So it’s been a little over two months since my novel The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove was released and reader response has been very favorable and encouraging. When positive feedback is received, it makes what sometimes seemed like a draining and tedious process, well-worth the time and effort. Especially in light of the fact that I have other commitments besides writing a novel.
As of late, I’ve been asked by many people to discuss and bring to light some details about the book’s history, the story ideas, the inspiration behind the soundtrack and the unconventional method of release. I will attempt to answer as informatively and efficiently as possible without droning on ad nauseum.
Q: How long did it take to complete the novel?
A: If you factor in the time it took me write each of the short stories within the story—the full conceptual story front to back, then I could say almost five years. I had started writing volume one in the story (Huldufolk) back in 2010 and from there I’d worked on CRABAPPLES in 2012 and Left-Hand Path in late 2013. The time it spent to piece the stories together and write the bridge material and additional chapters, then the answer is roughly eight months. It took almost the same amount of time to record the book’s soundtrack.
Q: How did the concept of including a soundtrack to the books come about?
A: It’s another piece of the storytelling and I feel it give the story a little more depth and contrast. Plus, there aren’t many authors doing what I do—adding a listening element to their story. I like going the extra mile and giving the reader a unique experience for the money they’re spending.
Q: What happened to Huldufolk? Why wasn’t that story included in The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove?
A: Simply put, it no longer worked within the context of the novel. I love Huldufolk and it’s one of my favorite stories, but as much as I tried to make it work within the novel, at the end of the day it had to be eliminated. It was an early decision and I believe it was the correct one. As much as I wanted to make it work, I quickly realized that a young couple coming home from a haunted honeymoon in Iceland wasn’t going to flow well with the accompanying story lines. A writer needs the ability to self-edit and self-govern his or her writing, and this was a case where I did just that. Instead of completely eliminating the story entirely, I re-wrote the characters and settings to accommodate the rest of the content within the novel.
Q: Did you end the story with the intention of writing a sequel?
A: I can certainly see how one could draw that conclusion, but right now it’s the furthest thing from my mind. There are characters in the book that I am very fond of and have some passing thoughts as to where I could take them in the future, but that will be further down the line. If and when, they wouldn’t be direct sequels—the type that pick up right where the action from the previous book left off. If I revisit a storyline from the Crooked Roads, it will most likely be a standalone story with some relation to the aforementioned novel. There are other projects I’m working on in the meantime which will begin to materialize shortly after the new year.
Q: Will you be releasing The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove in paperback edition?
A: Yes, sometime in 2016 when we’ve exhausted the hardcover sales. However, like most of my work, it will most likely be a limited number run.
Q: Who is your cover artist for The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove?
A: Nicolene Lorette Design. One of the best in the business and easy to work with.
Q: Are vinyl copies of The Gathering from the book’s soundtrack still available?
A: The vinyl record of The Gathering was offered for those who’d pre-ordered the book back in June. With that said, copies are dwindling and for now, are only available at my table signings at the remaining signing dates I have scheduled. They are highly limited edition as each vinyl album was hand crafted—not mass produced, and once they are gone, they are gone forever.
Q: Where did you draw inspiration from when writing The Crooked Roads? Where were you getting your ideas?
A: I drew inspiration from the fact that there are a lot of evil spirited people around us and the fact that a lot of people are idiots. One needs not to look much further than the local news every evening to realize that we are living amongst monsters in our neighborhoods. They hide in plain sight and blend into society quite nicely. That is horror in its purest form—in my mind at least. Vampires, zombies, whathaveyou—those are great characters for escapism. But what about the person who stands before you and poses as a friend, a confidant, a respectable police officer, et cetera—but turns out to be someone of the opposite? Those are the type of people I wrote about, and although my story is a bit sensationalized, I think it captures the true essence of today’s deteriorating society.
Q: What is the genre of the book? What’s an appropriate age group for the story?
A: it weighs heavily in the genre of Suspense and Thriller. There are elements of Mystery as well. Age 17 and up is the popular consensus, but I’m not the parent so it would be better left to a parent’s discression.