DENVER––You might say Dr. Ashley Oliphant has the Key to writing success.
A Lincolnton native who now lives in Denver and works as an assistant professor of English at Pfeiffer University, Oliphant was in Key West at the world-famous Ernest Hemingway House on Thursday. The reason was her fourth book-signing event for Hemingway and Bimini: The Birth of Sport Fishing at “The End of the World,” her chronicle of the great American writer and how he practically singlehandedly invented professional sport fishing with his exploits catching marlin, swordfish and other big hauls during deep-sea fishing expeditions in the Bahamas, Cuba and elsewhere in the Caribbean region, back in the 1930’s.
Oliphant also signed copies of In Search of Jimmy Buffett: A Key West Revival (2018, Warren Publishing). Oliphant has been previously known for her nonfiction efforts. In addition to her book on Hemingway, she also published a scholarly work on the science behind seashells, several years ago. But the Buffet book is a comedic novel, as she told The Herald on Saturday.
“The narrative begins in North Carolina before shifting to Key West,” she explained, “with a big part of it set at Hemingway’s house. I am in Key West twice a year for lectures and signings, often during Hemingway Days in July.”
And that’s not all. She revealed that she has collaborated with her mother, Beth Yarbrough, on a new book that should be out by the end of the year.
“We have been working on the case of Lincolnton’s Lorenzo Ferrer, who came to town in 1839,” said Oliphant. “Many people believe he was really the pirate, Jean Laffite. We have traveled to seven states, researching at archival repositories and interviewing people. We have also done exhaustive research in Lincolnton and uncovered some very interesting things. The book will outline whether or not the legends are true.”
Of her most recent trip to Key West, Oliphant said it was one for the books––quite literally. She always wanted to write a book about Hemingway and to sign it at his beautiful former home.
“If you don’t have a dream, it can never come true,” she observed, adding of Key West itself, “There is inspiration waiting to hit you around every gorgeous corner.”
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