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.
This weekend I finally took the time to binge on the first season of The Alienist. Despite a faithful adaptation and top-notch production values, the drama and I parted with a shrug. Twenty years ago, Carr’s novel of Golden Age New York was one of the catalysts that shifted me from avid reader to hopeful novelist. His attention to detail, obvious love for history and gift for storytelling made me want to turn the stories and histories I grew up…