Local author and lawyer Tony Turnbow will release the first book in a new young adult historical fiction series Fighting Devil’s Backbone on April 24th. Turnbow uses fictional characters, drawn from actual accounts, to recreate the world of the historic Natchez Trace and to tell some of its stories.
The series opener, The Shadow of E. Z.’s Fear, is set in 1809. It follows the adventures of an eastern city boy who travels with his widowed mother and his brother to the Natchez Trace to find their new home in the Mississippi Territory. He learns too late that the road has earned the name “The Devil’s Backbone” from dangers travelers encounter. As the family nears Nashville, boatmen warn that the Natchez Trace is filled with bandits, angry Indian warriors, and even supernatural creatures. Survival depends upon the boy learning which dangers are real and which are imagined. One of the more memorable stops on the family’s journey is in Franklin.
Tony Turnbow is author of the nonfiction Hardened to Hickory: The Missing Chapter in Andrew Jackson’s Life. He has studied the history of the Natchez Trace for over 35 years, and he has tracked down unpublished primary sources that provide new insight.
He hopes that the series will interest younger readers in exploring fascinating history in their own backyard. “The series recreates a time when Franklin was the American frontier and when actions people took in Franklin and along the Natchez Trace changed the course of American history,” Turnbow said.
Tony will be outside at Landmark Booksellers on Saturday, April 24th at 1pm to sign his book. Come by to say hi and purchase your signed copy!
The second book in the series is expected to be released in time for the Franklin Main Street Festival in July 2021.