ASHEBORO – Get into A Passel of Trouble at the Asheboro Public Library as author Joe Epley debuts his novel about the life of Col. David Fanning, the notorious — or heroic, depending on your point of view — Loyalist militia leader in the Revolutionary War.
Epley, a former Green Beret, journalist and public relations executive, will talk about his book at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 6, at the library. The event, sponsored by the library’s Randolph Room, is free and the public is invited.
Fanning is legendary in Randolph and Chatham counties, where from 1780-1782 he fought pitched battles against supporters of American Independence. He is known for raiding homesteads, killing revolutionary leader Col. Andrew Balfour, nearly burning Col. Philip Alston and his family out of the House in the Horseshoe, and chasing Andrew Hunter – on Fanning’s stolen horse – off Faith Rock into the Deep River.
In A Passel of Trouble, Epley depicts Fanning as a born leader and a capable young man on the verge of success in South Carolina when war breaks out. As neighbors take sides against each other, Fanning chooses loyalty to the King.
The journey that leads him to Randolph County is seen through the eyes of his friend Josh, who leaves his Quaker faith to join the Loyalist cause.
To help ensure the novel’s historical authenticity, Epley received an assist from local historians Warren Dixon and Mac Whatley with research and fact-checking.
Now retired and a resident of Tryon, N.C., Epley operated Epley Associates, a public relations firm in Charlotte, for 38 years. He’s also author of A Passel of Hate, about the battle of Kings Mountain.
The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For more information, call 336-318-6815.