Author T. C. Harrelson is hanging out here today and participating in an interview. Gain some insight into his story, The Beast of Macon Hollow. Plus, take a guess at one of his favorite books for a chance to win your very own copy!!!
- Hi, Cris. Can you tell the followers here a little bit about yourself and your book?
Hello, Nicole. First, let me say how pleased I am to be with you today. There’s nothing I like more than talking about good stories. Now, about me. I grew up in the late seventies and early eighties, a period that was rife with good storytelling both in print and on celluloid. However, I began to write only about five years ago. Before writing, I exercised my creativity through drawing, painting, building, and (an attempt at) music. But when I tried writing, it opened my eyes to new possibilities. Endless possibilities, I should say. I found I could create whole worlds and populate them with characters and circumstances—the town in which they live, who they love, who they hate…everything! Even down to the weather they’ll have a particular day. It was a very satisfying feeling.
- What was your inspiration behind The Beast of Macon Hollow?
A few years ago, my wife and I were talking about the Beast of Bladenboro—the legend of our hometown. She suggested that I try my hand at writing the story behind the legend. However, once I started, the Beast had other ideas. It soon began to reveal layer after layer of its history and personality until a totally new story emerged. Maybe one day I’ll revisit the original beast and tell its tale.
- Did you have specific stories/books/shows that encouraged some of the characteristics of your main characters?
As I wrote Beast, the characters emerged as themselves. So, to answer your question, no. The characters in The Beast of Macon Hollow aren’t based on characters in specific stories, books, or shows. However, as I wrote for Will Shepard, some of my own characteristics certainly manifested themselves.
- This book ends with a sense that there could be up to six more books. Is this a possibility? What are you working on now?
I’m working on a couple of ideas, one of which is a 2-3 book series that will continue the Beast story arc. The series will take Will Shepard in a totally new direction. Some new characters will be introduced and we’ll revisit some old favorites. I have big plans for these books, so stay tuned!
- Growing up, did you read a lot of paranormal thriller books?
(laughing) Oh, yes…almost exclusively. I loved to read and I read almost anything I could get my hands on. But my favorite genre was paranormal, whether it was contemporary authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz or masters like Poe and Lovecraft. I liked the thrill of a good supernatural story (and still do). Like many of the entertainment industry’s authors, screenplay writers, and movie directors, I read Famous Monsters of Filmland. In case you’re not familiar with it, FM was a pulp magazine filled with behind the scenes stories of both modern and classic horror and science fiction movies and the men who brought them to life. Like many others, I owe a debt to editor Forrest J. Ackerman for introducing me to the genre and feeding my imagination for so many years.
- Do you feel that we as a culture are more open to reading this kind of storyline and accepting of others’ differences or do you feel like our world is still set in Macon Hollow times?
Thankfully, we are not trapped in Macon Hollow. I think we’ve come a long way in the past 10-20 years. The world is now flat; the giant leaps we’ve taken in communications alone has opened doors to cultures around the world and leveled the playing field for any country who would like to contribute to the world of entertainment. For instance, I can live in small town Bladenboro (one stoplight for those of you who are wondering) but interact with people in India and China. I couldn’t say that twenty years ago.
- If you came face to face with The Beast and it took the form of your greatest fear, what would it look like?
(Sighs) Boy, I have so many… I could be super shallow here and say ‘spiders.’ I hate the spindly-legged, hairy, …well, you get the point. Or I could go with a really deep answer and say ‘failure.’ I’ve always held myself to a high standard, setting the bar higher and higher when I succeed and beating myself up pretty badly when I don’t. But, I’ll compromise and go with ‘demons.’ Anything from the spirit world scares me into a stupor. I can’t see it…I can’t control it… and, by definition, it’s just unnatural.
Book Giveaway Question:
- My all-time favorite author is Stephen King. He’s a master story-teller who (lucky for me) writes within the paranormal/horror genre. I’ve read all of his books.
For a free, signed copy of The Beast of Macon Hollow, what is my favorite seventies/eighties-era Stephen King novel?
a. The Stand
b. Pet Sematary
c. Salem’s Lot
I want to thank T. C. Harrelson for conducting this interview and offering a giveaway! For your chance to win, leave a comment with your guess. Contest will run until Monday, February 25, 2013 at 11:00 am EST. All the people who guessed correctly will be entered to win. I will use Random.org to pick the number of the winner. The winner will be announced Monday afternoon. Good Luck!
Have a wonderful day everyone!