It’s not a secret that I like to tap local legends and spooky stories for my Appalachian thrillers. Or paranormal adventures. Or supernatural mysteries. Or whatever I call them this week.But there’s one I like to dub a “modern Gothic thriller.” If you ask me what that means, I’ll say “Artists gather at a remote Appalachian manor, where a dormant spirit draws energy from their work.”
It’s inspired by real ghost stories of the Cone Manor in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the estate of a long-dead industrialist, with appropriate liberties taken. The Cone family collected art, and I wanted to isolate the artists at the retreat so they couldn’t pick up a cell phone at the first sign of trouble. I think my original title was “The Colony,” which was pretty bland, and so was the title selected by the publisher when it originally came out in 2004 as “The Manor.”
I wrote a movie script version called “Appalachian Haunting,” which came close to getting optioned. Years later, the producer is still interested, though he sees it as an over-the-top comedy while I was kind of serious. I think. With me, you can never tell for sure.
Though I won’t have the U.S. print rights back for another year, I can sell the book overseas as an e-book, and there’s no reason to miss out on even new one reader. So I revised it quite a bit, including cutting a flashback and moving it to the beginning of the book. That came from the movie script, where sticking in a flashback would have meant a flawed structure. The book employs quite a bit of Appalachian folk magic as the basis for the supernatural events.
Here’s the summary:
After parapsychologist Anna Galloway is diagnosed with metastatic cancer, she has a recurring dream in which she sees her own ghost. The setting of her dream is the historic Korban Manor, which is now an artist's retreat in the remote Appalachian Mountains. Drawn both by the ghost stories surrounding the manor and her own sense of destiny, Anna signs up for the retreat.
Sculptor Mason Jackson has come to Korban Manor to make a final, all-or-nothing attempt at success before giving up his dreams. When he becomes obsessed with carving Ephram Korban's form out of wood, he questions his motivation but is swept up in a creative frenzy unlike any he has ever known.
Sylva Hartley is an old mountain witchwoman who is connected to Ephram Korban both before and after his death. Her knowledge of Appalachian folk spells and potions has bound her to the manor in a deeper and darker way. Sylva harbors a family secret that refuses to stay slumbering in its grave.
The manor itself has secrets, with fires that blaze constantly in the hearths, portraits of Korban in every room, and deceptive mirrors on the walls. The house's brooding atmosphere affects the creative visions of the visiting artists. A mysterious woman in white calls to Anna from the forest, while Mason is driven by the whispers of an unseen critic. With an October blue moon looming, both the living and the dead learn the true power of their dreams.
It's a power that Korban craves for himself, because he walks a shadowy land where passions burn cold and even the ghosts are haunted.
Though the Internet is worldwide, Badass Bookies is an Australian blog. So Lisa the blog host naturally talks about books available to her, and few of mine have been available in Australia before. It’s one of the wonderful ways e-books are breaking down artificial barriers. And a way for me to bring this book back from the dead, better than it was before.
It wasn’t until a couple of years after I wrote the book that I figured out some of its metaphors. No, I don’t go around cramming “theme” into my books, because that comes out in any storytelling form that’s worth the trouble. But Mason’s artistic aspirations and fear of heights (and even his name, a sculptor named “Mason,” that I never understood until recently) probably mirrored some of the feelings I had at the time, when I was just breaking into publishing and facing the pressure of success. It all seems laughable now, since all success is fleeting and ephemeral (Mel Gibson, anyone?) and all you have to worry about is doing your best and not hurting anyone. This is the best I can do as a dead writer.
Creative Spirit. I like that title better.
Scott Nicholson is author of The Skull Ring, Drummer Boy and 10 other novels, five story collections, four comics series, and six screenplays. A journalist and freelance editor in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, he often uses local legends in his work. This tour is sponsored by Amazon, Kindle Nation Daily, and Dellaster Design.
