Writing

Writing about writing.

Book Excerpt: “From Turkey Creek – A Memoir”

As many already know, From Turkey Creek – A Memoir is a long-term work in progress. It is my childhood memoir of growing up at the most remote, fun, and wacky place in the world: Turkey Creek, in Humphreys County, Tennessee. This is a short, transitional chapter I wrote, which describes the “general stores” that dotted the countryside near Turkey Creek back in the day.

 

ON COUNTRY STORES

Nearly every dirt road out in the country had a general store. Within an eight-mile radius of Turkey Creek, there was Nolan Sulley Grocery, Thomas Freeland Grocery, George Harris Grocery, Leonard Barnes Grocery, Clyde Rose Grocery, Harold Smith Grocery, Dudley Jones Grocery, and William Covington Grocery. Usually named for their retiree owners, these rural mom-and-pop institutions were the places where good country folk met, talked politics, and engaged in long, serious talks about the lack or overabundance of rain. Women bought what they needed and left; the men stayed and gossiped.

(more…)

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Summer Greetings

Time truly flies when you’re having fun–and when you are busy. I apologize for the long delay between updates; it has been a very busy and productive last few months. I plan to post a lot of pictures, videos, and news in the coming weeks.

As 2017 reaches the halfway point, I am repointing and refocusing my efforts on current research and writing projects, and fewer ghost investigations. Not that there is anything wrong with ghost hunting, but planning the investigations, the travel involved, and spending weeks reviewing evidence takes a LOT of time. And so does writing. Finding the time to investigate hauntings, research cases, and write books, all at once, and hoping for the proverbial “big bang,” is daunting at best. Any more ghost investigations? You betcha–but just not as frequently (for a while). It is now time to catch up on my writing projects.

I have several works in progress, some of which are near completion. In my queue is a new, revised edition of “The Bell Witch: The Full Account,” a sequel to “Ghostly Cries From Dixie,” entitled, “More Ghostly Cries From Dixie,” and two new, first edition books: “The Outlaws and Ghosts of The Natchez Trace” and “From Turkey Creek – A Memoir.” The Natchez Trace book is in its early stages, and Turkey Creek is almost finished.

You will be hearing much more about these titles, as well as release dates and upcoming appearances, through more frequent updates of this web site/blog. I will also be sharing pictures from various ghost investigations and my travels.

In the meantime, I leave you with a video from a ghost investigation near Jackson, Tennessee, conducted on January 21, 2017. Three of us investigated an 1850s-era church building and Masonic hall, and the graveyard behind it, which dates back to the early 1820s. Activity was fast and furious, so much that we brought a much larger group for another investigation on June 24th; we encountered the same results.  The area is chock full of history. Watch the video and read the captions for more information!

Thanks for watching. See you soon!

Spring 2016 Update

It’s amazing how I can be shoveling January snow one day and observing Memorial Day the next. Time moves too quickly. I wish it would slow down or, better yet, recycle itself. For that matter, I wish I could, too. The past few months, while exciting beyond words, have kept me super busy.

I still have several books in progress, but I’ve decided to keep them on the back burner while I pursue some exciting new opportunities. But of course, “back burner,” in my realm, only means putting the book together (typesetting, layout, pagination, TOC and index, cover design, and so on). I write the books in my head, then commit them to memory; I save the dirty work until later.

Exciting things are happening behind the scenes, and will continue to happen on into next year and beyond. Hint: Keep an eye on the Appearances page and watch [some of it] unfold. That’s all for now.

Later………..

Pat Fitzhugh - More Ghostly Cries From Dixie

About My Upcoming Title – More Ghostly Cries From Dixie

From the murky swamps of Louisiana to the misty hills of Appalachia, the American South is enshrouded by a mystical element that rouses the senses and kindles the imagination. This mystical element has for years inspired tales of ghosts haunting old houses, creatures roaming dark forests, and headless figures waving lanterns along train tracks.

Every little town and rural community south of the Mason-Dixon, it seems, has a resident ghost and a dozen stories to tell. These stories will never go away or become outdated. They, along with the landscape of our region, are permanently etched into our human experience.

In this chilling collection of ghostly tales from the land of moonshine and magnolias, Pat Fitzhugh artfully recounts Dixie’s most terrifying legends and the disturbing history behind them.

