Word traveled as far as Winston-Salem, where John F. Blair proposed to Whedbee that he compile his stories in book form. Whedbee welcomed the challenge, though his expectations for the manuscript that became Legends of the Outer Banks and Tar Heel Tidewater were modest. "I wrote it out of a love for this region and the people whom I'd known all my life," he said. "I didn't think it would sell a hundred copies."
From the very first sentence of the foreword, Whedbee stamped the collection with his inimitable style: "You are handed herewith a small pod or school of legends about various portions of that magical region known as the Outer Banks of North Carolina as well as stories from other sections of the broad bays, sounds, and estuaries that make up tidewater Tarheelia."
The Lost Colony, Indians, Blackbeard, an albino porpoise that guided ships into harbor—the tales in that volume form the core of Outer Banks folklore. Whedbee liked to tell people that his stories were of three kinds: those he knew to be true, those he believed to be true, and those he fabricated. But despite much prodding, he never revealed which were which.