A new author has returned to his roots. Clay County native Timothy Brown has debuted his book, “One Acre at a Time.” The book features anecdotes and characters from his life, as well as landmarks and towns from Clay County.
Brown’s book is centered around his two main characters, Tom and Callie Brown, who try to carve out a life in Clay County in the 1870’s. He was inspired to write this particular story after deciding there wasn’t a book that featured enough of what he wanted, and chose to write a book he’d like to read.
“When the cattle drive is over, the book is over. They don’t tell you a thing about how they lived and what they did,” he said in an interview with his sisters and nieces. “Mammy Jane’ comes close, but even it didn’t tell you much. So, I decided to write one, simple as that,” he said.
He also incorporated old sayings passed on from other family members. “If something would happen or I’d think of an old saying, I’d think ‘I need to put that in a book’.” Throughout the book he includes quotes from family members like his grandfather, Willie Stone.
The book incorporates other small details from the family. “[Our cousin] said when she came to the part about Serena – and I hope people realize that that’s Indore – she said she started bawling when she read there was a man at the anvil.”
Tim found little trouble writing the book. “Once I started, most of the time, I couldn’t write fast enough. It was all there, but I wrote it out longhand. I kept it, and [my wife] typed it afterwards and I could not write fast enough. In fact, when she typed it, there were so many places where I’d write ‘the’ instead of ‘they’ and I’d leave endings off of stuff because my mind was already on the material that I wanted to write. It came hard and fast. I could’ve made that book a thousand pages long; there was no place to quit. I covered three years. I could do that ten more times.”
“I remember having to set it down two or three times. Usually I’d write every day. There was a time, I quit for maybe two days. It never quit going through my mind, what to say and how to say it. The hardest part of the whole book was where to start. I couldn’t find a beginning. I don’t know where it came from.”
Tim began writing the book on Sept. 23, 2016 and finished two months later, on Nov. 29. “I took [my notebook] in the deer stand. I wrote while me and [my son] deer hunted. I mean I didn’t care if deer came or not. I was writing my stories while he hunted.”
He said the hardest part was researching information from 1875, and eventually had to settle for a few details in the book. Interviewing him turned into a casual conversation between him and his sisters, Sarah Bragg who is a teacher at Clay County High School, and Beth Cercone, who is a former board of education member. While discussing their favorite parts of the book, Beth said she loved that their Grandpa “Wash” Brown was included as a character in the book, as it felt like she had the opportunity to meet him. Sarah was more interested in the dynamic between the main characters.
“I just like Callie and Tom’s relationship and her spontaneity in joining him on this adventure. I liked that and the fact that neither knew what was coming but it was a grand adventure. I liked them as a couple.”
Sarah has considered implementing the book in one of her classes at the high school. “I may buy 10 copies for my reading circles for my class. [The library] has a local sections for books there for the school as well.”
“One Acre at a Time” was shaped and inspired by a local man who used details from his and his family’s lives to offer an insight of farm life in 1870’s Clay County. There will a booth at the Apple Festival in September where people can stop and chat and purchase books. Books are available on Amazon and at Clay County Library. You can also contact Beth Cercone via Facebook or call (04-587-2172.