Readers of The Citizen’s weekend editions and website know columnist Rick Ryckeley well.
They know the cast of characters in his weekly column — from The Wife and The Boy (his son) to Down The Street Bully Brad and Old Miss Crabtree and the rest of the gang from 110 Flamingo Street.
This week, Ryckeley is releasing his second book, “110 Flamingo Street: Stories from a simpler time,” this week and Ryckeley feels this book improves on last year’s release in several ways.
“There are 52 stories in this one and 16 charcoal drawings,” Ryckeley said. The drawings were done by his sister-in-law, Laura Ryckeley, and provide another glimpse into what Ryckeley saw as well as what the reader sees when he or she reads the prose.
Ryckeley stated that choosing 52 stories of the 600 he has written since embarking on a writing career was difficult but choosing four for the Reader Reaction section was easy.
“Those have been included not because they’re extraordinary but because of the extraordinary circumstances that occurred after they were published in The Citizen.”
Ryckeley breaks the book into eight sections: 110 Flamingo Street, Mt. Olive Elementary, The Boy, Observations of Life, Reader Reaction, Dad, Mom and The Wife.
“I felt a responsibility to make sure the stories in this book were special,” Ryckeley said. “If you laugh or cry reading these, you can be sure I did, too.”
The author felt an additional sense of responsibility this time around because he is also the publisher. It gave him complete control over the creative process and allowed him to do things the way he wanted to do them. This meant everything from deciding how long the book would be and what it would look like to when it would be released and how it would be marketed.
Ryckeley’s first book, “Musings from a Cluttered Mind,” did well. He sold all the books he had and the response was overwhelming.
“I thought maybe one or two people read my column,” Ryckeley joked.
He also had several appearances at local libraries and other establishments, putting his book out there but also putting a face and a voice to the words on the page. He will be at the Peachtree City Library this Saturday from 1-4 p.m. along with The Boy, The Wife and the illustrator. Ryckeley will also be at The Carnegie Library in Newnan at 2:30 p.m. on May 10 and Smith and Davis at 2 p.m. on May 11. There will also be appearances at Omega books and Table Talk in Senoia later this spring and summer. Perhaps the appearance that Ryckeley is most excited for is having vendor space at the Decatur Book Festival set for Labor Day weekend this year.
Ryckeley is just excited in general and can’t wait for people to read the stories.
“I think the first story will make you cry…in a good way…and maybe let you know why we left Flamingo Street,” Ryckeley said. “I’m proud of this book and I think it will make people happy.”
“110 Flamingo Street” is available at his web site, rickryckeley.com, as well as on Amazon.com and in ebook format on barnesandnoble.com. It will also be in local bookstores and hopefully more local businesses soon.