Archive for the 'Yellow Watermelon' Category

Ted Dunagan’s A Yellow Watermelon Spotlighted by Here’s Darwin

Friday, May 2nd, 2008 by Brian Seidman

Author Ted Dunagan’s book A Yellow Watermelon was featured on the NBC-15 Mobile, Alabama news’s “Here’s Darwin” segment.

Reporter Darwin Singleton visited with Ted after the author spoke with Mrs. Fulton, Mrs. W. Smith, and Mrs. Sessions classes at Dunbar Middle School on April 24, 2008. Ted spoke with the students about A Yellow Watermelon, and how the book’s setting was influenced by Ted’s youth in Grove Hill. Darwin praised the book as engaging for students, and yet “older adults find it engrossing as well.”

See a video of Darwin interviewing Ted Dunagan at the NBC-15 website.

A Yellow Watermelon is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online and retail booksellers.

Yellow Watermelon Author Ted Dunagan Interviewed on Writers Show

Friday, February 8th, 2008 by Mary Katherine

Ted Dunagan, author of A Yellow Watermelon, was interviewed recently by Joan Hetzler of Chattanooga, Tennessee’s WAWL radio program The Writers Show, a lively half hour program that airs once a month and entertains listeners through interviews, discussions, readings, drama and stories from writers.

A Yellow Watermelon tells the story of 12-year-old Ted who, while growing up in Alabama in the 1940s, shows enormous courage in befriending a black child and in stepping forward to expose the racist attitudes of the town’s leading citizen.

The Writers Show airs on WAWL 91.5 FM, on Sundays at 1:00 pm in the eastern Tennessee or Northern Georgia listening areas. You can listen online at the WAWL website.

A Yellow Watermelon is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online and retail booksellers.

Ted Dunagan Reflects on Yellow Watermelon Publication

Monday, December 10th, 2007 by Brian Seidman

Ted Dunagan, author of the newly-released A Yellow Watermelon from Junebug Books, will be signing his novel this Friday, December 14, at the Monticello News office. Dunagan, author of the Monticello News’s “I’m Fixin’ To” column, wrote the following about having his book published:

I’m fixing to be a published author.

Now y’all all know I’m prone to just make up stuff, but this is real as rain.

I wrote this novel called A Yellow Watermelon, and it was rejected by St. Martin’s Press, Knopf, W. W. Norton, Little Brown, Panthelon, Simon & Schuster, Harmony, Holt, Vintage, McPherson, and Counterpoint Press, all eleven, giant publishing houses.  Please bear in mind all these rejections were through a literary agent, and it had taken me over a year just to get an agent to read my novel and represent me.

Well after two years I finally got sick of rejection, fired my agent, and paid out of my pocket to have the book self-published.  The problem with self-publishing is not only the money you pay to do it, but also the fact that marketing of the book, publicity, reviews, book signings, etc., have to all be performed by yourself since you are in fact the publisher.

Three or four months after publication I was plodding along, knocking on newspaper doors and trying to set up book signing, selling a few copies, when the most wonderful thing happened.  It was a phone call.  There were two people on the line.  It was the publisher and editor of NewSouth Books, Suzanne LaRosa and Randall Williams, with a publishing house based in Montgomery, Alabama and Louisville, Kentucky.  They told me they had read my novel and wanted to buy the rights to it and publish it.  Well I just about fell out, and you could have knocked me over with a humming bird feather.

The way it had come about was that another Suzanne, Suzanne Jackson, a sixth grade school teacher in Alabama had read the book and declared to her husband it was better than most of the books she read to her class.  Turns out her husband, Professor Harvey H. Jackson III, was a college professor at Jacksonville State University, and an author himself.  Consequently, he put a note on my book and sent it off to the smart folks at NewSouth Books.

After the phone call I immediately took the self published version out of print and sold the rights to A Yellow Watermelon to NewSouth Books, and waited two more years for this moment.

At first I thought the people in the book publishing business just don’t get in a hurry, that is until the last few months before the release of the book. That’s when the multitude of tasks necessary to launch a book was revealed to me and I realized they are actually very busy people.

The good news is that it’s finally happening!  NewSouth has edited, designed, printed and is marketing the book as juvenile fiction, getting blurbs, reviews, and all that stuff. 

I prayed over this book, and I want to tell y’all that the Lord does answer your prayers, but that He does it in his own good time.

I’m fixing to have a book signing at The Monticello News office just off the square, from 10:00 AM through 7:30 PM, December the 14th.  

I hope all y’all will be fixin’ to come on by.

Read more of Ted Dunagan’s columns at the Monticello News website.

A Yellow Watermelon is now available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Kirkus Reviews Praises A Yellow Watermelon

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 by Mary Katherine

A Yellow Watermelon by Junebug Books author Ted Dunagan will be reviewed in the forthcoming December 1 edition of Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus praises Dunagan’s skillful storytelling and calls the book “a memorable, generous-hearted tale.”

Rooted in the best Southern literary tradition, A Yellow Watermelon takes place in 1940s; it is the story of 12-year-old Ted Dillon who shows enormous courage in befriending a black child and in stepping forward to uncover the duplicity and racist attitudes of the town’s leading citizen. From the review:

“It’s a fine, well-told tale of friendship between two smart, likable boys—one white, one black. In a scene akin to Deborah Wiles’s Freedom Summer (2001), anticipating the Civil Rights movement, Ted tells Poudlum, ‘And someday you gonna be able to walk in that drug store, sit down and have yourself some ice cream. You know what else, one day we’ll be able to go to school together, too.’”

A Yellow Watermelon will be avaliable in November from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer.