2017 SFK Novel Contest winner ‘Amidst This Fading Light’ refuses to leave readers in the dark

NEWNAN, Ga.—Author Rebecca Davis likes to tell stories that reveals sheds light humanity while sprinkling in a little historical truth.

“I like the idea of “truth” in writing—showing us how people can be and how human interaction is,” said Davis.

Truth is abundant and unyielding in her debut novel, 2017 SFK Novel Contest winner “Amidst This Fading Light,” to be released late August by Newnan, Georgia based SFK Press.

However, despite the darkness that often accompanies such truth, Davis believes that there is always a light.

“I would like my readers to feel the gravity of tragedy: understand sadness, but also the potential for growth and hope,” Davis said. “The one emotion I don’t want them to feel is hopelessness.”

“Good literature isn’t afraid to show you the dark side of humanity,” SFK Press publisher Steve McCondichie said. “But great literature guides you through that darkness and brings you out on the other side a better person. That’s what we have here.”

A native North Carolinian, Rebecca Davis decided in first grade to be a writer, after she wrote a story about becoming a paleontologist. She likes the idea of truth in story-telling—stories that are not only true about humanity but also sprinkled with historical realities, and that show the reader various facets of personal interaction. Inspired by a gruesome murder that occurred near her hometown of Germanton, NC in 1929, Rebecca wants readers to feel the gravity of tragedy, yet still feel the potential for growth and hope. She attended Salem College and earned master’s degrees from Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Currently, she teaches writing at Salem College.

Mired in tradition and hearsay, Germantown was dominated by a few old families and their influence from their founding. All that changed once the Pickett family came to town. No one was certain what to make of the strangers at first, and no one could have predicted what they’d bring with them. After the family brought unbelievable tragedy to the small town, those remaining were left with a hard lesson to learn. Set against the backdrop of the rural North Carolinian piedmont during the Great Depression, “Amidst This Fading Light” explores life, death, and what it means to carry on as people deal with what fate brings upon them, both the light and the dark, to persevere and survive or be swept away by time and inescapable memory.

Events in “Amidst This Fading Light” are inspired by the “Lawson family murder,” in which sharecropper Charlie Lawson murdered his wife and six of his seven children in Germanton, North Carolina event on December 25, 1929. The 90th anniversary of this tragedy will be in 2019.

Praise for “Amidst This Fading Light”:

“The tragedy at the center of this novel is deftly handled: How are we to survive the worst that life puts in our paths? Rebecca Davis knows the place she writes about, from the groundwater to the angle of the overhead sun, and, lucky for us readers, she knows its people—and people everywhere—just as well. This is such a generous and carefully told book that it’s difficult to believe it’s the author’s first.”

—Michael Parker, author of “The Watery Part of the World” and “Everything, Then and Since”

“Rebecca Davis writes with a journalist’s detail, a historian’s wisdom, and a photographer’s understanding of shadows. Above all, she is a natural storyteller, evident on every page of her graceful debut. An intricate, sensitive tale of small-town murder, ‘Amidst This Fading Light’ answers the question few mysteries ever ask: Who do we become in the wake of tragedy?”

—James Tate Hill, author of “Academy Gothic”

More information about “Amidst This Fading Light” can be found at: http://sfkpress.com/amidst-this-fading-light/

More information about Rebecca Davis can be found at: https://rebeccadavisauthor.com

Purchase “Amidst This Fading Light” August 28 from your favorite local Southern independent bookseller or online.


Mark Your Calendars!



Come join SFK Press at the 2018 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival, August 31 – September 2. It’s a great local chance to connect with 80,000 readers and writers.

We’ll be actively seeking to connect writers to contribute to The New Southern Fugitives, SFK Press, and our new creative non-fiction imprint Blissful Beings Press.
Check our our new fall releases, grab some sweet SFK merch, and help us raise money and awareness for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Meet us at booth 407!

When There’s Summer Left, There’s Reading Left

Why not check out SFK Press author Cathy Adams’s hysterical and haunting novel about a disjointed working-class family striving to piece together the shreds of their tattered American Dream? A Body’s Just as Dead is available in paperback and eBook format now!

SFK Press seeks ARC reviewers!

Are you passionate about writing book reviews? Do you contribute regularly or occasionally to a book reviews venue? SFK Press is currently seeking writers to review a number of our forthcoming titles!

Please contact Nicole Byrne at nicole@sfkmultimedia.com for more information.

Looking for a thrilling summer read? Aftermath by George Weinstein is available everywhere now!

“Janet Wright left tiny Graylee, Georgia, at age five, when her mother fled a destructive marriage. Now forty and reinventing herself after a failed engagement, Janet returns as the sole inheritor of her recently murdered father’s valuable estate. Life should be easy, but she can’t resist pulling at the threads of the apparently open-and-shut case. Before long, she finds herself tangled in Graylee’s web of secrets, lies, and scandals—and in fear for her own life.”

Help us disrupt the Southern literary landscape.