P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.
I’m happy to step aside today and host C. S. Boyack on blog tour with his new book, Will O’ the Wisp. I’ve been fortunate to host C. S. On tour previously as well as interview him for Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I’m sure he’s got some interesting tidbits to share about Will O’ the Wisp. Take it away, Craig!
The Frighteningly Fun Halloween Tour
Will O’ the Wisp Research
Will O’ the Wisp is a paranormal tale from C. S. Boyack. It involves a mildly handicapped girl facing a mysterious threat. The wisp has been killing off Patty Hall’s family for generations, and she’s next on the list. It is suitable for young adult readers. It’s a perfect Halloween read.
All stories involve some kind of research. I set this story in 1974, because I wanted Patty to use her wits, and display a bit of patience in revealing this story. Suspense is a great story technique, and having high speed internet would have spoiled some of the fun.
1974 threw down the first research challenge. I was around in ’74, but memories fade over time, and I had to verify my details. Patty’s home town has an International Harvester dealership, there’s a Montgomery Wards catalog store too. Greyhound Busses make an appearance in the story, along with the early microwave ovens.
Some of these things are still with us, but they had a different nuance back then. A microwave oven was looked at as a modern miracle. Pay telephones were the order of the day in an era before cellular. I even researched the baseball playoffs and incorporated them into the story. Who can forget Catfish Hunter?
This is a paranormal story. I had to research the American colonies, and discovered an old system of land grants called hundreds. These were basically 100 acre grants for forming new colonies.
The Will O’ the Wisp is a very rare natural phenomenon. Modern science still doesn’t know exactly what they are, but they’ve been reported all over the world and in almost every culture. They are associated with swamps, old cemeteries, and earthquakes. I even found one, and only one, video of them appearing right before a Canadian earthquake.
It’s hard to research something so rare. Theories abound as to swamp gasses that ignite, to a plasma phase of some rare element, to tectonic plate friction. As humans drain swamps, and fill in marsh lands they are becoming even more rare worldwide.
Legends from all over the world involve ignis fatuus, Jack o’ lantern, fairy lights, and more. The legend usually involves some evil spirit leading a traveller to his or her doom.
In my mind, it was witchcraft. It ties in with colonial America, makes a great curse, and sets the stage for Patty’s adventure. Salem, Massachusetts seems like the logical place to set this tale, but that’s been done before. I learned that most of the colonies have records of witchcraft in one form or another. I set my story in Virginia.
Patty goes on quite the adventure, and I’m very happy with this book. I hope you’ll give it a chance.
You can pick up a copy on Amazon using your Kindle or a free reading app. Download it here:
Author Bio I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction. I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet. I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
Need to create a fantasy language? Here’s some tips from a Daniel Adorno’s guest post on Mythic Scribes. If you are a fantasy writer take some time on this site where there are a number of very thoughtful and helpful posts.
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The Week Ahead:
Scrivener will be featured twice this coming week as I shift from a Monday to a Friday schedule to accommodate all the book release events during the month of September. There will be an RRBC Spotlight Blog Tour on Wednesday as well as more authors featured in Fantasy Authors Unplugged.
I’ve uploaded a preliminary manuscript version of The Bow of Destiny to Smashwords already. This weekend I expect to upload to Amazon and put that into pre-sale status so those who have been waiting to reserve a copy there should see it soon. Follow my Amazon page to receive updates on the book and shelve it on Goodreads to be reminded when it’s available. For those who missed it, here’s the link for the interview on Beyond the Cover. Also, the Brain to Books Blog Tour appearance is coming up on 8/31. I have another interview coming up in December so check the News page for more event announcements. See below for all the links to Trading Knives. The biggest news of all on the week is that the last beta-reader was extremely positive about The Bow of Destiny. There are a few tweaks to work on but I’m really enthused about the release and the events next month.
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events (this months volume has already gone out). You’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Anyone who reserves a copy by 8/7 on Barnes & Noble, Kobo or iBooks (via the iTunes app) and emails me the screen-shot of the order will also receive a free coupon to download my e-book short story,The Black Bag containing a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available onKobo, iBooks,Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.
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