Books

Bowling Green author's first book is set in Scott County

Nick Allen Brown's first book, Field of Dead Horses, features Keeneland among its locales.
Nick Allen Brown's first book, Field of Dead Horses, features Keeneland among its locales.

Budding novelist Nick Allen Brown of Bowling Green knows the title of his first book, Field of Dead Horses, turns off some readers.

"But if they get past the title and read it, I think they will enjoy it," said Brown, 37, of his story that captures the sense of place of a small horse farm in Scott County in 1939, and addresses issues such as family relationships, domestic violence, murder and romance against the backdrop of horse racing.

Three years after publication, Brown's book is starting to get attention. He has another one to come out next month and a third one in the writing stage.

The writer, who also is marketing director for the large, interstate law firm of Hughes & Coleman, is keeping his fingers crossed that Hollywood will come calling.

"One producer already has told me that he likes Field of Dead Horses but that period movies are more expensive to make, with the costuming and sets," Brown said during a recent book-signing at the Shelby County Public Library's annual "One Book One Community" event in Shelbyville.

Field of Dead Horses involves a secret set in Scott County and features well-known locales like Lexington's Keeneland race course and Fava's restaurant, a local favorite in Georgetown since 1910.

In the book, a horse trainer, who lives with his cantankerous father, finds an unconscious woman in a creek near his farm home in the dead of winter.

But Field of Dead Horses is not well known in Scott County.

Michael Stephens, reference librarian for the Scott County Public Library, recently said the library got a copy of it last October and so far it has not been checked out.

Republican state Rep. Ryan Quarles, a Scott County native, said he has never heard of it.

Neither has state Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown.

"My interest has been piqued though," said Thayer, "and I will put it on my reading list."

Brown said about 10,000 copies of the book were published by Harrowood Books in Pennsylvania and about 6,000 have been sold. He is involved in about 35 book-signings across the country, many at Costco wholesale stores.

In an interview after the Shelby County book-signing, Brown said he selected Scott County for his first book because he "needed a Mayberry-type community with horse trainers close to a big race course."

A Bowling Green native, Brown said he had never been to Georgetown until he began researching the book in 2010.

He spent nine months in the area before his wife, Becky Brown, gave birth to their twins, daughter Lilly and son Callan.

"The people in Georgetown were very kind to me, especially the folks at the library," said Brown.

Brown's passion for story-telling stemmed from being raised by a single mother who allowed him as a boy to rent three movies a weekend.

"I had one for Friday, Saturday and Sunday," he said. "I analyzed them, especially their stories, and also became an avid reader. My favorite book is The Grapes of Wrath and my favorite author today is John Irving."

After a brief career as a writer of TV commercials in Los Angeles, Bottom returned to Bowling Green to marry and pursue his dream of writing novels.

Coming out next month is his The Astronaut from Bear Creek, set in an inn in Pennsylvania. His third book is an as-yet untitled thriller.

"I know writing is what I want to do," he said. "I'm glad my first book was set in Kentucky. Let's go from there."

  Comments