Revelation Calling

Last April (2018) I took a trip to the small town of Elberton, Georgia. Why would I do that? Well, Elberton is no different than a lot of small towns in the south. They all have a unique history, they all have that comfortable small town feeling to them, they all carry with them a sense of local pride. Elberton is certainly a small and cozy town and having Hartwell Lake nearby certainly didn’t hurt.

However, Elberton has a secret. In 1980 a giant monument was erected that boasted of 10 Guides “for a new age of reason.” Many people felt like this was an attempt by a secret organization to plant a new 10 Commandments in the heart of Bible country. (*I noticed more churches around there than I did people!!) I’ll not get into the details of the conspiracy theory here, but the infamaous Georgia Guidestones stands tall on a hill just inside of the town limits in Elbert County, Georgia. The man who supposedly represented a group that wanted the monument built is still a mystery to this day. The only two people that knew the real identity of Robert C. Christian took that secret to their graves.

I used that mystery as a basis for a fictional book coming out in May 2019 titled Revelation Calling. This book was literally a year in the making and although it centers around a conspiracy theory and is a murder mystery, I would very much consider this book to be a Biblical thriller. It will be available in paperback and Kindle in May. Enjoy the thrill ride!

Special thanks to Gary Kwapisz for the cover art.

Grave Legends: How the Legend Began

The Story Behind the Legend

To say this book is a long time coming would be an understatement. From the time I started writing this story to the time that it has been released under the title Grave Legends, eighteen years has passed. Eighteen years!! To be sure, this book has a story behind it and it isn’t a pretty one.

For starters, this book was inspired by one of the most spectacular places. In 2000 I took a job in Cincinnati, far away from where I am now nestled in the mountains of Virginia. I moved there for two reasons. The first was because I wanted to watch a few baseball games. Since I’m a Reds fan there wasn’t much other option. Second, I needed a job and got an offer from a firm in the brokerage industry and off I went. Before I moved to Cincinnati I had this strong desire to write a book. I was already a voracious reader and thought writing a book would be a new challenge. A new job, a new challenge…all kinds of new beginnings for me. A friend of mine named Jennifer (I graduated high school with her) lived in Cincinnati and decided one Saturday afternoon that it was time to give me a proper tour of the city and its surroundings. One of the places we ventured off to that afternoon was a place called Spring Grove Cemetery on the outskirts of the city off of I-75. The wonder and mystery of that place stole my breath that day.

When I got home that night my mind couldn’t get away from the awe I felt in that place. It was beautiful and peaceful, it was dark and macabre. It would take a poet to properly describe the place. I began to come up with the idea for a book I later titled Legends and Landmarks, Volume I: The Night Walker. As I stood in the cemetery in awe that day the Legends series was born. When I first started writing I only intended on writing one book. This story became a four part series. I wrote the first book, did a spell check in Microsoft Word, and uploaded the document to vanity publisher and released the damn thing. Yeah! I was officially a writer.

Well, until one of my readers contacted me and told me I needed an editor. Badly!! For a guy who prides himself on his work, this was terribly embarrassing. I read that book a dozen times and found a few errors. Surely I must have caught all of my mistakes. So, round two. I publish the next version of the book. And still…the feedback was at least cordial. “Great story, horrible editor!” I didn’t have the guts to tell the critic that I was the editor. I accepted a brutal truth after the third time publishing this book. The truth was that I was a very creative writer. I was also possibly the worst editor on the planet.

Another truth came to me years later. Writing a book is hard work. But rewriting and editing, then rewriting and editing again is a miserable and necessary task. I have one of the worst flaws a writer can possibly have. I’m impatient as hell. Once I finish the rough draft of a book I want YOU to read it immediately. It’s true. But that’s not the way things work. I still have the patience of a stubborn mule, but I forced myself to do something about a year ago. I forgot that I had the books still available online. I haven’t promoted them in years (the series). I pulled the books offline and decided that I’d be done with them forever. Damnit, I had no business having those out there.

But the story still stuck out in my head after all these years. A few months ago I dug up the old document on my computer and started to read it again. Holy shit was it bad! After eighteen years of writing I’ve learned a lot. My style has changed and improved over the years. If I was going to put this book back out it needed some changes, and I don’t mean minor ones! I read the first paragraph and realized that there is no way I’d write something this bad today. I couldn’t write it that badly if I was half drunk and trying to write badly. Well, maybe that’s a stretch.

I found myself rewriting almost every other paragraph in this book. I wanted to have it finished by June of 2018 but that was impossible. I forced myself to have patience. I didn’t even like the flat ending (flat in my opinion). I made a lot of changes to this book, trying to keep the original style in which it was written. There is no way I could write something like this today. As a writer (an artist) I’m in a much different place mentally and emotionally. However, the story is really good. I read this book again and realized that it still held up well after eighteen years. The entire series does. So, I’m off to the rewriting of the second book in the series, Grave Legends, Freedom’s Path.

I’m sure the process of rewriting the second book will be just as miserable as the first. I’ll keep you posted as to the ups and downs on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to follow me there. In the meantime, I’m working on some new material between rewrites that I think my readers are going to love! Stay tuned.

Cyrus

Photos from Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH August 24, 2018

 

I Barely Survived That Vicious Beast!

So I’m driving on I-75 just north of Lexington, KY on Friday. Traffic is kind of heavy and moving fast. I’m doing about 76 in a 70 zone. That’s when I felt it. IT!

I glanced down just briefly and saw a big ass spider crawling up my left leg. Thankfully it wasn’t the leg I was using to smash down the gas! I immediately wanted to start thrashing about, but I realized that traffic was too heavy to do anything stupid behind the wheel. I didn’t want to be “that guy” that caused a pile up over a spider. So, instead of being completely freaked out I start smacking my left leg against the door to try and shake this vile creature before he crawled into my leg and took possession of it. I still feel it! But wait, a hour later it was gone. Well, more like a couple of seconds but that felt like an eternity.

So I drive along…normal, once again. Until about ten minutes later. Now I’m doing 82 and traffic is very heavy and I’m in the fast lane. This insane creature hellbent on my destruction is now crawling up my shirt at a pretty fast pace. Now I seriously want to freak out because I swear it looked as big as a tarantula, but only much smaller. I quickly reach over to hit the button to lower the window. My plan is to flip this nefarious human killer off of my large gut and out the window. Boy am I a smart one!

But…slight problem. I didn’t notice that the window only went halfway down. I’m in bumper to bumper traffic and trying to keep my eye on the road. I prayed to the good Lord and even tried to summon the power of Grayskull (ya know, He-Man stuff) and I flipped that monster right off of my shirt. I had no idea the power of that creature. It must have somehow got into my head and caused me to angle the “flip” just enough to suit it. It bounced off the window and landed right on my freakin’ forehead. I saw that creature rise in up the mirror, steadying itself for a killing blow, when I went all “Curly from the Three Stooges” on him, flinging him off of my head as I screamed like a little kid, a shriek that would frighten a scream queen.

I have a feeling that it is in hiding…waiting for the right moment.

Books, thoughts and other stuff.