Author Evan Williams believe that art is most effective when it challenges convention.
In his debut novel, “RIPPLES” to be released by Newnan, Georgia based publisher SFK Press, Williams strives to tear up Southern family stereotypes and reveal what’s underneath.
Front cover of RIPPLES by Evan Williams. Fish swimming with water ripples spreading out from fish.
“I want readers to be upset and uncomfortable as their pet institutions come under attack, to see that what may be working for the majority, can be poison for others,” Williams said. “But I want that to invoke compassion, and to inform readers of the complex dynamics of close community, including both positive and negative peer pressure.
Williams draws heavily from his personal experience growing up in a family business and his religious upbringing to create a liminal space that speaks to the universal human condition while still remaining firmly rooted in Southern life.
“Most people get forced out of their comfort zone at some point. And sometimes you still have one foot in,” SFK Press publisher Steve McCondichie said. “‘RIPPLES’ shares one story of being stuck in the middle and speaks to the relatable experience of being forced to confront uncomfortable truths.”
In a small town swollen with secrets, a young boy puzzles his way through a minefield of societal expectations and Southern Baptist status quo. Ben Bramley has been granted an idyllic upbringing in a scenic mountain hamlet. With one set of grandparents living next door and the other a mile away, both family lines are involved in the area’s widespread apple-growing heritage. But within this close-knit community, privacy is an illusion. When the promises of his faith fail him, Ben struggles alone with an unrecognizable life and becomes the unwitting repository of weighty secrets. Complex relationships fuel a story in which hypocrisy is an art form, change is impossible, and love is destructive.
Evan Williams entered his first writing competition in sixth grade, a county-wide agricultural conservation essay contest, and won second place along with a nifty plaque. “RIPPLES” draws heavily on his family’s multigenerational apple-growing business. Surrounded by orchards, Evan writes from within a former apple storage shed—the same shed where he would steal away as a boy to enjoy quality reading time.
Praise for “RIPPLES”:
“A wise, ardent debut novel about the burden of one man’s past and his search for absolution. Williams knows what Faulkner knew: that literature’s one true subject is the human heart in conflict with itself.”
—Jonathan Dee, 2011 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for “The Privileges”, Guggenheim Fellow
“This narrative is nothing short of a startling once-in-a-millennia meteor shower … Williams seems always to capture little parts of who we are, of who we know we are but only recognize when he points them out. Both scenic and sonic, ‘RIPPLES’ joins the gorgeous literary canon that the Carolina Appalachians have bestowed on America.”
—F. Rutledge Hammes, 2019 South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow, and author of “A Curious Matter of Men with Wings”
“There’s a dark secret hidden in the apple orchards of Abundance, North Carolina … Williams’ fierce, Wolfian first novel reminds us that to complete the journey, we not only can go home again, we must.”
—David Payne, author of “Barefoot to Avalon: A Brother’s Story”
More information about “RIPPLES” can be found at: https://sfkpress.com/titles-ripples/
More information about Evan Williams can be found at: www.evanwilliamsauthor.com
Media Kit for “RIPPLES” is available here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cGCVTOM4EOP26UyqLmUJiZPsE2aZ1aQM
For review copies and interview requests, email Amanda Dyar at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (770) 683-1239.
Purchase “RIPPLES” April 9 from your favorite local Southern independent bookseller or online.