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2018 in Review, Looking to 2019

Greetings, Friends and Enemies:

A year ago today, I was relaxing after a busy last few years and contemplating much of the same for 2018. As it turned out, I was right. Although I haven’t “rested up” from the whirlwind called 2018, and probably will not for some time, I must admit that it was a great year on all fronts and I couldn’t be happier.

On the musical end, I did several key projects this past year. And more importantly, I made many new friends and contacts along the way. It is an honor and a privilege to know and work with them.

The paranormal world was busy as well, with investigations, lots of behind-the-scenes research on some alternative and new-to-me areas of the field, several special guest appearances at conventions, a handful of radio interviews, three TV appearances, a musical guest appearance with the OrbTones (a rock band composed of paranormal researchers), and some well-attended lecture and book signing events.

To those who attended any, or some, of the events listed above, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You (fans and friends) are the folks who matter, and are why I’m here and do what I do; you have my full loyalty.  The paranormal activities and events are special in the same way that musical activities are special. They afford me the opportunity to meet many exciting people and make strong, lasting friendships, and offer me the privilege of being able to relate to, and learn from, those people.

Having been in the paranormal field since 1978, I have seen the field recycle, reinvent, and redefine itself many times. Interest reaches a peak every five years, and then resets in the sixth year. 2019 will be the fourth year of the current cycle. Look for more great things; not only from me, but from others as well. We are only a year away from the very top of the roller coaster. Enjoy.

Looking to the future, I first think of all the “new me” statements people make, especially on social media. Why? I mean, let’s reason together. How often does a new year—a predetermined date on a calendar—automatically and suddenly alter a person’s life and attitude? It doesn’t, except for rare cases when someone manages to keep their New Year’s resolution.

This brings me to my own New Year’s resolution for 2019, which I should be able to keep because it hasn’t changed in 40 years: “keep on keeping on, stand strong and firm in my convictions, maintain my standards of research, and don’t change a thing.” The “new me” is still the “old me.”

A couple exceptions might come into play, however. I am looking at extending my efforts and research into an area that I feel would greatly benefit from it, but as with everything else, I look before I leap. And, I am still looking. I am also pondering some new and big paranormal opportunities that have recently been offered to me. (Side note: I will not discuss them, so please don’t ask). As good as the opportunities sound, I can’t lose sight of the fact that everything usually looks good on paper, but paper often amounts to nothing more than the proverbial “sheep’s clothing.” I must evaluate the opportunities very carefully, and wisely.

But, most importantly, I would like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2019!

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Also in the Works

Also in the works for this year are several new paranormal investigations, writing projects, lecture and signing events at paranormal conferences and bookstores, and several guitar clinics. This year’s demand has been really high, and we are carefully monitoring the “para-scape” and working hard to finalize what’s in store for 2018!

Stay tuned for great things to come!

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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Radio Interview – May 19th

Tuesday May 19th — 8p Central / 9p Eastern, I will be joining Michael Johnson and Steven LaChance for a discussion of the Sultana Disaster, the Bell Witch, and more! This will be on THE FEAR radio.

Click here to listen live!

Thanks for listening!

Photos From the Chattanooga, TN Lecture Event

Here are a couple photos from my lecture event in Chattanooga, TN on March 5th. The venue, a large retirement center, was situated atop a huge mountain. Talk about cold and windy…whoosh!

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More events will be announced soon!

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……

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.

Twitter Chat for Authors and Aspiring Authors

Ever thought about writing a book? Ever wonder what it’s like being an author? Have you wondered what’s involved with writing and publishing a book?
Do you know the best ways to promote a book? Do want the lowdown on book signings and how to make them work for you?

Whether you’re an author or an author wannabee, come join historical fiction author Lori Crane, myself, and four other authors as we discuss our careers, our thoughts, our processes, our books, and the secrets (and pitfalls) that all aspiring authors need to know about!

Saturday, November 16, 2013 – 4p-5p Eastern, 3p-4p Central

Go to TweetChat (www.tweetchat.com) a few minutes before the chat, to sign up. Then, simply enter the following hashtag to follow and participate in the chat: #ellyhays

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.

A to Z Challenge – G is for Ghost Stories

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

Lori Crane

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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