Hickory – Redhawk Publications is excited to announce the publication of Austin Allran’s debut novel, “The Legend of the Isle of Cats.” While many may be familiar with Allran as a local attorney, state legislator and county commissioner, his foray into the literary arts may come as a surprise to some. He has written numerous short stories, poems, and newspaper articles. Allran has also received awards from The N.C. Writers’ Network (short story) and the Hugh T. Lefler Award (historical biography).Debut Novel By Local Author

“A man haunted by a murder journeys to a desert island to escape, and there he finds God and the treasure of forgiveness and peace,” is how Allran describes the book. “This is the short version, but I think readers will find it’s an encompassing epic saga that tells the story of multiple generations of fictional families from Hickory, North Carolina. I think readers that enjoy a good old fashion mystery will enjoy the book. There is an aspect of Christianity spread throughout the book, so it very well could appeal to a Christian audience that is struggling with its faith.”

Allran stated, “I’ve been asked why I wrote this book more than a few times lately. The easy answer is that writing a novel is something I always wanted to do. A more thoughtful response – equally true – is that I needed an outlet to process the death of my dog, Mady. I mention this in the book’s author’s note. Her passing took a lot out of me, and I found writing was a good way to channel my grief and make something good come out of something bad. I created a short story about Mady, and that story, along with some other stories I had been working on, provided the basis of this Christian Mystery genre novel. So, I started with a short story about my dog in 2013 and completed the story nine years later. It’s been a challenging journey.”

“Part of the process of accepting books for publication is to have professional readers review the manuscripts,” said acquisitions editor Patty Thompson. “For Austin’s book, there was a common thread of comments, including ‘great murder mystery,’ ‘a compelling adventure novel,’ and ‘a touching story of redemption.’ It made it easy to accept the book for publication.”

Richard Eller, executive director of Redhawk Publications and local historian commented, “As we celebrate our fifth anniversary of publishing works by authors, regional writers in particular, it has been an honor to help Austin in his creative endeavor. First time out the gate, Austin was able to write a work of fiction that is both engrossing in its story telling, yet deft in its handling of the complexities of existential introspection. Austin is a natural born writer and story teller, and we hope he’ll continue writing.”

A book launch will be held at Taste Full Beans in Downtown Hickory on Thursday, January 26th 2023 at 6:30pm, and an author’s discussion and book signing will be held at the City of Hickory’s Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Thursday, February 23rd at 6pm. Books will be available at both events and all are welcome to attend.

To purchase The Legend of the Isle of Cats, visit: https://tinyurl.com/AustinAllran

Redhawk Publications is an artistic initiative of the Catawba Valley Community College, publishing written works of interest for the local community, the state of North Carolina, as well as the entire United States. Established in 2017, CVCC is the only N.C. community college with a publishing press offering over 100 titles to date. For additional information on Redhawk Publications, visit our website at https://redhawkpublications.com, or contact Patty Thompson at [email protected].