Like so many other modern writers, I grew up in the backwoods of the South. With a name like Mercy Heller, I figured my career choices were limited to televangelist, stripper or Southern Gothic novelist. Eager for a challenge, I naturally chose struggling writer — the one with least prestige and lowest earning potential.
During the day I am a mountaineering and folklore researcher for several academic institutions down around the footlands of the Appalachian Trail. At night I beseech the sinister forces of Microsoft Word to finesse the darkest corners of my twisted imagination into light.
Over the next few months, I have several books that should be coming to fruition — a little horror, a little thriller, a little romance. My first two Cull County novels, Good Neighbors and Live Bait, will soon be available for purchase on Amazon and Apple Books.
Here in the South, we share a history permeated by shadows. For every Sunday afternoon spent on a porch swing or gossiping with neighbors after church, there are a hundred hidden moments. From our grand antebellum cities to the lonely rural crossroads that masquerade as towns, these moments in between define who we are as individuals and as a culture. While rooted in the writings of Henry Clay Lewis and the later tales of Mark Twain, Southern Gothic as a…