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For immediate release

"Haunted" Appalachian Church Inspires Author

Everybody loves a good ghost story, whether it’s true or not.

Boone author Scott Nicholson used a local Appalachian legend as the basis for his first novel, "The Red Church." The idea for the book came after he conducted research on a small church built shortly before the Civil War.

"When I was studying broadcast production in college, I did a video project on the church," Nicholson said. "All kinds of legends made the rounds that didn’t match the historical record-- that the founder had committed adultery and then hanged himself at the church, that his grave was set apart from the others in the cemetery due to the scandal, and that the church had been moved from the edge of the river to get away from his restless spirit."

That was the seed of the story, though Nicholson added other plot lines that aren’t typical of a horror novel. The main character is a boy who lives near the church, and the strange happenings coincide with his own struggle making sense of his Christian faith. Nicholson’s goal was to do more than simply scare the reader.

"To me, ‘The Red Church’ is a novel about faith," he said. "Thirteen-year-old Ronnie is at that point where he’s beginning to question some of the contradictions in his Baptist upbringing. Ronnie’s mother is lured by the charisma of Archer McFall, who may be the devil or may be just another opportunist. Sheriff Frank Littlefield’s faith has been shaken because he blames God for the death of his younger brother years before."

Nicholson draws heavily on the rural Appalachian setting, with farmers, carpenters, and small-town law officers as characters, the types of people he’s met over the course of his jobs as a maintenance worker, dishwasher, and newspaper reporter.

"I’m influenced by the people I meet in daily life, and my characters tend to be blue-collar and rural, while most thriller writers stick with tried-and-true favorites such as lawyers, forensics experts, and big-city detectives," Nicholson said.

"Often, the motivations of ‘ordinary people’ are more revealing of human nature than the high-profile struggles of more glamorous types of characters. After all, there’s no such thing as an ordinary person, and my characters are individuals with their own hopes, fears, weaknesses, and strengths."

Nicholson won the 1999 Writers of the Future award and studied Creative Writing at Appalachian State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. His story collection "Thank You For The Flowers" was recommended for the Bram Stoker Award, and he’s published over 40 works in six different countries. His website www.hauntedcomputer.com contains writing samples, articles, and author interviews.

This release is uncopyrighted and may be freely published or distributed. For more information, contact Scott Nicholson at publicist @ hauntedcomputer.com. To learn more about the book, visit its official webpage

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