From a ghost-infested bed and breakfast in Tennessee to a cursed Civil War battlefield in Georgia, and from a rural spook light in Arkansas to a creepy mansion in the Appalachians, More Ghostly Cries From Dixie is sure to intrigue, captivate, and fascinate readers of all persuasions. Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, you will be left wondering about–or perhaps admitting to for the first time–experiences of your own that you can’t explain.

More Ghostly Cries From Dixie follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, Ghostly Cries From Dixie, which was published in 2009. The author’s approach remains the same–to dissect the stories, research the characters and events, and compile his unique version of each story. The history behind a haunting is often more frightening than the haunting itself; the living do more harm than the dead do.

Come on a terrifying journey down the road less traveled, where ghosts, spirits, and scepters stand vigilant watch over the dismal swamps, decrepit houses, and forgotten graveyards of Dixie. But whatever you do, don’t look behind you.

More Ghostly Cries From Dixie
By Pat Fitzhugh
ISBN: 978-0-9705156-3-6
Coming in 2015!

Official Facebook page for updates, excerpts, signing and lecture information: http://www.facebook.com/MoreGhostlyCries

Fall Update

I hope everyone had a great Halloween and is enjoying this creepy fall weather.

I’ve been involved with several projects as of late, one of which is more ghost hunting and paranormal investigation. If you write books about ghosts and the paranormal, you need to live the part. Right? I’ve been to several places over the past year, most notably The Thomas House in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee. Why there? Why so many times? That’s because it’s one of those places where you will always be guaranteed action. I like action, lots of action. With its sordid past, the place stays active around the clock, every day. It’s also a short drive for me, the overnight room rates are cheap, the food is great, and the place makes an excellent getaway for reading, writing, or just relaxing and rebooting the old mind. It should come as no surprise that I am including The Thomas House in the sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie, which I am currently working on.

The sequel, still unnamed but using “MORE Ghostly Cries From Dixie” as its working title, will be released in the spring of 2015. As was the case with its predecessor, it will be a compilation of weird and ghostly tales from the South. Sound easy? Given the South’s reputation for haunted places and campfire tales, one would think it easy to find plenty stories for the book. Not so. Finding ghost stories for inclusion in a book is one the hardest projects I’ve ever worked on. The story needs to be rich enough in history to create a backdrop and backstory, yet creepy enough to be consistent with the book’s theme. Well-grounded ghost stories, especially those from the South, contain not only spooky elements, but also a strong sense of place.

During my search for bookworthy ghost stories from the South, I kept finding stories from the Natchez Trace, a footpath through the Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee wilderness back in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Apparently, some of the early travelers along the old path, who never made it home, are still wandering up and down the trail or lurking in the nearby woods after more than 200 years. There were a few Native American attacks, a couple disease scares, and a handful of natural deaths, but most of those who died on the Natchez Trace were murdered by outlaws and bandits. Money was not always the motive. Some “land pirates,” such as the Harp Brothers, killed people just for the sake of killing. They thought it was fun. The Natchez Trace is full of history, outlaw stories, and ghosts. So, guess what? In addition to the “Ghostly Cries From Dixie” sequel, I am also writing a book about the infamous ghosts and bandits of the Natchez Trace. Look for it in the summer of 2015.

Also, at some point, I will hopefully get From Turkey Creek – A Memoir and the Bell Witch update book done as well.

Later……

The Death of Sarah (An excerpt)

Below is a short paragraph excerpt from my forthcoming sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie. The excerpt comes from a chapter dealing with Tennessee’s infamous “Thomas House,” one of America’s most haunted places. Scheduled for release in the fall, the “Ghostly Cries” sequel follows in the terrifying footsteps of its predecessor by serving up a bewitching concoction of weird and ghostly tales from the American South.

The Death of Sarah

In the summer of 1929, eight-year-old Sarah Hanning and her parents visited the Cloyd Hotel and Spa in hopes of curing her rare stomach condition. Her doctor believed that bathing in the water from nearby springs would help her. She tried to stay active and cheerful throughout her stay at the resort, but her stomach ailment often brought intense pain and weakness.

Sarah’s daily trips to the spring did more harm than good; in just two weeks, the color had faded from her skin and a yellow puffiness had begun to fill her eyes. Her health deteriorated rapidly, and it wasn’t long before she couldn’t muster enough energy to get out of bed. One sultry July morning, Sarah began shaking violently and vomiting profusely. Over the next few minutes, she rolled around in her bed and covered her mouth with her hands to try to stop the vomiting, but to no avail. When the violent spell finally subsided, she developed severe chills and passed out. She lay motionless in her mother’s arms while her father and Mr. Cloyd went to fetch the local doctor. By the time they returned, Sarah was dead.

