• Coronavirus,  Weekly Blog,  Writing & Publishing

    “Our Town”

    “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every minute?“ A book can bring comfort in the age of coronavirus — and even recognition [SPOILER ALERT: Details what happens to a main character ... for the seven people alive who don't know.] One of the social media questions floating around, as we’re all stuck inside during the coronavirus quarantining, is “What book are you reading?” Mine is Thornton Wilder’s Pulitizer-winning play, OUR TOWN. Why I’m reading it? Because we were supposed to be seeing it in a couple of days, Tuesday evening, at a community theater out of state. Our oldest grandchild was performing in…

  • Coronavirus,  Weekly Blog

    Jeff Bezos Needs No Fundraiser

    Amazon is fine in the time of COVID-19, but not our Mom-and-Pops As we hunker down in this coronavirus-imposed isolation, we’ll soon run out of “things.” Food is obvious. … and we all know about our obsession with toilet paper. But there’s also everything from children’s crayons to laundry detergent to books to medications to … well, the list is as long as your list. We’re sure not going to the stores to get them. We’ll just go online. Probably to Amazon. Like Amazon needs our help. The ones who do need our help — and much more than just our help, of course — are the shops and restaurants…

  • Coronavirus,  Vacations,  Weekly Blog

    COVID-19 and the Summer of ’20

    So are YOU going on vacation this year? This morning has been rapid-fire crazy, with cancellations or postponements over the coronavirus coming from every angle … every few minutes. Even our home town of Richmond. The first was a note from my wife saying students would be off from her school tomorrow, so faculty and staff could develop plans. Then she sent another saying the big end-of-March 10k road race was being pulled, too, delayed until September. (Our whole family comes into town for that one … or would have.) The Richmond Forum followed with a subscriber email saying its two speaker events this month — one with Michele Obama…

  • Weekly Blog,  Writing & Publishing

    Print, Audio & E

    The Three Faces of Publishing Over at Beach Glass Books, we’ve just announced our March Book of the Month. It’s THE SENATOR’S SON: The Shocking Disappearance, The Celebrated Trial, and The Mystery That Remains a Century Later, by Charles Olden. Technically, The Senator’s Son is not a new book, having been published more than a year ago. In  fact, it has already picked up some nice honors – winning a North Carolina Society of Historians Book Award and, on a more global note, being named an award-winning finalist in the International Book Awards. Those, obviously, were for the hardcover print edition, the only version there was. Now, The Senator’s Son…

  • Just Because,  Weekly Blog

    The Famous Carole Burnett ‘Blooper’

    I’m reading Carol Burnett’s In Such Good Company, her memoir about 11 years of her eponymous TV series. Last night I came to a short chapter, “The Famous Blooper.” Whether the November 5, 1977 skit qualifies as a blooper is debatable — it never aired simply because of a blurted-out epithet. But the scene is probably one of the show’s two most famous (along with “The Dentist”). And it IS hilarious — I re-watched it this morning. And legendary, of course. Dick Clark called it the most famous blooper on any show EVER. Make sure you read Carol’s short set-up before watching. One more thing to know is that each…

  • What's Important

    Our Two to Remember on Veteran’s Day

    Remembering my father (Bob McAllister, top) and his brother (Warren “Bud” McAllister, lower right), World War II veterans, on this Veterans Day. My father enlisted in the Army Air Corps (forerunner to the Air Force) right out of high school, but the war was ending by the time he was shipped to the Pacific. He ended up seeing more action on the group’s basketball team, which won the Far Eastern championship. Dad, who died eight years ago just short of 84, always said his 7-years-older brother was the true hero. Indeed, Bud, shown here in 1943, was a bomber pilot for the Eighth Air Force, whose perilous missions were flown…

  • Outer Banks, NC

    Writer Philip Gerard (who, coincidentally, just penned the foreword to my new “Hatteras Island”) wins the super-prestigious North Carolina Award for Literature

    Noted author PHILIP GERARD, equally adept at non-fiction and fiction, has been named the 2019 winner of the North Carolina Award for Literature. The awards, established by North Carolina’s General Assembly, are the highest civilian honors given by the state. They recognize significant contributions to the state and nation in the fields of fine art, literature, public service and science. The 2019 awards will be presented by the governor at an event Sat., Dec. 16, in Raleigh. I’m pleased to say the award comes just a few months after the release of the updated, 2nd Edition of my HATTERAS ISLAND: Keeper of the Outer Banks — with a new foreword…

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  • Boomer magazine,  Richmond, VA

    A Final Coffee with … Just Me

    BY RAY McALLISTER It’s the Ides of March, which may be a fitting day to announce here that I’m leaving Boomer magazine after 11 years — eight as editor, three as columnist only. Nothing wrong with Boomer, obviously. (We won’t enumerate all that’s wrong with me.) But the book business that was supposed to be a sidelight has exploded. For instance, I: 1) just signed a contract yesterday with a writer to publish her book this fall, 2) will sign a contract with a novelist next month to publish his, 3) am redesigning another writer’s children’s book this week for reprint, and 4) have to update one of my own…

  • Just Because

    Three Books on a Whim

    WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE? Walked into a Barnes & Noble the other day. Signs everywhere said “Bookhaul Blowout! … 50% Off.” It was only for select books, of course, but there were quite a few. First, I should note, a couple of my own books were on a “Local Authors” table. If they’re selling mine, of course I’ll buy theirs. By the way, I try to make my new book purchases at brick-and-mortar stores, because I want them to be around. (Some favorites: North Carolina coastal indies like Buxton Village Books, Books to be Red, Quarter Moon Books, Duck’s Cottage, Island Bookstore, Downtown Books and such, and Richmond indies like…

  • Outer Banks, NC

    Doctor’s Creek Journal, Fall-Winter 2018

      Now that the members have received the Doctor’s Creek Journal, I can tell you it’s out! One of the cool things I get to do is edit and design this great, twice-yearly publication of the Friends of Portsmouth Island. Portsmouth, of course, is just across the inlet from Ocracoke on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Now deserted, the “Ghost Village of the Outer Banks” still has many buildings standing from the old days, cared for by the FPI and the National Park Service. The stories are amazing. In this new issue, we report on the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, including four pages of photographs. (Hurricanes on the Outer Banks are…