Strange Critters: Unusual Creatures of Appalachia

Here is the cover of the upcoming anthology Strange Critters: Unusual Creatures of Appalachia, edited by Frank Larnerd for Woodland Press. The cover art is by Steven Gilberts. I’m proud to have a story in this collection. Mine is about hoary goat-man who haunts a railroad trestle … it call it “Pope Lick Nuisance.”

Frank edited the excellent Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia for Woodland Press last year, in which my Jay Desmarteaux tale “The Rock Ridge Ringer” appears.

strange critters

I don’t have a release date yet, but I will keep y’all apprised…

 

 

Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia

I’m very proud to open Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia with my story “Rockridge Ringer,” where Jay Desmarteaux finds his old cellmate fighting for a crooked sheriff in a mountain town… and busts things up the only way he knows how, with his two quick fists. You won’t want to miss this one.

I was a big fan of the Dukes of Hazzard as a kid, and since then “Justified” and the Appalachian tales of Manly Wade Wellman and many others have intrigued me. I visited West Virginia a few years ago on a road trip- we stopped at Hillbilly Hotdogs and the Mothman Museum, and found folks as friendly as you could want- and I felt a kinship with the state, because like New Jersey, it is sometimes the recipient of jokes from those who’ve never stepped foot there. It’s a beautiful state and I’m proud to be in a collection by Woodland Press, a regional publisher that showcases writers from it.

Now I don’t know if editor Frank Larnerd showed the cover artist my story, but it sure looks like he read it. And while my image of Jay Desmarteaux was a Fred Willard in “Remo Williams” with a nod to author James Lee Burke, I am hard pressed not to see him as the brawler on this cover. And that don’t bother me one bit. I hope you’ll pick this book up, it has stories by Steve Rasnic Tem and a fantastic bootlegger adventure by Amber Keller as well.

Rip-roaring through the holler

Jay Desmarteaux’s debut in “The Rockridge Ringer” … a bareknuckle fighter forced into combat by a crooked sheriff. The cover evokes the classic pulps and men’s adventure paperbacks. I love it. I’ve had a peek at Amber Keller’s tale of running moonshine too, and I know you’ll love this collection of red-blooded tales rip-roaring through the hollers.

Frank Larnerd did a great job putting this one together. He nudged me to contribute, and I think this story really helped me envision the character and mood I want to set with the Desmarteaux novels.