulf Coast Literary and Arts Journal” and in my short story collection, “Everybody’s Gotta Eat,” published by Main Street Rag in 2009. Other examples of my writing have appeared in “Tin House,”“Story South,” “Barrel House Magazine” and the anthology Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas. I also attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in 2005 on a “wait-staff” scholarship. I currently live in Waxhaw, NC and grew up in Monroe, the novel’s setting. Much of the material in the novel is based on firsthand accounts of these events from relevant sources in the area.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.