Harlan natives to feature their books at festival


Harlan native Bill J. Looney, author of suspense novels featuring eastern Kentucky, has recently published his fourth book. The novel, titled Hunting the Storm, is the next installment in his series of stories showcasing eastern Kentucky including Harlan and Pike counties.

His latest writing uses Charleston, South Carolina, as a backdrop but includes characters from Harlan. As in his previous novels, Satan’s Breath, The Lost Star of Jerusalem and Angel of the Abyss, the author spins fictional stories around historic events.

The author is a graduate of Harlan High School and the University of Tennessee. The 1970 graduate played football at Tennessee, 1970 and 1971. He graduated with a degree in business administration in 1974 and later served as the budget director for the state of Tennessee under the late governor, Ned Ray McWherter.

Looney currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina where he spends his time writing, reading, studying and telling stories.

Looney will be appearing during the Poke Sallet Festival with his fellow Harlan native and author, Dr. Richard G. “Dick” Edwards.

Dr. Edwards has now completed his five novel Anchor Cross series. His books are fictional mysteries that take place in Harlan County. The novels are titled The Anchor Cross, The Pelle Anchor Cross, The Helena Anchor Cross, The Anchor Cross Twins, and The Constantine Anchor Cross. All spin tales around his beloved home town of Harlan.

Dr. Edwards graduated from HHS in 1958, and holds a Ph.D in engineering from the University of Kentucky. He retired from UK in 2002, and lives in Lexington.

“Writing about Harlan has been a joy and pleasure. My early life was shaped there and my memories are precious to me,” said Edwards. “I know the reader will feel at home reading my stories.”

The authors will appear together on Friday and Saturday in the Harlan Center where they will be available to sell, sign and discuss all their novels.

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