YEMASSEE – Ron Baxley Jr., a published author for 27 years and a Times and Democrat correspondent, will appear at the Authors Under the Live Oaks event at the Low Country Visitors Center/Frampton Plantation in Yemassee on Saturday, April 28.
Baxley will be premiering his new fantasy novel, “O.Z. Diggs Himself Out," from YBR Publishing, a book lauded by accomplished Oz author Gabriel Gale and others. Gale, author of the “Ages of Oz” series published by Simon and Schuster, recently said of Baxley's new book, "It is a sprawling, yet deftly woven Oz-zy tale of a Wizard out of the American South that speaks to all of us who grapple with issues of identity.”
“One of the core themes of my book is a person is so much more than his identity and background. One can transcend both,” Baxley said.
In the book, O.Z. Diggs VII is an eccentric storyteller with rainbow-colored hair who seeks remnants of his ancestor’s, the original Wizard of Oz, past throughout the United States. Along the way, while trying to stop a curse the Wicked Witch of the West placed on his family before she died, Diggs discovers characters and events that parody fantasy, satirize aspects of Southern culture and divisive groups and lampoon some aspects of Oz fiction and films. He also grows on this journey as he deals with his own anger and denial of who he really is.
Baxley is no stranger to Oz fiction and fandom. He has been formally invited as a special guest, attending author and guest author at Oz festivals and conventions throughout the country since 2010. He published his first Oz book in 1999. In 2016, he was presented with a lifetime membership in the International L. Frank Baum and All Things Oz Foundation in Chittenango, New York. Baxley recently signed with the Choice of Games company to create "NE BY NW OZ," a Hitchockian Oz parody adventure game, with illustrator Ian Clyde.