To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. And, hey, buy The Red Church and put me in the Top 100 and I’ll throw in another random Kindle 3 giveaway. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.html
Badass Bookie xx
Jeeez Scott. With all the background on your books I'm going to be busy reading them and then going to visit all these really cool spooky places. :-)ReplyDelete
I read The Manor, it was great!ReplyDelete
Thanks guys, reading me is good for your brain! Don't forget, the contest is international, so Aussies are quite welcome!ReplyDelete
Hmm...I've always wanted to go to Australia. I guess I can say I have now, at least virtually. :PReplyDelete
After I die I hope I can come back and haunt my ex wife. Not any bad things but maybe move things around so she trips and falls in the dark or hide her remote. RegReplyDelete
Working on Drummer Boy in my spare time.ReplyDelete
Got my replacement kindle yesterday. Now I can finally finish The Red Church and try out some more of your stuff. See you are the next stop!ReplyDelete
thanks for the giveaway bkhabel at gmail dot comReplyDelete
sailorwind at gmail dot com
Good morning, finally a book of Scott Nicholson's I haven't read yet. I have to rectify this right away.ReplyDelete
Scott, I can't wait until you get the rights for Creative Spirit (a.k.a. The Manor). Like Randy above, the background information helps me get excited about reading a book. Australia! I wish I were there, but I'm looking forward to the Fall and then cold weather here in Ohio. Thanks Scott for leading us here. It's nice, like for Neal, to have a chance to get to Australia, even though it is virtually. Lisa, I like to see Summer break ads! You must be happy to be coming into any break to be able to kick back and relax.ReplyDelete
Jeff White firstname.lastname@example.org
Day #23. I think?ReplyDelete
Also don't forget to check out my amazing giveaways located at the top of my blog posts.
P.S. I sell complete blog layouts made by me thru blogger template. If you would be interested in one please email and I will be happy to help you :D
Damn. Creative Spirit sounds promising. I'm a sucker for a good ghost story, though.ReplyDelete
Another book for my tbr list.ReplyDelete
Great storyline,can totally see why it would work as a movie.
caity_mack at yahoo dot com
Gothic appalachian novel sounds kind of awesome. Will definitely check it out.ReplyDelete
Sigh, yet another book for the To Be Read pile.ReplyDelete
Thanks Scott for another interesting author insight!
Another book that sounds very interesting!ReplyDelete
candace_redinger at yahoo dot com
chey127 at hotmail dot com
Would your creative spirit hang around with other spirits? Ban together to spook people for fun? I think I would. hahahahaReplyDelete
Oooh, this book sounds like one I would really like! And that title is way better...ReplyDelete
Bravo, Scott, for finding someone all of the way in Australia who hasn't read your books to host your stop on the tour today. Phew! Lucky you. The poor girl had NO IDEA what she was getting in to.ReplyDelete
I read "Creative Spirit" under its original title, "The Manor". When I first HEARD about it, I thought it was "The Man Whore" and assumed it was your true-life kiss-and-tell tell-all about your rampant goat love! I bought the book immediately...only to discover to my horror it was something completely different. Hmmm...
I am guessing that eventually your sordid goat antics will pop up in print (or at least on the internet a la Paris Hilton's and Pamela Anderson's sexploits). Today, when you wrote "I like to tap local legends" I thought that you were going to finally 'fess up about your romantic encounter with Blue Ridge Bertha, the legendary mountain goat that has been spotted at various times here and there for DECADES! While not as scary or famous as Bigfoot, perhaps, she has proven to be as ellusive and I know that it's been a dream/goal of yours to "tap" that local legend. SHOCKING!!!
When you DO decide to share your antics, perhaps "The Man Whore" will be the best-sellar you've been waiting for.
Creative Spirit sounds like an excellent read!ReplyDelete
kissinoak at frontier.com
can't type well...bad when right handed...so short. email@example.comReplyDelete
Looks good. Yet another one I need to read.ReplyDelete
Wakincade AT gmail DOT com
I read "The Manor" near when it first came out and really loved it. Even though you don't seem to like the title, I do. You had a theme of "The " going at that time and each book had a different colored title on the spine, so in my opinion, it looked cool. The Red Church, The Harvest, The Manor, etc. :)ReplyDelete
Another day, another blog tour stop.
calseeor (at) gmail (dot) com
Sounds really good. Like a perfect spooky October read.ReplyDelete
Well, dawg, now I want to read Creative Spirit but it's not available in the US.ReplyDelete
Gail in Florida
cowgirl3000 at gmail dot com
Another TBR added to my list of Scott Nicholson books.ReplyDelete
The book sounds great! Thanks for the contest.ReplyDelete
So when next year will this be available in the US?ReplyDelete
@Sharon, I'm glad Amazon stores people's libraries so it's there when they break a Kindle!ReplyDelete
@Holly yeah ghosts have nothing much else going on!
