WKRG’s Bill Riales has accomplished something about 99.9 percent of all journalists wish they could do — he’s written a book.

“The Ghost of Henry Cotton” is the morning co-anchor’s first published novel, and it’s a bit of fiction based in Riales’ hometown of Tunica, Mississippi.

“I borrowed the premise from an actual event that I heard happened in the town when I was about 8 years old that scared me. The rest is all from imagination,” he said.

He started the book in 2000, wrote and rewrote, and eventually abandoned the project.

“In 2010, I walked away from all of them [several versions he’d penned] … all the while my wife, Toni, was reminding me how I’d pretty much wasted a decade with my ‘writing hobby’, and that I should do something with them. So late last year I pulled ‘Henry Cotton’ out of the drawer, went to editing and rewriting some parts and decided to publish an ebook version,” Riales said.

Though he’s caught some flack for publishing an ebook, Riales says the genre is catching on and helping authors without publishers and agents get their work out there.

“Sales of the ebook could probably be better but so far are fairly in line with my expectations. The good part is I will not run out of copies and can stand the slow burn of hoping it will catch on,” he said. “I equate ebooks to the old form of a wanna-be author self-publishing and selling copies from the trunk of his car. John Grisham actually did that before his first caught on. So that’s possible. And people are paying attention to the digital form now, i.e. the NYT’s ebook bestseller list. It has four independent authors on it right now.”

“The Ghost of Henry Cotton” is currently available through the Smashwords Bookstore, Amazon, Apple Ibooks and Barnes and Noble.

Jones not leaving broadcasting

Last week I reported WPMI’s morning co-anchor Kelly Jones will be leaving the station after her contract expires in September.

Due to some misinformation from her employer, I also reported she will be leaving broadcasting, something the 17-year veteran says she is not doing. While Jones has been coy about what exactly she intends to do, she says she absolutely plans to stay in the broadcast field and hopes to remain in the Mobile market.

There’s no word as to whether the popular anchor would have to sit out a noncompete before going to any other local station or if that is even her plan.

I apologize for the error. Unfortunately, sometimes reporting what you’re told doesn’t work out as it should.

Just John now
Listeners have no doubt noticed for the past couple of weeks that Johnna Farmer is no longer gracing 97.5 WABD’s morning show “John & Johnna.”

Farmer says she has left Cumulus Radio but so far has offered no other details. Hopefully we’ll be able to catch up with her soon and find out what her plans are. In the meantime her co-host, John, has been pulling solo duty.

Shadow campaign
Former WPMI investigative reporter Josh Bernstein called Lagniappe last week to get the word out to his former viewers about his latest project, and it sounds like it could make a lot of noise in this election season.

Bernstein, who most recently worked with Al Jazeera America, has set out with two other investigative reporters to put together a documentary about the deep, deep behind-the-scenes manipulations some candidates engage in while trying to win the White House.

The movie is billed this way:
“A team of reporters uncovers a secret playbook for winning the White House in 2016. Hundreds of internal documents expose in vivid detail how one very high-profile candidate cheated the system, circumvented campaign finance laws, lied to the public and failed to disclose several secret business deals.”

Bernstein says his group has done lots of work in hopes of getting the documentary completed, but they are attempting crowdfunding for the project. His hope is it will be completed and ready to hit the market just before the November elections.

While the description focuses on one particular candidate’s behavior, Bernstein says the story is about the system as a whole and the way it is manipulated by candidates and big money. He wouldn’t reveal which candidate is at the center of the investigation, saying it needs to remain a secret until the documentary is complete.

Those interested in the film or in donating can check it out at shadowcampaignthemovie.org.a that EXPOSE IN VIVID DETAIL