SANDHILLS --  "Once I finished the novel, there's this strange feeling because it's over with -- and I feel like I need to be working on maybe I need to start another book," John Hunt said. He self-published "Secrets of the Sandhills" recently. 

"I kind of grew up with some wild views of the Sandhills," the author said. "It's unknown to a lot of people but it's about the size of West Virginia and just covered in grass."

The book follows a 19-year-old man from Chicago who comes to Nebraska, following a journal his mother gave him. He gets off a bus in Norfolk and starts traveling the state on his bicycle. Hunt notes, “The reader will ride along, then walk away knowing more of the secrets hidden deep in the Sandhills.”

Hunt said readers so far have given positive feedback, asking for a sequel. He is considering writing one, "because they learned so much about what was here in Nebraska." Even Hunt learned about the state, as he researched it for the book while he took five years carefully writing it. 

Hunt and his wife Teri live in Broken Bow, where he operates his business in home construction. They have a son, Mitch, who owns Huntrex, a web and app design agency based in Omaha. He also has a side business as a hunting and fishing guide in the Sandhills twenty-five years ago.

"I've kind of discovered a strange effect where people who come from other parts of the United States, when they come to the Sandhills, they kind of let go of some tension," Hunt said. 

In fact, a musician he was friends with, named Tanner Seay, arrived in the Sandhills and was inspired to even make a music video: "Song of the Sandhills," with advice from Hunt. The music video can be viewed at Hunt and Seay offer local radio stations the opportunity to air the song.

Secrets of the Sandhills is available on Kindle and in paperback on