Over the last few months, I've had the pleasure of meeting lots of new, wonderful, people. Having said that, I think it would be a good time to fill everyone in on who I am and what I do.
I was born and raised in the mountains of Western North Carolina and still reside there today. At the age of 18, I joined Green River Fire and Rescue and have witnessed some pretty wild things over the years. The one call that I will remember until the day I die came over the radio as, "Central to EMS base - Green River. Domestic Assault. The wife is chasing the husband down the road with a running chainsaw!" There have been many adventures since then, but that is definitely in my top three.
Growing up in the mountains, I've always loved hearing the old ghost stories and folklore that comes with the territory. Those range from a headless spectre that is said to wander the cemetery of Crossroads Baptist Church, an old man who liked to drink the blood of his livestock, strange creatures that are said to wander through the mountains, strange lights, UFO sightings and so forth. All of this really stuck with me throughout my life.
I began writing when I was ten-years-old. It was mainly a tool to cure boredom in class, but it quickly became a hobby. I began thinking of all the stories I had been told and started creating my own.
A few years later, I had amassed quite a collection of tales and decided to see if I could get them published. I dug the old typewriter out of the barn, typed them up and drew my own cover that featured a hideous, horned, creature floating above a graveyard. My first collection was entitled Tales From The Demon. I found the address of a publisher from an old paperback, shipped off my manuscript and waited...and waited. I never heard back from them. In hindsight, I wish I had made another copy of the book instead of sending my only copy. I would really like to see those old stories again.
I kept writing but my output was pretty minimal until my freshman year of high school. I was taking a creative writing class and my teacher was very supportive and encouraged me to keep going with my stories. I had my first poem published that year. I had found a publisher online and decided to give it another chance. Black Hills was my debut and it appeared in a limited hardcover collection entitled From The Mountaintop. It has since gone out of print.
In 2010, I was introduced to Irish-based publishing company KNIGHTWATCH PRESS and saw that they were accepting submissions for an upcoming anthology. Just for shiggles, I decided to give it another chance. My short story, Isolated Incident, was accepted for RHONNY REAPER'S ROADKILL CAFE and that acceptance letter was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life.
Taking a more serious approach to my writing, I kept going. I had several more stories published through Knightwatch in various anthologies and even dabbled in self publishing.
One of my biggest passions has always been the field of cryptozoology (the study of animals that have not yet been recognised by science, such as Bigfoot) and it was inevitable that I would combine that with my fiction. STICKS AND STONES was the result of my marriage ending and the desire to vent some frustrations. It seemed to connect with many of the people who read it and even won an award for best novella.
Today, I'm still pounding away at the keyboard and trying to scare people. My third paperback, THE HANGMAN'S LULLABY AND OTHER HORRORS was released on March 1, 2015 and I'm hard at work on the next project, WELCOME TO BOGGY CREEK - a (sort of) sequel to my bestselling short A COLD NIGHT IN FOUKE.
For those of you who have the dream of being a writer, I'll offer this advice: read everyday, write as much as possible and never give up. If someone tells you that you can't do it, use that as fuel to prove them wrong. Because if this poor, crazy, country boy can do it, you can.
Well... I've rambled enough for tonight. If this is your first visit, feel free to snoop around. If you're in the mood for a laugh, I even have a (horrendously crappy) short film that some friends and I put together a few years ago in the videos section.
I'll see y'all later. Have a good night and thanks for dropping in.
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