Not everything is what it seems.
Welcome to one of the February 21st stops on the blog tour for Among the Fallen by Henry Mitchell with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, more author guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
Author Guest Post
I never planned to be a writer. For fifty years, I worked as a visual artist until I was diagnosed with macular degeneration at age 70.
I told my wife, “I want to spend my remaining years doing something I can get better at.”
“I’ve been telling you forever to write something,” she said.
Two years and two hundred queries later, my first novel was accepted by a publisher. At age 82, after six novels and two short story collections, I think I might have two or three books left to write. I’ll try to stay above ground long enough to finish them.
My publisher says my genre is magical realism. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but I do write fairytales for grown-ups. Fairytales are by nature subversive. They bridge the two worlds we live in, the one inhabited by our imagination, and the one where we must earn money to survive. Earning money may starve our imagination and leave us with no time for our real life. Any world built on cash is mostly an illusion.
I write fiction because I can tell things in a story that would get me run out of town if I said them in an essay or a sermon. Stories are powerful and dangerous and redemptive because they can change us unawares. They take root in a reader and grow in ways never planned or calculated. If we really read a story, we come out the other side to some degree transformed from what we were before.
My tales are place-driven. They begin with a particular locale. I have to be able to see and understand the place, even if only imagined, before the characters who inhabit it will reveal themselves. We are shaped by our place. Our time manifests in a crisis of identity, because so many of us have been divorced from our sense of place. We don’t know who we are because we don’t know where we belong.
My current novel, Among the Fallen, is set in a small Southern Appalachian town called Drovers
Gap. It is an imaginary place but if you can find your way around Drovers Gap, you could navigate the town where I live and work in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina. The inhabitants of Drovers Gap resemble my neighbors here in Saluda. They are not copies, but if you read my book, then walk down Main Street in my hometown, the people you meet might seem familiar.
Besides people, there are ghosts and dragons and other fantastic creatures in Drovers Gap. We have our own ghosts and dragons in Saluda, too, although they are seldom recognized as such.
About the Book
Among the Fallen
by Henry Mitchell
Published 21 February 2023
Creative James Media
Genre: Magical Realism
Page Count: 359
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Not everything is what it seems.
Drovers Gap, population 703, appears to the tourists passing through as one more sleepy Appalachian village, just off the interstate, on the way to someplace spectacular and important. But there are simmering tensions and unspoken malice behind the seemingly placid facades, and a spark from afar will ignite an explosive and insatiable evil that hungers to devour the town and everyone in it.
On an August afternoon that rendered the whole world a sauna, Abigail Trammell labored in her front garden, pruning back her roses now reduced by the unrelenting heat to a failure of withered blossoms and limp yellow leaves, though not even the Japanese beetles had been able to dull the thorns. Those remained sharp as ever.
She possessed shears some place that eluded her memory, so wielded the sharp butcher knife she liberated from her kitchen, a sin she’d only forgive herself. Startled, she nearly slipped and sliced her fingers when she heard the unfamiliar voice behind her.
“Miss Trammell?” A man’s voice only maybe, with a peculiar lilt, obviously not from around here.
“You’re a quiet one,” she said, turning to face the tall, gangly figure who’d snuck up on her. Abigail was proud that she had kept her acute hearing into her elder years while she had to shout at most of her friends, couldn’t fathom why she didn’t hear a car come up her drive or footsteps on the gravel. “Can I help you?” As much accusation as question. She assumed this was one more lost tourist, reduced to asking directions of a local because his GPS app was off-line.
The spinyspindly maybe-man – a closer look left her still not quite certain of the gender – said, “VonTrier. I reserved your room.”
Abigail remembered the name because it was odd. “Yes,” she agreed, “Wendl. You’re set for the week.” She subjected him to a frank inspection. How did he get here? I didn’t hear a car because there isn’t any. “Luggage?” She wouldn’t rent a room for a week to a man without luggage, and started to tell Wendl VonTrier precisely that.
“Here,” he said, lofting his suitcase as if it were empty.
Abigail wondered how she’d missed it. It was almost as if it didn’t exist before she named it.
She dropped her trimmings into the basket at her feet, waved her knife in the air, “I’ll show you,” she said, remembering to smile.
About the Author
Henry Mitchell reads and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
He has written five novels and two collections of short stories.
Henry Mitchell will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|All the Ups and Downs
|Long and Short Reviews
|Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
|Read Your Writes Book Reviews
|Kit ‘N Kabookle
|Sybrina’s Book Blog
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.