Randy Thornhorn (1955 – 2016)


Randy Thornhorn – Storyteller

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of author Randy Thornhorn. He was an immensely talented author of Southern fiction, and I loved his work. We never met in person, but we did have several chats via Facebook and email. We were aligned on a number of topics outside of writing, and I was looking forward to having a cup of coffee with him someday. I’m so sorry we never got that opportunity.

As a tribute to Randy, I am re-posting my review of his book Wicked Temper. I read it before I knew him, and it was a wonderful introduction into Randy’s imagination and his gloriously creepy American South.

A instant Southern classic

A instant Southern classic

In my continuing effort to shine a light on indie authors, allow me to turn your attention to one Randy Thornhorn.  I found myself waiting in a situation in which I had nothing to do but search for good books in the Kindle store for about two hours on Monday, and I found a book I had heard about earlier titled Wicked Temper written by the aforementioned Randy Thornhorn.

It’s Southern Fiction which is my not so secret literary passion.  I love the settings, the characters, the dialogue, and the dialect offered up on in a good Southern tome, and Wicked Temper is not good.  It’s great.  Great may not even be an effusive enough word.  It’s a classic in the vein of William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Cormac McCarthy, and Erskine Caldwell (my personal favorite).  Yet, it is a much darker voice all its own.  There’s an underlying deep moan of creepiness throughout this story that lets you feel the soaring trek of ruin the main characters Tizzy and Matthew are on.  They set out on a life of crime to escape their dismal childhoods only to fall into the hands of a charismatic backwoods deviant.

This book deserves to be read and shared for generations to come.  It is currently only $1.99 on Kindle.  That’s an insanely low price for a book this good.   Buy it.  Read it. Tell your friends. This is the kind of indie book that deserves the attention.  It has made me realize that my alter-ego, C. Hoyt Caldwell, has miles to go before he reaches this level of storytelling.

BTW – I heard about this book on Facebook.  A few weeks ago someone (I can’t remember who) posted a link to the book.  I read the summary and committed it to memory because I found it interesting.  I’m just sorry it took me so long to actually get back to the book and read it.

4 thoughts on “Randy Thornhorn (1955 – 2016)

  1. What in the world happened to Randy Thornhorn ! I knew him personally as he approached me to review some of his books recently . We invited him into ou book group On the Southern Literay Trails which is the only Book group on Goodreads sponsored by nonprofit status group supporting events mentioned all across the south including author events and some of our author write ups.

    Our older moderator , Mike Sullivan went to eat dinner with him last summer and had a very enjoyable time. He was way to young to die. I would appreciate any news you can give me concerning this sad news.

    • As I understand it, Randy fell and hit his head. Some time later he succumbed to a brain bleed.

      • R. W. ~ on his Facebook page they acted like he had been suffering with some kind of illness for a while and then he fell May 6th ! Wonder why they said that ? Sure sounds strange . I am really sorry for the writing world and his family and friends too! He was a very how do I place him ; in my reviews I always said he was one of the most UNIQUE writer I had ever read. He was Southern Gothic , folkloric, with fantasy and Superstitions thrown in along with mysteries, adventures , crime and suspense, rounded off with contributions from the music traditions and of course the spiritual world of old time religion included all together !!! HA! He could pack a novel full of a good dose of every writing genre into one . He was a super nice man . I remember how strange it was when he asked me to review his book . I said sure of course because that is what I do . He sent it to me right away . Like I said , I was flabbergasted! I shared it with my Southern Literary Trails Group Moderator on Goodreads . He won us over to adopt his book to read . He also joined our reading group. The group bought the book and we had a great reaction . Then , of all things , he was upset that the group paid for the book. He went about trying to get everyone a coupon for a free book or something like that . He met our moderator for supper one evening in Alabama . He was really impressed with his knowledge of all literature . I thought you could see that in his writing . So , Randy continued in our group and read along with us and contributed great input .
        You know Mr. Ridley , you should join our group on the Southern Literary Trails too ! I am a firm believer that it is always best for an author to continue reading good books to keeps his writing great! That is my invitation to our Goodreads group. Half or more of the group are authors anyway and we love reading and our reviews point out issues about writing . We are reading Rivers by Michael Farris Smith now and he dropped in for a chat with us as we read and answered questions ! I think this book is one of my favorites! I am on his reading train for good . This story reminds me of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and that is on my all time top favorites ! I am still working on the design of my blog ! It’s going to be great — I hope ! So nice to catch up . Now if I want to start reading your books , are they in a series ? I do love series ! I love to follow the growth of a character with a job ! I still like single novels too! I like it all really – except Sci-Fi ! Tell me which of yours to start with ! Thank you for writing back – Dawn

  2. My brother had not been ill for a long time. He fell and hit his head which caused a severe brain bleed.

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