Ronald L. Donaghe Winner of The Jim Duggins' Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist award, 2008 SASFEST New Orleans


September 2016...

I'm now living in Mississippi! And I'd like to claim that I am now a Southern Writer, but that will never be true, even if I'm living here and even set any future novels in Mississippi. But the good news is, I have just published three Kindle/Amazon books

From the series: Common Threads in the Life (books 5, 6, 7)

A Summer's Change Book I

The RunawayThe Runaway
File Size: 964 KB
Print Length: 254 pages
Publisher: Two Brothers Press (September 7, 2016)
Publication Date: September 7, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

In December 1999, following a chaotic summer when both Tom and Joel were shot by an old nemesis, a desperate teenager named Jared Rory makes his way across a hundred miles of desert in the dead of winter and ends up hiding out in the barn at the Reece farm, only to be discovered by Joel, when he is feeding his livestock. Both Joel and his "husband" Tom are fully recovered from their gunshot wounds, their daughter Shara has returned to live with them, and when the runaway is discovered hiding in the barn, they immediately take him in. But first they must visit his grandmother, whom Jared calls Granny Mack to find out why he has run away. They are surprised at every step, including Jared's questionable history with his grandmother.

A Summer's Change Book II

A Season of FamilyA Season of Family
File Size: 1213 KB
Print Length: 277 pages
Publisher: Two Brothers Press (September 9, 2016)
Publication Date: September 9, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

By the time the new millenium dawned, Tom and Joel Allen-Reece had been together for thirty-five years. Their daughter Shara was twenty-eight years old and, following the near fatal shooting of both her fathers just four months earlier, she had decided to move back to Common to be with them. They worried about what she might be giving up by moving back home; she worried about them. But what none of the three members of their small family could possibly know was what was in store for their family. It would truly be a season in which their family changed immeasurably, held together by blood for sure but something else entirely more important. Claude Riggs is a wealthy and powerful oil man in North Dakota, and he makes a whirlwind trip home to Minot to handle a situation he finds distasteful—disowning his only son and banishing him to a remote ranch across the width of the United States, as close to the US/Mexico border as he can send him. There, Kelvin Riggs must make his own way and either survive or fail. What is in store for Kelvin is something he could never have imagined.

A Summer's Change Book III

Rest of Their LivesThe Rest of Their Lives
File Size: 1054 KB
Publisher: Two Brothers Press (September 10, 2016)
Publication Date: September 10, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

Eva Reece is the matriarch of what she thinks of as the new American family, which began to form as early as 1965, when her only son Joel presented the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Forty years later, Eva has lived to see changes in America that no one could have fathomed before personal computers, smart phones, and instantaneous global communications. Widowed in 1998, she now presides over four generations of the Reece family, which is made up of adopted children, her natural children, their children, and with the birth of Tom and Joel's granddaughter, their children's children. This is her story, their story, and the unfolding of the rest of their lives in ways just as unpredictable and momentous as the changes in the rest of America. But it is only the beginning...

ColumbusMSMy partner will move to Columbus, Mississippi, once he sells some property in New Mexico. He currently lives in Mesilla, New Mexico, and this page lauded the idea that the house in Mesilla would be where I grew old and left the house feet first. But things changed. We took our first trip to Mississippi in October of 2014, fell in love with the Mississippi Hills region, the people, and the god the homes, the vestiges of the glorious antebellum South, with Victorians, Italianate, (even Craftsman style), and of course the antebellum homes. So we returned again in February 2016. Mississippi is a notoriously poor state, but New Mexico is too. The difference is that Mississippi is green and lush and the people are friendly and the historic homes are indescribably beautiful.

NatchezWe drove down the well-kept and beautifully serene Natchez Trace Parkway, which is only open to passenger vehicles, not semis, and along the route, there are no towns. There are ample opportunities to exit the Trace for gas, food, and lodging of course, but the parkway does have rest areas, amid woods and streams. Ironically, I was the one who ended up buying a house here, first, and we're separated for a little while. But that will change as all things do. I love it here.

Like the rest of the South, Mississippi is changing. Yes, it's got a reputation for being anti-gay, fundamentalist in its religions, and hateful to gay couples like my partner and me. But we didn't feel that in our stay in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where we first looked at homes. Aberdeen is Billy Brasfield's hometown. He's a makeup artist to the stars and currently lives in New York City, but he has continued to return to his hometown to help renovate their beautiful stock of historic homes. Aberdeen is only about twenty miles from Columbus, Mississippi, but we feel that Columbus has more to offer in the way of potential employment. But never doubt that Aberdeen is a gem of a town, full of nice, welcoming people, many of them retirees from other parts of the country. We were pegged as a gay couple as soon as we rolled into town, and people still wanted us to move there.


But I digress. about 24,000 people. It is second only to Natchez, Mississippi, in its wealth of historic homes and buildings, and it has a vibrant downtown with wonderful restaurants, and for those who simply must have big box chain stores, there's an area of the town that has them. Luckily for Columbus, however, the vast majority of businesses in the downtown area still thrive. There's an active Arts Council on Fifth Street and Main, within walking distance to a number of fine restaurants and coffee shops. Mississippi University for Women sits close by, with a student population of about 3,500 students—and best of all it's a very gay-friendly university with LGBT "safe-zone" signs on the doors of the departments and professor's offices (I would say especially the English department).

MUWTennesseeWilliamsFor me there is an active writer's group that meets at the Arts Council downtown and a writer's program at the university, in which I will attempt to wedge my foot, once we move there. I've put an offer on a house in the historic south Columbus area that is full of said historic homes in an area that is rapidly being gentrified and renovated, mere steps from the west side of the university. For my partner there is the history. It is the birthplace of Tennessee Williams, as well, and has a marvelous, active historic homes tour each year, along with a blues festival, an active farmer's market.

We're both looking forward to the move, which may come as soon as the end of March of this year. It's not that we don't like our house in Mesilla, NM, it's that we're both tired of the desert, after living here for 24 years. My family is scattered up and down New Mexico, but it is also as far away from us as Indiana, and if we move to Mississippi, we will be more or less equidistant from my family. Cliff's family all live in New Mexico, but his brother and even his parents are making noises about also moving. Part of my motivation of this picture essay is to urge gay couples who would be into gentrifying glorious old neighborhoods here in Columbus, Mississippi. While it may not be a "gay friendly" town, elements of it are definitely gay friendly. After all, they claim their native son, Tennessee Williams with much pride. Not only that, several noted writers hail from this town and other places in Mississippi, and they return to visit. I hope to meet them...

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Currently, ten of my novels are available on the Amazon Kindle e-reader...
Common Sons
The Blind Season
The Salvation Mongers

The Gathering

Uncle Sean


All Over Him

The Thinking Man—Blog

I've been working on a blog for a few years, but I've never done anything to show it to the world. So, here it is. It's called "The Thinking Man," and in it, I write about subjects that strike me as interesting. I invite comments, and I have no idea if the thing allows me to censor/filter/or even respond to the comments. Here's the link:


My Work
Common Threads
in the Life




A Summer's Change

In three volumes

Now Published in Kindle

The Journals of
Will Barnett


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