@Monster I ought to publish your blog comments as an ebook--I'd sell better!
@Eric, Kensington was trying to build a brand, I guess as the "Budget Bentley Little." I understand it, but I thought the titles got weak because of it--they didn't "say" anything if you didn't know they were part of the whole brand. I mean, "The Manor." If I said that, what kind of book would you think of? I'd think historical romance.
@bluefrog it should be availbal;e at this time next year, barring anythingstrange like Kensington reprinting it
I appreciate all the thoughts. Tell your UK & Aussie friends to buy it.
Oh, this sounds nice and creepy...I'm scared, already!ReplyDelete
booklover0226 at gmail dot com
I am a newsletter follower.ReplyDelete
"@Monster I ought to publish your blog comments as an ebook--I'd sell better!"ReplyDelete
I HAVE SAID THAT ALL ALONG!
That next to "As I Die Lying" and Scott, you'd have it made, quit your day-time job, and get all the goats you want.
It looks like I'm going to have a wonderful fright fest in October reading all Scott Nicholson books. Who needs sleep anyway? varbonoff22 at cox dot netReplyDelete
The book sounds fantastic, I'm adding it to my wish list. I've been on a search for your titles that I haven't already read so thanks for the head's up on where I can get a copy.ReplyDelete
waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com
Another great stop and a great blogReplyDelete
Please include me.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the chance to win.
lkish77123 at gmail dot com
Can't wait to read your booksReplyDelete
monacart32 at hotmail dot com
How exciting would that be if your book got made into a movie-what would be the number one actor/actress you would love to have to play one of your characters in a movie?ReplyDelete
hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com
You know an awful lot of cool ghost stories!!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the blog tour, ScottReplyDelete
web at jasonfedelem.com
I've never heard of Scott Nicholson, or his books before. This is a great way to get your name out there!ReplyDelete
coriwestphal at msn dot com
The Amazon site needs a "Notify Me When This Becomes Available" button. Although, you will let us know in your newsletter when it becomes available, right?ReplyDelete
As a kid, Halloween was my favorite "holiday."ReplyDelete
machinetrooper at gmail dot com
Creative Spirit is an awesome title!ReplyDelete
I love spooky Storie can't wait to read yoursReplyDelete
I'll watch for the announcement in your newsletter for Creative Spirit to be available in the USA.ReplyDelete
a Kindle Dx would be perfect, it's like lugging a whole library of books :)ReplyDelete
thanks for the chance to win!
I downloaded his book Speed dating with the dead last week, I hadn't heard of the author before that, exciting.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure why the producer would think your story has "over-the-top comedy" written all over it. Sometimes I wonder why it seems producers/studios option a work--indicating to me that they're impressed with an author's talent and creativity--and then go about radically changing the concept and content. Does that concern you? Are you hoping it won't be made in a form so different than that which you intended?ReplyDelete
wordygirl at earthlink d0t net
Sounds pretty good. I suppose I can extend my pile of books (ebooks) to be read by one...ReplyDelete
Yes, I am the queen of justification.