End

If you haven’t already snagged a copy of the first book, Ghostly Cries From Dixie, you can get eBook and paperback copies by clicking here and following the Amazon links. If you prefer a signed and personalized copy, click here. To keep tabs on all of my writing forays and initiatives, click here to join my official Facebook page.

Radio Appearance on February 3rd

Monday, February 3rd — 8pm – 9pm Central

I’ll be discussing Memphis hauntings such as the Orpheum Theatre, the Sultana Disaster, and others, along with the Mississippi version of the Bell Witch legend, with hosts Stephen Guenther and Tanya Vandesteeg on the Expedition Unknown show at TMV Cafe Radio.

The above hauntings are discussed in Ghostly Cries From Dixie! So, if you have questions after reading the book, just listen to the show and ask them in the provided chatroom. I’ll be glad to answer–or to talk about whatever else is on your mind. You can listen LIVE at the following link:

http://www.tmvcafe.com/#!radio/c1x9v

Year-End Thoughts

It was a busy 2013, with lots of promotions, writing, editing, and new research–the usual stuff. Ok, I’ll take some of that back. I didn’t do much writing this year; instead, I chose to concentrate on editing and promotion. Promoting my current titles and platform will build a stronger base from which to release my 2014 and 2015 titles. Likewise, editing moves those titles along to completion. Yes, my eyes are on the future. With 2013 being a paradigm-shifting year for authors, publishers, and most of all, readers, it was important to reevaluate, redesign, and rebuild my author platform. The REAL “three R’s.” I hope other authors have done this, too, as times are changing.

The final edit of From Turkey Creek – A Memoir is now complete, and I’m still looking for a suitable cover. I’ve been searching the past three years and haven’t found anything that comes even close to visually capturing the “Turkey Creek experience.” But then again, that’s why I’m writing the book in the first place–it was the most unique place on earth! I’m not releasing the book until I “get it right,” which includes the front and back covers. Regarding other titles, the new and updated Bell Witch book is coming along nicely; I’ll continue writing until June, and then I’ll do the pre-edit before sending it to a REAL editor. Also, several awesome short story and research opportunities have surfaced lately, and I plan to become heavily involved with all of them.

I have finalized the list of stories that will appear in my next ghost story book, which will be similar to Ghostly Cries From Dixie.

Over the next few days, however, I’ll be in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to research another haunted location–one that’s completely INFESTED with ghosts–and I might do a little writing, as well.

Facebook Page for New Bell Witch Title

I’ve received several private messages with questions about the rewrite/13th Anniversary edition of “The Bell Witch: The Full Account.”  That’s great!  I intend to publish a FAQ about the rewrite in the coming days.

The “Rewrite FAQ,” as well as progress reports and excerpts, will be posted to the book’s existing Facebook page.  The new edition will not have a dedicated page; it will use the existing Bell Witch page.

For those with questions about the new book, or who would like progress reports and excerpts, please make sure to add the following page to your Facebook “Likes.”  Thanks!

The Bell Witch on Facebook

The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge

I have the honor of writing the foreword to “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge,” by historical fiction author Lori Crane.  And, I couldn’t be happier!  Lori and I share a passion for Southern history and legends, and our works complement each other nicely.  Lori writes about the people, places, and events that made history, and I write about the spiritual residue they left behind.  Our collaboration comes naturally.  I am looking forward to this wonderful opportunity!

What is Stuckey’s Bridge? Where is it? What happened there? Read on:

In 1901, the Virginia Bridge & Iron Company rebuilt an aging bridge over Mississippi’s Chunky River, near the hamlet of Savoy.  Amid the project, workers discovered at least twenty bodies buried beneath the river’s snaky, overgrown banks.

In earlier times, flatboaters often saw a man standing on the bridge at night, waving his lantern and offering travelers a hot meal and a soft bed for the night.  “Need a good night’s sleep? Stuckey’s Inn is right around the bend! Weary wagon traveler? Stop by Stuckey’s Inn!” he would yell.

 Rest in peace at Stuckey’s Inn.

The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge, coming Fall 2013 to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.