Ring of Years, the Debut Novel by Grant Oliphant, Now For Sale

I knew, tangentially, of Grant Oliphant long before I met him — most people in Pittsburgh do. Besides in his capacity as president of the Heinz Endowments, I had also become involved with a great organization called Leadership Pittsburgh, of which is wife Aradhna is president. She’s one of my favorite people in Pittsburgh, warm and funny and active about connecting the right people together with intention; when Aradhna introduces you to someone and tells you about them, it’s not just networking but a real moment of opportunity for collaboration.

When she introduced me to Grant at a local social gathering, our conversation immediately turned to writing. Grant had written a novel that had been picked up by one of the publishers back in the nineties — I can’t remember which one, but I do remember that all those nineties publishers are now one of only five giant conglomerates who manage hundreds of imprints between them. There’s no Viking anymore — only Penguin Random House. I used to walk by Charles Scribner’s and Sons — which is now part of Simon & Schuster. TOR? That’s all Macmillan. Grand Central and Time Warner? Gobbled up by Murdoch’s News Corp and since, I believe, spun off again.

It’s hard to keep track but ripe for discussion — and over the course of our conversation, it became apparent both Grant and I cared about books. Stories. Not just the publishing and the business but the actual conversation of literature, and how it drives thought and ideas and culture.

When I expressed interest in his book, it was as one writer to another.

When I read it, though, by only a few pages in I became interested as a publisher.

I’m really excited to be part of the publication of this book. I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people, especially those who know Grant. Because as I said, most in Pittsburgh — and beyond — do, except not as a novelist, and most likely not the author of a novel like this one, a complex psychological thriller about a young woman investigating an abduction and forced to revisit the traumatic experiences of her past. It’s packed with themes about the truth — what it is, how doggedly one must pursue it, and how one must stand up for it when it is the right thing to do.

Without further adieu: purchase Ring of Years by Grant Oliphant for Kindle.


Grant Oliphant’s Debut Novel Ring of Years Now Available for Preorder

I’m thrilled about all the books we publish, but this one has been something special recently. I met Grant here in Pittsburgh, and he’s one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met — and a joy to work with. I think this publication is meaningful for both of us.

For me, as regular readers might have noticed, the past few years have been rocked by loss on both personal and professional levels. It’s been difficult to set the vision of Exciting Press clear and steady.

For Grant, I don’t think he’ll mind my noting that he’s not known as a novelist. An articulate and passionate writer, perhaps, and certainly here in Pittsburgh a socially conscious leader, but not a novelist. My hope is that this publication and the response to this novel will encourage Grant to explore fiction further; I’m certain there are more stories he could tell.

For now, this is Ring of Years, Grant’s debut thriller about tragedy, loss, and redemption for a woman with a tragic past. Join Natalie Krill on her quest to save a missing girl she believes is in the clutches of a religious cult — one which she herself survived as a child about the same age.

Press release below! Click here to preorder!



Grant Oliphant, president of the Heinz Endowments, has signed a deal to publish his debut novel, “Ring of Years.” A literary thriller, the novel explores themes of redemption, grief, and fanaticism.

Set in the late 1990s, the novel tells the story of Natalie Krill, who, as a child, was one of a few survivors of a standoff between federal agents and a cult who abducted her. As an adult, she struggles to cope with the memories of that fateful night and put her past behind her – until the story of a missing girl starts her on a journey into her own past.

In her quest to save the girl, Natalie will find herself trying to convince the authorities and investigative press that there’s more to the girl’s story. To do so, she will have to make connections others either can’t or aren’t willing to – and confront both a past she would sooner forget and a man she would sooner leave to rot in memory and in prison.

But time is running out.

Because the cult is back. And Natalie must act quickly if she wants to save the missing girl from a dark, wet death.

The novel is now available for preorder on the Amazon Kindle platform, with publication to follow on Friday, May 24; other digital platforms will be considered later this year. It will be published by Pittsburgh-based Exciting Press, an independent publisher of digital literature, and joins an award-winning, bestselling, international list of novels, short story and novella collections, non-fiction, and poetry.

Digital copies of the novel for review are available in multiple formats on request.


Since 2014, Grant Oliphant has served as president of the Heinz Endowments, a major American foundation based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Known for his strong stands on social justice and community issues, he chairs the board of the national Center for Effective Philanthropy and speaks, writes, and blogs frequently about social issues and the challenges facing civil society in today’s America. Through the Endowments, he is also host of a podcast, “We Can Be,” which tells the stories of men and women working to uplift their communities.

“That’s not the likeliest platform for writing a thriller,” he jokes. “But the work I am lucky enough to do every day is all about social change, and my writing springs from that same passion. What motivates me is a devotion to understanding how people deal with deep challenges and overcome them. For me, that’s what ‘Ring of Years’ is about—it’s a story about courage in the face of the seemingly impossible.”

Oliphant previously served as president and chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh Foundation, one of the country’s largest community foundations. In addition to his extensive background in philanthropy, he has worked both in journalism and in government. He served as press secretary to U.S. Sen. John Heinz and, before that, was founding editor of American Politics, a monthly political magazine. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and a master’s degree from Pepperdine University’s Graziado School of Business.

Oliphant has served on numerous community and national boards, including the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance, which works to enrich children’s lives through reading, and the Communications Network, a non-profit membership organization that promotes communications as a tool for better philanthropy. Born in Adelaide, Australia, he is the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Pat Oliphant.

“Ring of Years” is his debut novel, and marks his newest title: novelist.


Exciting Press was founded by owner and publisher Will Entrekin in 2007, when Entrekin was a graduate student at the University of Southern California. Over a dozen years, Exciting Press has acquired a list of titles by internationally bestselling authors who have won myriad awards in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Publisher website: http://exciting.press

Publisher contact: willentrekin@gmail.com