Local author shares tales of life and adventure

Published 2:20 pm Thursday, November 12, 2015

Local author Francis Wood will be at the Farmville Christmas Show on Saturday and Sunday with his books, including two new releases, “The Small Hours” and “The Stone Skipper.”

Wood, a familiar voice in Farmville for the past 45 years on WFLO radio, has written 29 books.

“The Stone Skipper” shares a journey along the James with river dweller Bonaparte Raspin. The old man, also a storyteller, takes readers “out of the present and into the past at a place called River Bend through unexpected twists and turns filled with suspense and intrigue.”

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“The Small Hours” is a collection of short stories, autobiographical sketches, which reflect important events in the author’s life.

The book derives its name from “A Reunion of Souls,” as the author returns to a dilapidated house in the woods he had visited 25 years earlier with two college friends, Robert and Kevin.

“If they don’t burn it or bulldoze it down, we’ll come back in 25 years and talk about the old days,” Kevin said that day.

Wood kept his promise, but it was a solitary occasion. A drunk driver had killed Robert, a state trooper, at the age of 22, and Kevin was killed five years later on his way to work.

“So I sat there on that day and remembered my two friends,” Wood wrote. “I closed my eyes as the doves mourned in the pines around me, and I saw Robert’s and Kevin’s faces again and heard their voices and their laughter … They had left this world but not my heart. So they came after all. And we had our reunion. A reunion of souls … I sat on the porch of that abandoned house that day and thought about my two friends. I thought about how a lifetime is remembered in the small hours that matter most.”

“Those moments of life are what really count — this is what this book is about,” Wood said.

Francis Wood’s books are available locally at The Sleeping Bee, The Farmer’s Daughters, Granny’s Attic, Curdsville, The Spa in Dillwyn and Classic Touches at Chula Junction.