Appalachia Appalachian Writers

Appalachian Writers – William Roy Pipes

William Roy Pipes Darby

I heard the name Roy Pipes often as I was growing up. When I was a kid Roy was the Superintendent of Cherokee County Schools. Roy was also a teacher in Cherokee County for many years as well as a Principal. A few months ago, I stumbled across information about Roy’s new book, Darby.

I contacted Roy and after a few email exchanges Roy sent me his book. After reading the description of the book I couldn’t wait to read it-I mean who doesn’t love danger, suspense, romance and intrigue?

Darby is a great read. It is full of suspense and romance. The suspense part made me so mad I wanted to put myself in the book and take care of business! And the romance part-is true romance-the kind that lasts forever-through the good times and the not so good times.

After reading the book I knew I wanted Roy to be part of my Appalachian Writers series. (you can read the interview I conducted with Roy below)


Did you grow up in Appalachia? If so what part?

I was born in the Peachtree Community of Cherokee County. The house where I was born is still standing. My father was a school teacher so we moved some, but most of my life was in Peachtree. I now live on land that was once my grandfather’s farm.

Did you want to write as a child?

No, I’m sure I wrote in grade school, high school, and college. I sent a short article, Contrast: Empty or Filled that I wrote in college to the Biblical Recorder. They published it June, 1976. After college I wrote several educational pieces. I still have some, but most are long gone. I wrote my first funny article, Mitzi, but I don’t remember when. People can read several contest pieces that won 1st through 3rd place in contest. One poem, Wordsmith or Poet won third place. These and many others articles can be read on my blog: roypipes.

What were your writing influences?

First, I would have to credit my father, R.C. Pipes, as we (didn’t have television) and he read to us – so much that I memorized some of the poems he read. Poems such as: The Spider and the Fly, The House by the Side of the Road, The Raven, The Old Dutch Clock and the Chinese Plate, to name a few. My mother sang to us, and we were taken to church regularly. My wife Betty influenced me by her encouragement and her editing. Teachers were a big influence. I can’t name them all but I remember Miss Travis, Mrs. Coons, Mrs. Miller, and my first grade teacher, Miss Gladys. I could name many, many more. I never had a poor teacher.

What was the first piece you ever had published?

Contrast: Empty or Filled published by the Biblical Recorder in 1976. My first novel was Darby.

Darby is set in Appalachia-do you feel it’s important to write about your own heritage?

Yes, I think it makes your novel seem more realistic, it’s easier to write, and you know the dialect. Darby, while fiction, is a real Appalachian community located in Wilkes County, NC. My father was born there. He told me a true story that took place in Darby when he was about ten. His story is the foundation for my novel. We used to hold Pipes’ family reunions there, and my wife and I while writing my novel visited Darby.

Do you have other published books/writings?

I mention several above. Darby is the only novel, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is a novelette published in February, 2012 (available on Amazon). Other writings not mentioned above: Aunty Ant, The Farm, Hoppy, Vacation, Identical Twins, Washington Heights, The Administrator’s Role in Teaching Thinking and Reasoning Skills (Dissertation), and a pamphlet: Teaching Thinking and Reasoning Skills Using the Three R’s, and several other educational articles. I have the sequel to Darby titled, Hanging Dog, An Appalachian Community written, but not yet published.

Are you involved or connected with other writers-like a writer’s group or Forum?

Yes – I am involved in several: Pinterest, LinkedIn, Christian Writers, Goodreads, Aspiring Writers, Atlanta Writer’s Café, Fiction Writers Guild, Facebook, Wordserve Water Coolers, Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium, & Writer’s Bureau.

Where can folks buy your book and find out more about you?

My book can be purchased locally at the Curiosity Book Store in Murphy, and Hill Gallery in Brasstown. On line (internet) the book can be purchased as either kindle or paperback on or Barnes and Noble. People can read more about me by going on, and click on my name (William Roy Pipes) my name will be in blue and read my Author’s Page. My website has some information about me.

Can you sum up what Appalachia means to you?

Appalachia is my way of life. Someone asked my wife how I knew the Appalachian dialect I used in my novel Darby. She answered, “That’s the way he talks.”


