Everyone has a monster inside




2014 Finalist, International Thriller Writers Thriller Award

An ancient evil has come to Hastings Mills, and only one man can stop it. Wherever The Stranger goes, evil follows. Wild dogs roam the fields. Townspeople turn on each other in murderous fury. Innocent women throw themselves off bridges. Swimmers disappear, victims of a deadly beast that haunts their waters. And the worst is still yet to come. The Stranger plans to open a gateway to the nether realms and release the Elder Gods to bring forth Chaos on Earth. Only one man knows the truth, a country mage whose family has fought The Stranger before. But can he defeat his ageless enemy before Hastings Mills is nothing but a smoking ruin and the townspeople become unwilling blood sacrifices to the Old Ones? With only the help of a young woman and her teenage son, he will have to use all of his arcane knowledge to thwart his adversary and prevent the final apocalypse. In Hastings Mills, The Burning Time has arrived.

This is one of those ideas that came to me while listening to music. In this case, it was John Fogerty's "The Old Man

 is Down the Road" that delivered the 'aha!' moment. Who was this old man, and what did he want? I pictured him with his battered suitcase, his dark clothes, his even darker thoughts, and I knew he had to be the center of a story. At the same time, I'd always wanted to do a book in the style of Karl Edward Wagner and Manly Wade Wellman, who loved writing about simple mountain folk and southern gentlemen who went around the country fighting supernatural evils. And I decided this would be the time to do my own version, pitting a simple country mage against a supernatural evil. Although it takes places in New York State (as almost all my novels do!), it has a very southern feel to it. I was ecstatic when it got nominated for the Thriller Award, as I hadn't even suspected it had a chance against more traditional thrillers. Alas, it came close but didn't win.

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