How I arrived at the story for Mossback actually came to me over several decades. I’d heard from friends and relatives about my dad in a fight with a big buck. The fight between him and a buck actually happened three or four separate times over the span of thirty years.
First, how do I know he actually fought with a buck and finally killed the buck?
The first time I heard the story I asked him about the fight, and he told me it happened because he got careless when he went to gut the buck. When he rolled the buck over, the buck came up on him. He grabbed the horns and it was him, the mud, the leaves, the brush and the trees before the wounded buck wore down and bled out. He said, he knew that buck would hurt him if let go of the horns so he wasn’t about to let go of those horns.
The second fight was attested to by Mr. Pete Moore and Mr. Roy Bowers, who said they came to the camp house after a hunt and found Dad all skinned up and bruised. He asked what happened and Dad said he had gotten into a knock down, hands to horns battle with a buck.
The third time he was in a fight with a big buck was attested to by Colonel Bob Collins, a veteran of two wars. He said he came to the camp house late one afternoon and found my Dad trying to tend to his wounds. He said Dad was skinned up, marked up, torn up and bleeding from his arms with scrapes on his face. Dad told him where the fight with the buck occurred. So Colonel Collins went to the location and sure enough he said, the entire oak ridge was torn up from an apparent fight between man and beast. He found the buck was dead on the ridge with its throat slit.
These events are incredible but they events actually happened over a span of thirty years. There are some of these old hunters living today that can attest to the truth but sadly my Dad isn’t one of them having since passed away.
We go into the woods feeling that we are the hunters and the game the hunted. This isn’t always the case and I can relay this tale that happened to me. I was climbing out of my tree stand when my bow slipped and thudded the side of a tree. The thud sounded almost like a buck in a fight with another buck but I never gave it another thought. The moment my feet planted on the ground however it was apparent something else had that same thought. I turned from the tree and suddenly a huge buck charged out of a thicket right for me. Luckily it stopped less than ten steps away. I could smell its musk and hear it’s heavy breathing as we locked eyes on each other.
My heart was doing a job on my ribs but I slowly brought my bow up, nocked and arrow and came to full draw. When I reached full draw I had forgotten I had rolled up the arms of my thick sweat shirt and made a knot under my chin, when I released the bow string the big knot under my chin caught the bow string and my arrow fell unceremoniously to the ground almost at my feet. The buck stared at me several moments then lowered its antlers as if to charge. Then in one blur of antlers and fur it wheeled and vanished into the thicket. I never saw that buck again.
As I look back, I wonder at times what was going through my Dad’s head. Was he just incredibly unlucky or just plain careless? I don’t believe he was careless and I’m sure close calls or events have happened to other hunters. Or maybe we just don’t read about them much.
I took these events and channeled them into one big fight scene in the story of Mossback. The ending took a long time to come up with. I wanted an ending that lifted the spirit.
MOSSBACK: by Kenneth Fore – 230 pages. A classic man vs. nature story that exposes the soul and character of the protagonist. The story is a tense odyssey of a man’s battle with himself and nature as he clashes with nature’s royal flush. The heart of the story lies in one man’s indestructible spirit. Memorable characters will live in the reader’s heart and mind long after the last page is turned. MOSSBACK is an unforgettable story.
“This book was definitely a new genre for me. However when I began reading, I could not put it down. The characters made the book. They were so real that I found myself identifying with each one of them. I laughed, cried and sighed throughout the pages. I will certainly read this one again.”
“I don’t usually read this type of book, but it was a great story with very interesting characters. I read this book by Kenneth Fore because I had already read The Wolf Tattoo by him. I like his stories and can’t wait to read more.”
REVIEW: 5.0 out of 5 stars “Great book if you’re a bowhunter. You won’t find a better one! A movie would be great. But probably impossible to make:)”
REVIEW: 5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding story and charcters; left me wanting more. “I enjoyed this book very much, and read it in one night. I am a bow hunter and use traditional archery equipment most of the time. I too have a long bow and quiver full of flint tipped wooden arrows. I would love to harvest a big old buck with that setup someday; so I identified with the main charter easily. I found the fight to the death with the big buck to be credible. I once shot a buck in the spine and tried to dispatch the deer by twisting his neck until it broke; while holding onto his antlers. Although his backend was immobilized his front legs and those hard sharp hooves still worked very well. The buck fought me just as in the story by rising up on his front legs lashing out with his hooves and his antlers slashing side to side. I got the mess beat out of me by that buck and finally had to put a second arrow into his ribcage. When I finished reading and closed the book; I was sure the old man had died from his ordeal and injuries. I must have dreamed about the story because I was still complicating the ending the next morning. Being long in the tooth myself I want to believe that he was just in a sound and deep sleep dreaming again. I hope the author will continue the story; I would enjoy reading more. Outstanding book. OldBear
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Mossback is now available as an Audible book. The voice actor, Joseph B. Kearns had a lot of favorable comments about Mossback.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kenneth Fore is a graduate of Georgia State University and holds an AA and BBA degree. Ken has accumulated business awards and chaired various committees. He is also a disabled Army veteran and suffers from harsh tinnitus who retired early from a successful business to pursue his dream of being a novelist but since he was a technical report writer for years Ken felt writing a novel would be a cake walk. He soon discovered that was not the case.
Ken has been a deer hunter since the age of 10 and killed his first buck with a single barrel twelve gauge shotgun at thirteen. His first buck with a bow came in 1973 with a re-curve bow, “It was a most exhilarating experience.”
Ken’s first novel, MOSSBACK was published as a tribute to a vanishing civilization that suffered through the depression and two wars. This story is a character study about a World War I vet who hunts a giant buck that no one else had seen. He hunts the buck with a long bow and Indian arrowhead he’d found. He also suffered from PTSD like most veterans who experienced intense combat.
“Mossback is a fictional story based on an actual event. Veterans will like Mossback because the main character suffers from PTSD from World War 1. Mossback is literary fiction and a serious read. It is not a story like Me and Bob or anything like that. Women especially love the story. It has been debated in book clubs in the deep south and even in churches. One minster told me he got two sermons out of the novel. Why is this? There is a religious theme inside the novel that I didn’t know was there until someone pointed it out. The ending to Mossback is hotly debated. Did he or did he not?” Ken Fore
Ken’s second novel was another matter. Wanting to write something different and in an exotic locale, he isolated himself and became a recluse for five years to write and to study the craft of writing fiction. The effect of this effort resulted in his new novel titled, THE WOLF TATTOO. It you liked JEREMIAH JOHNSON, CALL OF THE WILD, A MAN CALLED HORSE and THEM, and, if you like escape novels you will undoubtedly enjoy THE WOLF TATTOO.
The first four chapters are free on Kindle. The primary characters in THE WOLF TATTOO are Clayton, Tuma, Palafox, Goose, Skidder and Arnaq. While there, Ken invites you to ‘LIKE’ his page.
Ken is also on Twitter and Facebook and would love to hear from you. You can visit Ken at his website: