Charles F Price -- 1938 to 2019

"His Words Make the World a Better Place"  

Listen to a Reading of His Words at 
the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival   

"I write historical fiction about ordinary people confronted by extraordinary events in the past. I am interested in history not simply for its own sake, but as it sheds light on the problems and issues of today. Ignorance of the past and the lessons it can teach are like a collective amnesia, which can lead a nation into otherwise avoidable and sometimes calamitous error."
Charles F. Price
About the Author
Charles F. Price was the author of eight published novels and one nonfiction work entitled Season of Terror: The Espinosas in Central Colorado, March – October, 1863 (University Press of Colorado). Jerry Thompson, Ph.D., Regents Professor of History at Texas A&M International University, said of this book, it is "Fast-paced, amazingly objective, intriguing, and highly recommended .... "

Season of Terror  was the first comprehensive book-length treatment of a terror outbreak by serial killers in pioneer Colorado during the Civil War. It was Price's first extended work of nonfiction, though he published several articles on Western history in Colorado Central Magazine, Salida, CO, and on the cavalry operations of the Southern Continental Army and its commander Major General Nathaniel Greene for the online magazine Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution (Camden, SC).  Price also wrote a fictional account based on the same subject called Blood Offerings, not yet published. 
His also wrote Four Sixes to Beat: John Wesley Hardin in El Paso.  Based on the life of the West's most feared gunman, John Wesley Hardin, this novel trails the evil spawned by the son of a Methodist minister, named for the founder of Methodism, who was credited with no less than forty-two killings.  Eventually captured by Texas Rangers and convicted of murder, the book opens with Hardin having just completed sixteen years in Huntsville Penitentiary.   Hardin's attempt to go straight instead ends in his participation in a murder that incurs the wrath of the feral El Paso constable Uncle John Selman, whose long-held reputation for ferocity Hardin's has eclipsed.  The stage is set for a fatal showdown. 

Above the Caprock, a Western, explores a man and a boy, each damaged by loss in different ways, who come together by chance on the Texas ranch belonging to beautiful widow Helen Logan.  A Kiowa raiding party has wiped out the family of ex-army scout Clint Slater, leaving him hardened and disengaged from others; the boy, known only as Cant, born to a prostitute mother lost in morphine addiction, has fled his degraded life as a whorehouse errand-boy.  Widow Helen Logan and her well-watered range are coveted by neighboring cattleman Print Boatwright who sets in motion a devious plot to have the widow, her range, and the loyalty (or death) of everyone in the territory.  

Brian Lee Knopp, Author, Mayhem in Mayberry, wrote of Charles F. Price's Western Vengeance on the Sweetgrass, this novel is a “stunningly well-crafted tale of greed and get-back set amid America's 19th century range wars ..."  Vengeance draws on true events, exploring the lynching of innocent homesteaders Emma Waldroup and Jack Antrim.  An eye-witness to the crime returns to the scene to bring justice with his testimony.  But the courts won't help him and he sets out to impose his own revenge, touching off a storm of violence.   

Price's novel Nor the Battle to the Strong: A Novel of the American Revolution in the South (Frederick C. Beil, Savannah, GA, 2008) is an account of a crucial but unjustly neglected military campaign in South Carolina during the summer of 1781.  The Historical Novel Society review called it "A treasure trove of detail ..., vivid characterization, and hard truths about the nature of warfare. ...".  Its yet unpublished sequel The Sunshine of Better Fortune carries the story of the war in the South to its conclusion in mid-1783.

Price also wrote the Hiwassee Series, four works of historical fiction set in his native Western North Carolina, comprising a single narrative cycle interweaving the partly imagined private history of his 19th-century ancestors with the public history of the Southern Appalachians.

The first in the series, Hiwassee: A Novel of the Civil War, (Academy Chicago Publishers, Chicago, IL) appeared in 1996. His second, Freedom’s Altar, won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award as the best fiction of 1999 written by a North Carolina author. The Cock’s Spur, his third title, received an Independent Publisher Book Award as one of the Ten Outstanding Books of 2001 and Price was named Story Teller of the Year; it also garnered the Historical Fiction Award of the North Carolina Society of Historians. The latter two books were published by John F. Blair Publishers, Winston-Salem, NC. The last of the series, Where the Water Dogs Laughed, (High Country Publishers, Boone, NC) was released in 2003. It also garnered the Society of Historians’ award, was a nominee for a second Sir Walter Raleigh Award and was a first finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award for historical fiction that year.

He was a contributor to the collection Cavalry of the American Revolution (Westholme Publishing, May, 2010), authoring an essay entitled “Cavalry Operations at Eutaw Springs.” 

Earlier he served as co-author/editor—along with Robert F. McNulty, R. Leo Penne, Dorothy Jacobson and Partners for Livable Places—of The Return of the Livable City: Learning From America’s Best (Acropolis, Washington, DC, 1986), a study of successful civic action preserving quality of life in selected urban settings.

Price taught creative writing in several venues and was in demand as a speaker and lecturer both on literary subjects and on topics having to do with American history. He was an authority on the Revolutionary War in the South, the Civil War and the 19th-century American West.

He had been a Washington lobbyist, management consultant, urban planner and journalist. In 1995, after working for 19 years in the nation’s capital, he moved to Burnsville in the mountains of Western North Carolina to devote full time to writing. During this period, in addition to the publications noted above, he was a correspondent for the newsletter Airport Noise Report, Ashburn, Virginia. 

        Charles and his wife Ruth, a native of  Salida, Colorado, along with their cat Salem, were some of the founders of Burnsville’s Carolina Mountains Literary Festival,, now in its fourteenth year.

He was a member of the North Caroliniana Society and the North Carolina Writers’ Conference.

He held a Masters of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC (1977) and an undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from High Point University, High Point, NC (1961).

Photo by Britt Kaufmann

Additional Information:
article in Western North Carolina Woman's Y Chromosome issue,
An interview with Britt Kaufmann in The Pedestal
A video presentation by Charles F. Price at
  "Meet the Author," Sun City Hilton Head - Go to Bottom of Page
           A comprehensive interview with Lacey Presnell Below:
To Copy Interview, Select All in Window, then Hit Copy and Paste into a Word Document

Interview with Lacey Presnell