It took author John Reed 10 years to get the story right, but it was well worth the effort.
Reed has published his first historical novel titled "Justice or Revenge? The Wright Family Saga."
Interestingly, the drama takes place in Phelps County during the Civil War. It is the tale of Judge Lewis Wright, his son, Anthony, a notorious bushwhacker, and fire and brimstone Methodist preacher Col. Thomas J. Backcoke as their paths intertwine.
"Years ago a friend introduced me to this story and kept encouraging me to write it," Reed said. "The story is based on over 500 pages of legislative hearings, personal letters, newspaper articles and personal memoirs."
His research brought him to Rolla several times to do research with the Phelps County Historical Society.
Reed who spent a number of years in Sedalia now lives in Iowa, where he is a hotel manager by day and writer by night.
"I was trained as a writer and have written a number of books. This is my first one that has been published," he said.
The work is being published by Burnt District Press in Harrisonville. The book is available at www.burntdistrictpress.com.
Reed told the Daily News to stay tuned. He is working with Larry Bowen at Reader's Corner for a possible book signing in the near future.