amwriting

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.

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About My Upcoming Title – The Outlaws and Ghosts of The Natchez Trace

The Outlaws and Ghosts of The Natchez Trace, a working title for now, will be released in 2015. Its release will culminate a long journey of intrigue and fascination that began in the early 1990s.

At the time, I lived just outside of Nashville, on McCrory Lane. Directly across the road from me was the northern terminus of the recently-completed Natchez Trace Parkway, a modern highway that roughly follows the path of the old Natchez Trace.

The Natchez Trace was a footpath that led from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. Created by prehistoric animals and used by Native Americans for centuries, the Trace became a major trail for European and American explorers and traders in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Despite the presence of today’s modern parkway and thousands of visitors each year, the Natchez Trace’s enduring sense of time, place, and mystery is ever present along its 440-mile path through the wilderness. Although the Trace is known for its natural beauty and rich history, it is also shrouded in mystery. Tragic, often savage events were common in its early days when foot travelers attempted to make the grueling, six-week trip from Natchez to Nashville.

Because most of those travelers carried large sums of money, the Natchez Trace became a haven for land pirates, thugs, and even cold-blooded killers. Some travelers managed to evade or fend off the hoodlums, only to succumb to disease, snake bites, or other perils of the wild before they could make it home.

With its sad and often bloody history, the Natchez Trace is the collective footprint of tragedies past. And, as one might expect, the horrendous events that occurred along its path over two-hundred years ago left behind a spiritual residue that still lingers today.

