By Daniel Brunty The Winston County Journal
At the recent Red Hills Festival, the Uptown Lily on Main Street was honored with the presence of author Rick Algood for his first ever book signing. The event was more of a reunion for Algood as he was able to reacquaint himself with faces from his past, as the Uptown Lily was filled with residents upon his arrival. Elizabeth Johnson, owner of the Uptown Lily, was thrilled at the prospect of hosting Algood for this special event. “We were excited to have Mr. Algood here to sign books,” Johnson said. “It also gave him an opportunity to catch up with some old friends.” Algood felt right at home in the crowd, because it is home. Algood grew up in the Calvary Community just outside of Louisville. Even though he resides in West Paducah, KY, Algood is still heavily influenced from his early life in Winston County. With his inspiration, Algood has published three books under Algood Publishing, in which he is also Vice-President. His first book, entitled Beyond The Cotton Fields/Living, Loving and Growing Up in Mississippi, gave everyone his first glimpse into life in Winston County. “I wrote it mainly for my daughters, who grew up here in Western Kentucky,” Algood said. “They didn’t know much about where I grew up or the people that impacted my life or the times that I grew up in, which was around the 50’s and 60’s. That was my main reason, to let them know where I grew up.” Algood recalls of being a small boy in Winston County with his family and remembering the times of visiting neighbors and family, with the old folks sharing tales. One such tales he heard one of those nights was the story of Janie Sharp. This was part of the inspiration that would spurn Algood to write his second novel, released in 2011, entitled Where Angels Weep. “The book is inspired by the Janie Sharp case, but it is not the Janie Sharp case,” Algood said. “A lot of people have confused it. I was always fascinated by the case, being it was an unsolved murder. A lot of people growing up at that time were interested in it too.” The case is very familiar to Algood, who remembers how things were during that time. “I remember my grandfather’s friend was accused of killing Janie Sharp,” Algood said. “He was acquitted. He did not kill her, but I don’t know who did. This book takes you through a murder and trial inspired by the real case.” Algood, who has always been motivated to write by his family and friends, wrote the second part of his second novel and entitled it An Angel with No Name. “This book completes the story from Where Angels Weep,” Algood said. “I felt like I owed it to everyone to finish up the story with the third novel.” With his passion for writing, Algood doesn’t see being an author as a job. “I do this more for fun,” Algood said. “I actually have a job at the paper mill in Western Kentucky, working 12-hour shifts. I enjoy sharing my stories and evidently, a lot of people like them as well. Quite a few have been contacting me to get copies of the book.” Algood says his inspiration for writing still comes from Winston County. “I been up here for 34 years, but Winston County I consider that my home,” Algood said. “Sometimes when I am working a midnight shift, my mind has a free moment and it usually wanders back to Winston County and the time when I grew and all the neighbors that meant a lot to me. I also think of the people I worked with on the farm. I guess when you miss stuff like that, you want to share those stories with your children and friends. A lot of those people really touched my life.” Algood has two other novels he has completed but not published. The books are entitled Midnight Angel and Christmas Angel. Algood is currently working on his sixth novel, at this time not titled. If you would like to learn more about Algood or inquire about purchasing his books, you may visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rick.algood.