On Tuesday, January 27th at 7:00p.m, James E. Couch of Duffield, Virginia, will be the second author to present in Appalachian Arts Center’s authors series. Mr. Crouch is a retired minister, university professor and academic writer. He received his undergraduate training at Milligan College, his B.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and his Doctor of Theology from Eberhard-Karls-Universitat in Tubingen, Germany. Following his student days, Crouch spent years as minister, a full-time academician, a translator and non-fiction writer. He taught at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, as well as Kwansei Gakulin University in Nishinomiya, Japan. He has served congregations in Wilmington and Bethany Beach, Delaware. The ministry has long been a part of his family; his father and both grandfathers were members of the clergy.
For most of Crouch’s adult life in academia and the clergy, he has had what he describes as “an itch” or an “underground desire” to write fiction. During his retirement in Scott County he has finally had the time to scratch that itch. In addition to short stories and a novelette, Crouch’s first novel, Family Values, was published in 2012. It was followed by his latest novel, Foreclosure Time, in 2014. The protagonist in the both novels is a former policeman who is the lay minister of a country church in the mountains of Appalachia. With this protagonist, Crouch seems to have adhered to the injunction to write about what one knows best. Still Crouch’s main character probably is not the preacher the reader may have in mind. Tim Sloane is a young man who, like most of us, is trying to find his way through the world. An interesting group of surrounding characters serve their purpose of furthering the story while also being intriguing in and of themselves.
Mr. Crouch will read and speak for approximately 45 minutes, followed by a question and answer period and refreshments. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the author. This event is free and open to the public. Appalachian Arts Center is located on US Route 19 between Claypool Hill and Southwest Virginia Community College. For more information, contact Appalachian Arts Center at 276-596-9188.