Ghosts of weary travelers, friendly innkeepers, and infamous outlaws keep a vigilant watch over the old Natchez Trace. Who were they? Why have they not moved on? Is there something they want to tell us?

~~~

As an avid, lifelong researcher of history and the paranormal–and a Southern author to boot–I have studied the Trace for many years. The place has always intrigued and fascinated me, and no fewer than one-hundred people have told me that I “definitely” need to write a book about the Trace. But that was easier said than done.

Although living on McCrory Lane had its advantages, such as spending every weekend and holiday driving the Trace and scouting all of its trappings, another book project lay in front of me, one that I had been researching ever since I was a child in the 1970s–the Bell Witch. After the 1999 “short version” was released, followed by the comprehensive, 406-page version some time later, pressure from the reading public forced my writing and research to take a more paranormal turn. So that, I did. And I still do. History and exploring historic locations is my first love, and the paranormal is my second.

It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to finally be able to commence working on the Natchez Trace book. Although I will cover lots of paranormal locations and stories, the book’s common thread will be history. And, most notably, the history of those who MADE the Natchez Trace such a haunted location in the first place: the ruthless, throat-slitting, disemboweling scoundrels who made it their sinister playground.

I am looking forward to weaving this nasty and unnerving tapestry of greed, bloodshed, and the supernatural.

The Outlaws and Ghosts of The Natchez Trace
ISBN: 978-0-9705156-7-4
Coming in 2015!

Official Facebook page for updates, excerpts, and signing & lecture informationhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Outlaws-and-Ghosts-of-The-Natchez-Trace/1574089829479013

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

Radio Interview Reminder – The “Bell Witch” Book

Monday, April 22, 8PM Central / 9PM Eastern

Author Pat Fitzhugh joins host Alex Matsuo of Paranormal Insider Radio to discuss the infamous “Bell Witch” legend of Tennessee.

Known as “America’s greatest ghost story,” the legend centers on a pioneer family that endured four years of mayhem and terror at the hands of a sinister, demon-like entity named, “Kate.” She beat the Bell children mercilessly; she argued with the clergy; she told of people’s pasts and predicted their futures; she spoke in multiple human voices, sometimes even in tongues; and she inflicted a horrendous disease upon a man, which led to his slow and grueling demise. And now, almost two hundred years later, “Kate” still remains a mystery. Theories abound, but the truth eludes us. Kate’s lingering presence is still sometimes felt in northwestern Robertson County. Pleasant dreams.

The Bell Witch is the subject of the 2006 motion picture, “An American Haunting,” starring Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland (and in which I appear, also), and the 2003 movie, “The Bell Witch Haunting,” by Willing Hearts Productions. The Bell Witch: The Full Account was released in 2000, and updated in 2003 and 2009. The book’s Thirteenth Anniversary edition, which includes new information and a complete rewrite of the original book, is due October 13, 2013. For more information, including news and progress reports, make sure to “Like” the book’s fan page on Facebook.

Paranormal Insider Radio is an outlet of the Paranormal Research Society (PRS), from A&E’s “Paranormal State” TV show. The interview will last two hours.

Listen live at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/paranormalinsider/2013/04/23/americas-greatest-ghost-story-the-bell-witch   Also, I’ll be taking questions by phone during the show. The listener call-in line will be: (347) 324-5969.

#AmWriting #wip #books Writing Update for April

The creative juices are oozing, and my keyboard is clackin’ away at ghosts, witches, psychotic innkeepers, and IRS forms. There’s plenty else to do at home and at work, but I’m on a roll.

The thirteenth anniversary edition and rewrite of The Bell Witch: The Full Account is progressing; I’ve already reduced the page count by nearly fifty percent! Yes. Say lots more, but with fewer words (Writing-101). From Turkey Creek – A Memoir is wrapped up. Now, on to packaging, pagination, and formatting. I’m also working, albeit passively, on the sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie. Oh, and speaking of Ghostly Cries (the current version), I inadvertently let the “Dead of Winter” special ($2.99 eBook) expire without telling anyone. Geez, maybe I am the “big, bad wolf” that some folks make me out to be. To be fair, I’ll continue the special until May 15th.

The foreword to “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge,” by Lori Crane, is bleeping on my radar and is bleeping awesome! I’m so excited about the project and am honored to have the privilege of working with Lori. Look for the book this fall! And speaking of autumn, requests for book signings and lecture appearances this fall are trickling in; this could get interesting. Those events don’t include the release festivities planned around October 13th’s “Bell Witch” release, which will have me on the road in several states come mid-October.

That’s all for now. I need to grab more coffee, get more comfy, and write more words.

Self-Publishing Grabs Huge Market Share From Traditional Publishers

This is nothing I didn’t already know. Each month, each quarter, each year, independently-published books make a bigger and bigger splash!

David Gaughran

godzillBarnes & Noble re-launched PubIt! this week as Nook Press, a largely superficial makeover which failed to address some fundamental problems, like restricting access to US self-publishers only, and introduced new howler: updating existing titles causes the loss of all ranking, reviews, and momentum.

There were only two noteworthy things, to me, about this launch. First, the PubIt! brand had been closely associated with Barnes & Noble. This re-launch seems like an attempt to tie the Nook Press brand to their subsidiary Nook Media, probably in advance of a sale (Barnes & Noble already sold a stake to Microsoft, and a smaller slice to Pearson – Penguin’s parent company but maintain a controlling interest in Nook Media).

This re-launch is full of things that sound great in a corporate press release (innovative editing tools!) that most professional self-publishers won’t really care about, which makes me further suspect this is more…

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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

A to Z Challenge – G is for Ghost Stories

Lori is a great author and historian. I really appreciate this opportunity!

a day in the life of patootie

Blogging from A to Z April 2013 Challenge

G is for Ghost Stories 

I am delighted and overjoyed to announce the best collaboration in the history of publishing—well, in my little world anyway.

I am currently finishing a ghost story/Mississippi legend called “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge” and the foreword will be penned by none other than Mr. Ghost Story himself,Pat Fitzhugh, the author of “Ghostly Cries from Dixie” and“The Bell Witch: The Full Account.” I have been a long-time admirer of Mr. Fitzhugh and his ghost stories and am excited to share this story with you through his eyes as well as mine.

In his words, “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. I write about the spiritual residue they left behind. Our collaboration…

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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.