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.
Last week I spent a few days on the road, hip deep in leg work for a research project on the oral traditions of mountaineering in the age of social media. Since Christmas, I’ve been stuck in a rut. My wheels spinning. It’s been weighing on me like a wet, cable-knit sweater. This week my wheels finally hit the road and my perspective changed the further I got from home. (more…)