Sherry-Go-Round: Local physician writes of knights and maidens
by Sherry Kughn
Dec 17, 2013 | 1907 views |  0 comments | 77 77 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Recently, a friend presented me with his first book – a novelette of historical fiction called “Will and Ro.” He is a busy physician who wrote it at various times in his days and evenings.

Dr. James Ready (pronounced “reedy”) is an Anniston internist who specializes in treating arthritis.

The idea for a book came to him about five or six years ago when he was doing something else he enjoys – re-reading classic literature.

“You can learn a lot from the classics when you read them as an adult,” he said .

Ready came across a once-familiar book, “Ivanhoe.” It is an 1820 novel by Sir Water Scott about a heroic knight. In Scott’s novel, the female character Rowena approaches Ivanhoe who is dressed as a pilgrim returning from a crusade. She doesn’t recognize him, but inquires about her beloved Ivanhoe and says to him, “Thank you, Pilgrim, for news of my childhood friend.”

The sentence stayed in Ready’s mind, and he knew there had to be a back-story. He wanted to tell it. He wrote a first chapter and showed it to friends, who encouraged him. Then, he spent a year researching the daily lives of young men and women who lived during the 12th century, such as how they dressed, played, and viewed their future. When his research ended, he spent the next four years writing and editing his story.

Ready said there was another motive for writing the book. He wants young women to possess higher standards of how young men should behave.

“I have been disappointed in recent years seeing how young women have such low expectations about how young men should treat them,” said Ready.

The topic is personal to him. When his two adult sons were children living at home, he sought to teach them how to treat women by being a husband to his wife of 31 years, Patricia. Also, as a Christian, Ready believes the issue is biblical. For instance, in 1st Timothy 5:2, the Bible character Paul told his student Timothy that young men should treat young women as sisters “with absolute purity.” The Bible also condemns sexual impurity and lust, both issues that Ready says are rampant in the news and the entertainment industry.

In his book, which is only 24,000 words and can be read in one sitting, the character Ivanhoe, called Wil, displays self-discipline regarding sexual purity during a rather comical scene. An adversary approaches Wil and Ro, and they must quickly hide a falcon that Wil is holding. He places it beneath Ro’s billowy skirt, which causes her to behave erratically. After the adversary leaves, Wil has to retrieve the bird and, while doing so, touches Ro’s soft thighs. However, he exerts discipline and removes the bird with decorum. Parents are a good market for this story, especially ones who are trying to teach young men and women to use sexual restraint.

In the book, Ro behaves herself as an outdoors woman and as a lady. As she matures, she focuses on learning the things a lady should know about serving the queen. Also in the story, Wil rescues Ro from a fire, and both characters spend their youths in preparation for living as honorable adults who face life with courage and duty.

While researching and writing the book, Ready said he learned many interesting facts. For instance, the modern phrase “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water,” comes from the way a medieval family took baths. The entire family used only one tub of water, starting with the father, then the mother, then the children from the oldest to youngest. By the time the baby was bathed, it might get lost in the murky water.

The novel is self-published with the help of and sells for about $33, but it is cheaper on the Internet or directly from Ready. It has soft-colored illustrations, which cost Ready about $2,000 more than the $900 basic price. For those wanting to order the novelette, go to or email Ready at Also, it makes a great Christmas gift.

“Now I must get busy with marketing the book and recoup the money I spent publishing it,” said Ready.

Then he might write another book. There are other messages Ready wants to communicate to young people. He considers his writing a ministry.

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Sherry-Go-Round: Local physician writes of knights and maidens by Sherry Kughn

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