Dog Ear Publishing Presents Excellence Award to Novel Based on Small-Town Life

The new novel “Tales of a Small town King” by Antony Takis Tsegellis has received the Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence. Tsegellis, who grew up in the Appalachian Mountains in southeastern Kentucky, is a federal judge and spent more than 20 years as a small-town lawyer.

Savannah, GA, December 03, 2018 --( Receiving recognition for a job well done is always welcome, and author Antony Takis Tsegellis is no exception. His debut novel, inspired by his own life, earned the Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence.

“As a rookie author I really did not know what to expect and was a little apprehensive of a professional review,” Tsegellis said. “I personally liked the manuscript, but I honestly did not know if it was good or terrible in the eyes of someone with experience. The award provided a level of satisfaction and joy that comes with creating something that pleases someone else.”

He believes the award is a result of the book’s colorful character descriptions. “While I think they were pleased with the grammar and writing style too, the outlandish characters were both hard to believe and yet wholly plausible, making them fun to follow and hopefully irresistible to the reader,” he said. “The characters prove what the book says several times about life in a small town – that reality is often stranger and more fun than fiction.”

Tsegellis said early readers also liked the book’s action and fast-moving plot. “The chapters are short and written as mini-stories unto themselves, each introducing a new character or situation. I actually tried to ‘write it fast’ in my head, shortening phrases and sentences whenever possible, in hopes of keeping the reader’s attention.”

The book is “absolutely riveting,” wrote Christy Phillippe, Dog Ear Publishing editor. “I was at turns shocked, outraged, ecstatic and heartbroken. Who knew small-town politics could get so crazy? (The author) tells it like it is … and I couldn’t stop reading.”

Dog Ear Publishing’s editorial team determines Award of Literary Excellence. The managing editor, editorial services manager and the publisher review its recommendations. Only a small number of titles earn the award each year.

The novel, “Tales of a Small Town King,” attempts to use one man’s journey – “including all of the ups and downs of family, career, and a desire for significance despite small town limitations – to illustrate the issues and decisions that confront all of us, and the results of which that so often guide our life’s path,” Tsegellis said.

“The protagonist constantly weighs the excitement of adventure and the risk, doubt and fear that comes with that, against the safety and stability of the status quo – but also the stagnation that comes with that. By the end, just as he is finding peace with all of his decisions, both good and bad, and his resulting place in life, his world overturns on the discovery that his life was part of a larger scheme and perhaps not the result of his own choices at all.”

The author is proud that the book “allowed me to honor my family and tell our collective story as immigrants in rural Appalachia, albeit in a fictional way. The main character’s family and upbringing carries resemblance to my own, and I was able to paint many of the best parts of my son and daughter (to whom the book is dedicated), my aunt and uncle, and my grandmother, all while keeping within the fictional storyline,” he said. “My children, as adults, get to carry much more of the storyline in the sequel.”

Tsgellis has long planned to write and publish five books, including a sequel to this book. “I will also admit that (writing the book) was a form of therapy as portions of the book allowed me to contemplate and analyze the decisions made and lessons learned over the course of my life thus far.”

He credited his son, Antony, 24, “for his assistance with the plot, especially in helping tie the several smaller stories within the book into the overall adventure. His creativity, vision, and analytical mind are, and have always been, phenomenal to watch.”

Tsgellis plans to have a book signing at one of the best coffee/variety houses in Savannah – Friendship Coffee, which often hosts local musicians, comedians and authors. “I did many of the final edits there on Saturdays and Sundays,” he said.

For additional information, please visit

Tales of a Small Town King
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-6652-3 190 pages $14.95 US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

Dog Ear Publishing partners with authors to shape content that resonates with readers as diverse as the books we publish. Our mission is to leverage expertise, technology and relationships to form a meaningful and lasting bond between creators, content and culture as a whole. Dog Ear Publishing is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and can be contacted by phone at (317) 228-3656 or through
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