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My First Historical Novel Is on the Horizon

Updated: Feb 15

I’ve been on an exciting literary journey since spring 2020, and one of my projects will soon come into fruition. Raptors in the Ricelands will be published by Belle Isle Books on April 30, 2024. (Pre-order from;, and

As the known world became plagued with coronavirus fear and fatalities and our country reckoned with racial injustice, I wrote. Creative writing projects called out to me. I answered, and my spirit remained renewed and refreshed. I created two novellas (my Geechee Literature Series), a play, and began a novel of historical fiction about rice culture and Gullah Geechee heritage. My years of researching and writing about enslaved West Africans who masterfully produced abundant rice that enriched plantation owners during the 1700s segued into storylines, conversations, and thoughts of numerous characters.

In the twenty-first century fictional community of Georgetown, SC, a story unfolds revealing family secrets and conflicts that challenge cultural beliefs. With bighearted intentions, newlyweds Florence and Chadwick Wineglass attempt to promote economic legacy, but their unconscious motives often ensnare those they assist. The Wineglasses become raptor-like in their generosity at a moment when other community members' intentions also proved to be menacing.

Conveyed in four acts and with chapter names that follow the production stages of Carolina Gold Rice, Raptors in the Ricelands spans the future, the present, and the past, and fosters a message of connection with African diasporic communities around the globe. Historical accounts include the Orangeburg Massacre; Black church life, particularly in Oconee County, SC as begun during slavery; the launch of White supremacy in Fort Mill, SC; The Reconstruction era; and Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

This project is funded in part by the SC Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. It also is funded in part by a generous award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. Brookgreen Gardens provided additional support.

I'm grateful for the praise given by Eden Royce, award-winning author of Root Magic on the front cover (seen below); and on the back cover by Julie Dash, Producer/Writer/Director:

"With the skill of a West African trunk minder, Ron Daise floods imaginations with a story about the importance of history, Gullah Geechee heritage, and legacy. The characters reveal truths unknown or forgotten."

and by Samuel T. Livingston, PhD, Associate Professor, Africana Studies and History Department, Morehouse College:

"Set against the seasonal and tidal rhythms of rice-growing by our enslaved African ancestors, Raptors integrates the reader into the Lowcountry in ways few texts have done so. Entering the company of works by Gloria Naylor and Tina McElroy Ansa, this is a story that will educate, incite, and force the reader to turn each page as its characters evolve and revolve into positions of protagonist, antagonist, reapers, raptors and reavers. Please read this book!"

Stay tuned for updates, please.

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