The Kudzu Kid
As a series of circumstances assail Southside Echo editor Eddie Fogarty, whose arrogance got him fired from his previous job at a high-profile metropolitan newspaper, he learns that there are compelling stories even in the smallest of places. In the process, he is forced to decipher the complex web of relationships between county citizens, their local government and their newspaper. When one of his few friends in Randolph County, high school football coach Randy Akers, is charged with an improper sexual relationship with an underage girl, Fogarty has to work through a painful conflict between his feelings and his job. When it turns out that a proposed landfill for the county has its roots in organized crime, the Echo editor must risk his life to break the story. Eventually, he discovers that his primary motive has changed from personal advancement to service to his new community. The Kudzu Kid is a novel about culture shock, personal redemption, and the enormous affect one small newspaper can have on its community.