A Matter of Time

Book Cover


Earlier 20th Century,1920s & '30s

Claude L Chafin

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This is the story of a newly-widowed woman, my grandmother, raising three small children in a mining camp in southern West Virginia, living in an unheated tent. Her husband, a coal miner, had been murdered by the company for whom he worked, because he attempted to bring in a labor union.



Short Summary

The story is in three parts: (1) Grace Salmons meets Taylor Hammond, a neighbor in eastern Kentucky, they date and marry. (2) After a failed attempt at farming, they move to Williamson, West Virginia where Taylor becomes a coal miner. (3) After Taylor is murdered, Grace becomes a bootlegger.

Grace is arrested and sent to Federal Prison, leaving her three small children to raise themselves. When she is released, her illegal whiskey supplier attempts to recruit her again to transport his wares. She refuses, he kills her.


Mingo County, West Virginia

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise


Plot - Other Elements

Other,Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

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Main Character Details

Name: Grace Salmons Hammond

Age: 20 to 30

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Aggressive,Desperate,Decisive,Empathetic,Charming,Engaging,Faithful

Additional Character Details

Name: Taylor Hammond

Age: 20 to 30

Gender: Male

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Confident,Desperate,Decisive,Heroic,Leader

Additional Character Details

Name: Henry Hammond

Age: 20 to 30

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Heroic

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

This is a compelling story about a widowed woman raising three small children, ages 1, 3, and 5, under the hardest conditions in the worst of times. But the message this story brings is that nothing is impossible if you have faith and are willing to do whatever it takes to survive. This woman, my grandmother, lived in an unheated tent, and accepted food scraps from her neighbors to feed her children. When given the opportunity to bring jars of moonshine across the state line between Kentucky and West Virginia, she did so and was paid $2.00 a jar for each one she brought over, normally six a week. All three children grew to be successful: My mother, the three year old, raised four children, the author included. The one-year-old was an all SEC football player. And the five-year-old became the only Republican Mayor of Williamson, West Virginia and served three terms. This story describes the hardships that coal miners endured for virtually no wages in the 1920s, and details how Grace's husband was murdered by the company for whom he worked as he attempted to bring in a union.

About The Author

A retired businessman having served in the construction industry for over fifty years. A great-grandfather living in Memphis, Tennessee. Author of three books: Always Start With a Clean Kitchen / The Messenger / A Matter of Time

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54,55+,18-34

Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning

Group Specific

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Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: CreateSpace

Year Published: 2015

Hard Copy Available



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