Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lakewood, North Carolina: Fun Facts

The setting of the sleepy village of Lakewood appears in most of my stories. I figured I'd take the time to point some fun stuff out.

First and foremost, Lakewood is a real place... well, sort of. I live in a little inkblot on the map called Tuxedo, North Carolina. It's right on the state line with South Carolina and is bordered by the Greenville Watershed. Originally, Tuxedo was called Lakewood. I really liked the name and figured it would be the ideal setting for the horrors that have played out in my stories. Lake Summit rests in the center (I also took it's original name -Lake Edith- and used it as well). Like when you have a dream. When familiar locations pop up in a dream, you know exactly where it is and all the details even though the dreamworld tends to take on different forms. Lakewood is the Tuxedo of my nightmares... and I have plenty of those.

The Lowe Road is real too and is pretty much exactly how it sounds in the stories. It's mostly a long, winding, dirt road and has many old buildings scattered about. Now it's mostly paved and housing developments are filling space. The actual name of the road is Pinnacle Mountain Road. I renamed it Lowe Road after the character Rev. Lester Lowe from Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf.

Birthday Wish was written for my little buddy. My nephew Dakota. I don't have children and he was pretty much the closest I've ever had. My wife and I pretty much raised him for the first two years of his life. He's a sweet boy and all around goofball (just like uncle Charlie). We spoiled the shit out of him. Sadly, I don't see him much since the split.

Just In Sight came about during a trip to town during a snowstorm. We were on a, somewhat, isolated road and I began wondering what would happen if we hit the ditch. That story was also inspired by my wife at the time and was dedicated to her and my nephew Dakota.

Later on, she would again inspire another story... Sticks and Stones. It was during the beginning of our separation and I had a lot of frustrations to let out (and believe me... I let 'em out to play!). The story would later become my first Best-Seller. So in an odd way, I suppose I should thank her for that one.

Now, onto another reader favorite. Carcass is actually based on a true story of sorts. During the 1960's, at the very farm I am sitting at now, my great-grandfather came home and found his family in fear of something that had been lurking around outside. It made strange sounds and had frightened them to the very core. He laughed at them. To prove his point, that there was nothing to fear, he walked outside into the night without a gun and tried to find what had startled them. He made it to an old apple tree where he sat and listened to something moving around the field. He could hear the sounds and, according to him, it sounded as if it had been circling him. He made it back to the house and apologized for making fun of the family. It turns out, there were other people who lived around here who had spoke of similar incidents that occurred around the same time. To my knowledge, nobody has ever figured out what it was that had passed through that night. I will say that it wasn't the last time it happened. It comes through every year.

All of these stories can be found in my newest paperback collection. You can get your copy by clicking HERE. Also be sure to have a look at the "Letters from the Author" section in the back of the book for a piece called "The Legend of the Mountain Devils" for more details on the real-life spooky events that inspired some of these tales.

Campfires: A Collection of Horrors

I hope you've enjoyed this and come back soon. Tell your friends, enemies, pets and victims to swing by as well.

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