June 14, 2012

There's a Big Hole in My Story: a guest post and giveaway by Edward Lorn

Edward Lorn has a new novel coming out this summer, a sinister sounding book called Dastardly Bastard. He's in the midst of a blog tour at the moment to get the word out, so I threw out the ol' welcome mat for him to come and give us all a glimpse of what we can expect from that bastard of a book of his. Enjoy.

There's a Big Hole in My Story
by Edward Lorn

From The End Times, Bay's End's local newspaper. In 1991, Officer Mack Larson was quoted, saying this about Waverly Chasm:

"Back in the `30s, Waverly Fairchild and his boy, Scooter, happened upon a hole in the ground. Well, 'hole' don't quite cut it, as the crack run two miles in length and a hundred yards wide. Waverly knew he'd come across somethin' significant. He took stories back home to Bay's End, spreadin' word about the majestic beauty of the chasm. Sad bit is, Waverly ne'er did get a chance to appreciate his find. When him and his boy went back to the chasm, Scooter fell off the side, ne'er to be seen again. Waverly was all tore to pieces about what happened to his youngun', so he gave the chasm up to Pointvilla county. Do you blame him for not wantin' to see that blasted place again? Pointvilla turned the site into a touristy type place, givin' tours and sellin' souvenirs. You gotta see the morbid side, though. Scooter weren't ne'er found, so his bones are still down there, collecting dust, while people sightsee and have a good ol' time. Damn tragedy, if'n you ask me. Pardon my French, o'course."

For my sophomore novel, Dastardly Bastard, I put a big hole in my story. I needed a place that could be both inviting and scary at the same time. I've always found seemingly bottomless things quite frightening. Whether it be a gopher hole, or something as big as a canyon, if I can't see the bottom, I don't wander too close.

Being a fan of local lyrics—urban legends passed down within communities through songs and rhymes—my journey into Waverly Chasm began with a poem:

"The Dastardly Bastard of Waverly Chasm
Does gleefully scheme of malevolent things
Beware, child fair, of what you find there
His lies, how they hide in the shadows he wears
`Cross wreckage of bridge, is where this man lives
Counting his spoils, his eye how it digs
Tread, if you dare, through his one-eyed stare
This Dastardly Bastard is neither here, nor there…"

I wrote the poem an entire year before I started the book. I'm not a poetry buff, but sometimes words just fit together in the proper way, and I can actually use them. The poem became a jumping point for the mythology surrounding Waverly Chasm, where the book is set.

In the geography of my mind, Waverly Chasm sits between Bay's End and Chestnut in Pointvilla County, Ohio. If you've never heard of these places, it's because they're a product of my imagination. I've been telling stories set in and around Bay's End for about two years. I was working on a piece one evening and found I hadn't named the town where the story took place. Bay's End popped into my head, and I continued writing, not knowing that town would become the backdrop for much of my future work. I've always been a fan of stories set in small, rural towns. Places like Bay's End are disappearing, and I think that's the draw. Scenic America is dwindling, becoming a part of a bigger picture, and small towns are suffering. Mom-and-pop shops are being replaced by corporate conglomerates. Independently owned bookstores are being closed because they cannot compete with eBooks and the larger chain stores. Because of all this, many people are holding tight to their memories of small town U.S.A.

I hold a certain place in my heart for folklore, so Waverly Chasm was a pleasure to create. Unsubstantiated stories passed down through the years have always fascinated me. When I was a boy, the Grimm Brothers fairy tales were quite often the last thing I would read, or have read to me, before bed. But as with everything else I read, my folklore must have a darker side. I can't imagine I was the only one upset at watching Disney's Snow White as a child, but maybe I was. I felt let down. When the Grimmies told that story, there was nothing cute about it. Disney left out the part where the Queen ate the boar's heart the Huntsman returned with, thinking it was Snow White's. Not to mention the Queen's comeuppance at the end in the original version. If you don't know how it goes, I’ll just say the Evil Queen has some pretty "hot" dance moves.

The secrets hidden within Waverly Chasm are important to the plot of the book, so I can't go into great detail without spoiling the story. I will say that the chasm serves as a backdrop for the story, a place where evil lives. The members of the tour group have no idea what awaits them on the trail, but they are faced with a monster whose appetite is insatiable. In that sense, The Bastard's needs mirror the chasm's depths—they're both endless.

Because of the way I write, I walked the trail right along with the character's my group was comprised of, unearthing mysteries as I went. I had no idea the story would take the arc that it did, but I was pleasantly surprised. Waverly Chasm became more than just a figment of my imagination. The locale became a memorable place that I will not soon return to, for fear that I may not leave.


A big thanks to Ed for offering up some insight into his novel and love of folklore. But that's not all that he's offering here today, as we've got a little giveaway to get to now. Down below, you should find a Rafflecopter form that you can fill out for a chance to win your own copy of Dastardly Bastard. So if you're as intrigued as I am about this book and would like to get your hands on a copy with as little effort as possible, all you've got to do is throw your name in that.

And to learn a little more about Edward and his work, you can find him on his blog, as well as Twitter and on Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway