At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Events for readers and writers

Ponder releases second novel

The Appalachian Cowboy is a new paperback novel written by Anthony E. Ponder. He is a Madison County native and author.

This story begins in 1879 in the fictional West Texas town of Los Villas. Junior Justus is the main character. He is searching for his newspaper reporter brother, Josh. They are from Madison County, although the county name does not appear in the story.

“Finding an authentic backdrop for a gunfight posed a problem,” Ponder said. “There are not many places in our area with an old west setting. Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley was the perfect and perhaps only location. Ms. Alaska Presley graciously permitted me and YAV Publisher, Christopher Yavelow, to gain access to this gated property. On Christmas Eve 2019, the book cover photos were taken in gorgeous 72 degree weather.”

His books may be purchased online from Amazon, Walmart, or ordered from your favorite bookstore. The Appalachian Cowboy is also available through Kindle ebooks.

Receive our FREE SMN Xtra newsletter

This Must Be the Place

Reading Room

  • Tracing the human family tree
    Tracing the human family tree As someone who was an anthropology major in college and have been somewhat obsessed by the truth behind the idea of human evolution, discovering best-selling, prize-winning Canadian author Claire Cameron’s 2017 novel, The Last Neanderthal (Little Brown & Co., 2017, 273 pages), not only came…

Subscribe to Our Email Newsletters

  • Rumble: An empowering weekly newsletter created by women, for women
  • The SMN Xtra: Updates from the Smoky Mountain News throughout the week

Previously in A&E

Go to top