Appalachian folk magic and
The Southern Appalachian mountain area is called the "land of legends." Author Scott Nicholson has drawn on the folklore of the region and combined elements of supernatural horror with Gothic romance for his latest thriller, "The Manor."
Nicholsons new novel was loosely inspired by the Cone Manor in Blowing Rock, N.C. Nicholson had written about the manor and its ghost stories for a newspaper, then decided to change the manor into an isolated artists retreat for his novel. In "The Manor," parapsychologist Anna Galloway has been seeing her own ghost in her dreams. Anna, who is dying of cancer at age 26, goes to the manor to make a last desperate attempt to make contact with the afterlife. Sculptor Mason Jackson has quit his job to prove himself worthy as an artist. As they and the other artists pursue their visions, the spells of an old mountain witchwoman summon the spirit of the manors original owner.
"The Manor is in the tradition of haunted house stories, but the use of mountain folk magic sets it a little apart," Nicholson said. "Theres also a romance going on to add spice to the supernatural. The novel plays with themes of sacrifice and the price of creativity. And both Anna and Mason are on searches of self, which makes their relationship all the more interesting."
Nicholsons first novel "The Red Church," inspired by an old haunted church near his home, was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award. His second novel, "The Harvest," was selected for three book-of-the-month clubs. He often uses the mountains as a setting, coining the term "Appalachian Gothic" to describe his work.
Nicholson studied Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina and Appalachian State University. He wrote numerous short stories, though he had several hundred rejections before his work began to sell regularly. In 1999, he won the grand prize in an international writing contest and later published the story collection "Thank You For The Flowers." He also teaches workshops and has posted numerous articles about writing at www.hauntedcomputer.com.
Nicholson is an amateur folklorist, musician, and ghost story collector and works as a newspaper reporter. Hes currently writing a novel called "The Home" that will be released next summer.
High-resolution color author photograph available at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/media12.htm
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