Thanks Scott! Keep writing and we'll keep reading!ReplyDelete
tztomfromcali _ at _ gmail _ com
I havent' read it yet... but it sounds fab!ReplyDelete
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to be entered in this fantastic giveaway. Thanks for offering!ReplyDelete
Love the title, Creative Spirit - that can mean so many things!ReplyDelete
Yet another "day trip" I'm going to have to make to visit these places that churn your creative juices. Eww, that sounds nasty AND naughty at the same time.ReplyDelete
I like a good ghost story.ReplyDelete
bookd.out @ gmail dot com
Thanks, Scott - you led me to another really fun blog site! I like this one a lot!ReplyDelete
dreamer dot ima at gmail dot com
I think I have hit a record with all these comments coming in....I'm a bit touched actually. Awwww there are people who visit my blog *sniff*ReplyDelete
This does sound like a very interesting read! And I too am going to have to visit these places someday.ReplyDelete
you say that one of the values of an ebook is you can go in and 'fix' things. i'm curious, would my ebook automatically be upgraded and if so, how would i know? email@example.comReplyDelete
@Hendy, Johnny Depp would be my top choice for any movie role! I'd also love to do one that had Donnie and Kief Sutherland in it together.ReplyDelete
@Beth, honestly, I would let my vision go if someone bought the work or made a movie of it. Two reasons: first, that's part of what they pay you for, and I hate it when writers whine about the movie version after they've cashed the check; and two, a movie is an entirely different creature and has an entire army of people making it happen and so must fit that medium.
@SP, I don't think you can ever update unless you buy it from a different account. I think Amazon stores what you have purchased and that's the only version you can get.
yay for BB! fun blog!ReplyDelete
hancoci_s at msn dot com
Your response to Beth interested me. Writers can retain artistic control over their works when the are sold for movie rights. J K Rowling is a perfect example. That way, you can make sure the movie is a true representation of what you wrote. I have seen some movies that reflect the authors work perfectly. There have been others that were so far from the book, that it was a different story all together. I can think of one by a favorite author. I read the original books and other than the names of the characters and the first set of events, the movie bares so resemblance what so ever to the books. Even the story line is changed. Why didn't they just write their own story rather than mess up a good one? I don't think I would want something I had worked on that hard to be butchered that badly, no matter how much they paid me.ReplyDelete
I'm not really clear on writer's contracts or rights. Sounds a litle confusing. And as far as movies are concerned what kind of control is usual for the author?ReplyDelete
Just found this tour and am enjoying the rideReplyDelete
troublelore 2 gmail .com
Blog tour idea is great.ReplyDelete
talaminari @ gmail.com
This was actually the very first Scott Nicholson book I ever read. For a guy from the SW and having never seeing such a beautiful place as Cone Manor I really got quite a visual from your descriptions.ReplyDelete
dalelmurphy AT gravesidetales dot com
I love old houses. Love the cover.ReplyDelete
dorcontest at gmail dot com
@librarypat, @Kristie I am sure there are some superstars who can demand control because their properties are highly valuable and sought after. Almost everyone else, no. Look how long it took Stephen King to get a say in his adaptations (actually, for the worse, in my opinion, which is why I think the author doesn't necessarily make the best movie--look at The Shining).ReplyDelete
Usually books are licensed to a publisher for a certain length of time, in my case, 7 years. Unfortunately, most publishers only keep a book in print for a year or two so there is that long dead period. Another reason authors are no longer so quick to sign with publishers.
With movies, it's usually an outright sale and the writer gives up all control. Sometimes they will hire you to write the screenplay but not often.
Dale, I have some orb photos of the Cone Manor on my site and I'll also be making a video stop there later on in the tour.
I have to admit I do like the title Creative Spirit better than The Manor which is a completely forgettable title. Kensington did not do you any favors with the naming of your books.
--Greg the Undead Rat
theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com
thanks everyone for entering! Entries here closed at 77 comments but come back often. Thanks for hosting, Lisa!ReplyDelete
The breakdown of artificial barriers is what the Internet is all about. It’s thrilling we can now reach worldwide with the click of a button. Gone are the days of wondering what’s going on “out there” with our work. We can see reader reactions firsthand (provided they’ve added their two cents to the Net about it, of course).ReplyDelete
Amazing times we live in.
Coscomentertainment [at] gmail [dot] com
BLOOD OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIE FIGHT NIGHT just $2.99 for the Amazon Kindle. Grab your copy here!
My wife downloaded one of your books to her Kindle, and I took it on my trip with me. Loved the book, but now she's mad at me for stealing her Kindle, so I need my own to download your books. Thanks for the opportunity.ReplyDelete
BMEstell AT gmail DOT com
So many books, so little time. . .ReplyDelete