Exploring Alabama - Ben Russell

Ben Russell , a native son of Alexander City , is anything but ordinary. His success in business is well documented. He's the chairman of Russell Lands which owns and develops thousands of acres around Lake Martin ...including Willow Point Country Club.

But at the same time he was leading his multi-million-dollar business enterprise, he was quietly working on a secret project...a novel titled "The Author". It has a complicated plot that involves a mysterious author who's writing about a nuclear threat here at home....which Russell says is not all that far fetched. "I kept saying if all those guys are really like that," Russell said, "why would they not simply import bombs into the united states ?"

Despite the ominous theme, Russell says the book is not all serious. "Supposedly a lot of southern humor...which I wonder how that will be taken outside of our area, he said." Just getting the book written took a lot of time. "I could not type...I could not spell...still cannot… I argued about all punctuation," Russell continued. "I was a good story-teller, I think...but that does not make a good writer."

"The Author" is actually a book within a book. It's set in a light house in Maine ...that Russell owns. In the book, Ben lets a mysterious writer move in to the lighthouse to finish a book...which details a nuclear threat. Russell said, "As it turns out, this fellow has been an operative for a terrorist group and has been involved in importing bombs into the United States through the waterways."

But to find out what happens next...you'll have to buy the book. When describing his book, Russell concludes, "It's a bizarre affair...but not that difficult a read, I hope."

Proceeds from sales of the book go to Ben's pet charity, Children's Harbor on Lake Martin .

If the book is as successful as Russell's other ventures, look for "The Author" on the best-seller lists - soon.