Meet The Author

Frontline Press, Ltd. is pleased to introduce Will Moredock, author of Banana Republic: A Year in the Heart of Myrtle Beach.

Moredock is a South Carolina native, freelance journalist and award-winning short story writer, who has served a stint as reporter with The State newspaper in Columbia. He is probably best known in South Carolina as the founder, publisher and editor of the late Point newsweekly.

To write Banana Republic, Moredock spent more than a year in Myrtle Beach, living in the heart of the giant tourist hub, researching, interviewing, becoming one of the locals.

“I started out thinking of myself as an anthropologist, a researcher, in some exotic, fabled city,” Moredock said. “But after you live in a town for a while, after you go to the churches and clubs and city council meetings and you’ve been through a couple of near-miss hurricanes, you realize you’re not some guy in a lab coat with a clip board. You’ve crossed a threshold. You’re part of the story and the story is part of you.”

Moredock’s account is at its most personal and poignant when he writes about the teenage runaways on Ocean Boulevard: “…the Boulevard was the gathering place for the refuse of America’s failed families, failed schools and churches, failed substance abuse programs and social welfare agencies. It was an unsanitized slice of American reality, as rough and raunchy as the T-shirts worn by many of its denizens…Like millions of others, they came here because they heard Myrtle Beach held some balm, some elixir that would give them hope and happiness. Most of them would only have their hearts broken one more time. Some would go berserk and we would read about them in the newspaper after a night of mayhem or tragedy. Others grew more jaded and cynical; a few even grew up.”

“I spent more time researching life on the Boulevard than any other aspect of the book,” Moredock said. “It was fascinating and appalling. Most Americans don’t know such a place exists, except in the movies. And they certainly never guessed it could be found right in this little Baptist corner of the world.”

Moredock’s eye takes in the broad sweep of life and conflict. He describes the breath-taking cynicism and hypocrisy of public officials, under constant pressure from developers to bend and break the law. He surveys the havoc unbridled development has wreaked on the fragile coastal environment. He tells the history of golf in Myrtle Beach and goes behind the scenes of the seamy sex industry it has spawned.  

In 396 pages, Moredock has produced a colorful, three-dimensional portrait of the people, the culture and the politics of this famous beach resort. As celebrated attorney and raconteur Alex Sanders has written, “In his definitive exposition of the Redneck Riviera, Will Moredock has captured lightening in a bottle. Tourists and townspeople alike will be much amused, amazed and confounded.”

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