I hope you enjoyed my interview with Roy-and I hope you’ll give his book a read. Below is Roy’s contact information if you’d like to contact him directly.

William Roy Pipes
[email protected]
917 Upper Peachtree Road
Murphy, NC 28906
828 361-0333


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  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    February 6, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Very nice interview and I’ve been aiming to get that book. It sounds like an awesome read.Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    February 4, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Requesting this one at the library!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    “Darby” was on my Kindle wish list. Now then, since this interview I will surely have to go ahead and download it right away to my Kindle! LOL I like to keep up with the many WNC writers thru The WNC and keep a lot of the Appalacian writers books on my wish list and buy them accordingly.
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Cannot wait to download this on to my Kindle! Thanks, Tipper!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you for introducing your readers to so many warm-hearted, intelligent,practical,respected and just plain interesting folk.

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    February 4, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I am mastering my Kindle and will download his book. Thanks for the information.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I hope Roy Pipes’ book “Darby” becomes
    a best seller, cause I know him, had
    Roy as a teacher that everyone loved.
    My oldest daughter also had Mr. Pipes
    in school twenty or so years later. Back then we didn’t know about his writing skills, but we felt his “people” skills.
    And he had no favorite kids among the
    less or more fortunate ones. He was a
    good listener and encouraged us to go
    out into the world and make our mark.
    All the best to you, Mr. Pipes, and
    “thank you”…Ken

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

    This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. I am currently reading Sharon McCrumb’s, King’s Mountain. It is a fictionalized account of a battle that took place in 1780 along the North and South Carolina border. I will be downloading this to my kindle today.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Great interview! Looking forward to reading this book. I agree with Miss Cindy, we need more educators like Mr. Pipes!

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 4, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Tipper, I enjoyed the interview with Roy Pipes, couldn’t happen to a nicer man and writer. We have always loved the Pipe family who have been such influences on our community’s. Fond memories remain. Roy is a great writer and such a good man. We wish him well with his book Darby and those to follow. Such talent in these Appalachian mountains.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 9:59 am

    This sounds like an interesting read, one I will look into during my next visit to B & N, my favorite store to get lost in. Thanks for sharing some more local culture and writings. I spent thirty-one years in the teaching profession.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 4, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Tipper,Roy Pipes is such a great inspiration to many writers in these Appalachian mountains.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 4, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Tipper. Roy is such a great man and inspiring for our Cherokee County with his teaching skills.His writing skills excels many of struggling writers like me. My parents knew his parents and they were good old intelligent moving citizens and remains in memories of many. I have not got the book Darby, but plan too. Is is based on perhaps Hatfield and McCoy? Sound like great reading for so many.Get interview Tipper.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Sounds like an book I would like to read. Will have to check it out.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Got it! Can’t wait to read it. Thanks Tipper.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 4, 2014 at 8:06 am

    I found an interesting free book at that tells of Roy’s uncle James Carter Pipes. James rests now at Gabriel’s Creek Baptist Church Cemetery where my Great Great Great Grandmother Ann Hairgrove and many Madison County kin are buried.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 4, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Oh, for more teachers and school administrators like Mr Pipes! It would enrich our children so much to have be in schools that valued thinking and reasoning as Mr Pipes does.
    Thanks Tipper and Mr Pipes, I’ve enjoyed this interview. I drive through Peachtree when I come to Brasstown to visit. Now I’ll always think of Roy Pipes as I drive through!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    February 4, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Until your post today, Tipper, I was not familiar with William Roy Pipes, but you can be assured I plan to “check him out,” and that from my school librarian parlance, as well as my love for writing and my deep interest in anything that relates to Appalachia, W. R. Pipes’ home–and my home! Thank you, Tipper, for making us aware of “Darby” and of Mr. Pipes! And my very best wishes to him with his book and his writings! There are stories in all of us; he has written and many are benefited, as well as he!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 4, 2014 at 7:47 am

    This book sounds like one I would like to read. I love suspense novels.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    February 4, 2014 at 4:48 am

    going to be checking Amazon! Sounds like a great read.

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