Michael Amos Cody, Author
Michael Cody began singing in a band in the 1970s while still in high school in Madison County. The White Water Band played local events and traveled as far east as Myrtle Beach, SC, and as far west as Chattanooga, TN. Spending his formative years in the village of Walnut, writing songs, studying the music business and, eventually, earning his PhD in English lay the groundwork for his first novel. “All of these experiences, and more,” he says, “serve as the bones of Gabriel’s Songbook.”
A coming-of-age story, the novel brings to life a young singer-songwriter trying to break into the country music scene. Cody knows that world well, having worked as a songwriter in Nashville in the 1980s. Glen Campbell, Gary Morris and Margaret Becker are some of the performers who have recorded his songs.
For the book’s setting, he recreated the defunct Madison County town of Runion, a sawmill settlement on the French Broad River in the early 20th century that, after a series of catastrophes and misfortunes, was abandoned. “I decided to recreate Runion as what Faulkner referred to as ‘my own little postage stamp of native soil,’” Cody says. “My Runion is a blend of Madison County’s Marshall and Mars Hill.”
Gabriel’s Songbook will appeal to a wide variety of readers, he says, including those interested in Appalachian settings, music and culture; the music business and songwriting; and love stories.
Gabriel’s Songbook, December, 2017, fiction, softcover, $17.95, by Michael Amos Cody, and published by Pisgah Press, Asheville, NC. To learn more, visit pisgahpress.com.