LASR Anniversary: Keith Wayne McCoy – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Summer brings the sentimental memory of reading under a tree or at the foot of a bed before an open window to mind. It seems in early childhood that despite the preponderance of teaming with neighborhood friends for a lively game of tag, swimming, or firefly-chasing, there was always the compulsion to find that quiet place with a cherished book in hand. In very early childhood, I remember “The Ghost in the Swing” which transported me to the adventures of a 4th grade girl, my age, who went to her mother’s ancestral home for summer vacation and encountered the apparition of her aunt who died in the house at her age. Far from terror, it was a tale of a mischievious ghost caught forever a child. I firmly believe that book with its supernatural element leaned me toward the fantastical in my own writings. I passed the tattered book on to my younger sister and she read it more times than I and, in fact, still has it!

In a later summers, I begged to stay up to watch the film “Burnt Offerings” with Bette Davis and Karen Black. The house used, Dunsmuir House and Gardens, and the musical score by Robert Cobert entranced me. Based on a decidedly adult book by author Robert Marasco, I assured the librarian that my parents would approve. Indeed, it became a bastion of summer memories as I sat on the porch swing with it, firmly fascinated, and scolded friends and my sister for urging me to play. I admit that much of the adult dialogue was beyond me but the sinister house and the ambiance of mystery and obsession remains locked deep inside me. I could absolutely see, feel, and smell those corridors and the lush lawns which slowly came to life as the family succumbed to its will of rejuvenation.

In high school in the 80s, “The Shining” had already been published for well over a decade and even made into the infamous film with Jack Nicholson. I was a teenager so the dialogue was not beyond me but even though the story thrilled me, it was not as exciting and memory-inducing as my earlier forays into the supernatural, perhaps because the sense of trespassing into the world of the supernatural seemed manipulative by the author. (No offense, Mr. King!) “The Ghost in the Swing” and “Burnt Offerings” will always be the quintessential books of summer for me. So when I wrote my own supernatural-themed novel, “The Travelers”, it took place in the summer. A dark, gloomy setting seems a necessary atmosphere for most ghostly tales but for me, the bright, fresh, seemingly “normal” setting of summer sunshine can be a catalyst for a superior foray into the supernatural.

keith Travelers-EBOOK (2)“The most intense journeys are never geographical.”

In 1947, the luxury liner QUEEN MARY transmits a message which is intercepted by an extraterrestrial intelligence. This errant radio signal serves as a beacon for a North Atlantic encounter between James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his British war bride, and an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children. The Bennetts left Southampton with only each other but arrive in New York as a family. In the present day, Guy Turner, a black, melancholy film maker, finds himself at the center of a supernatural mystery after a haunting prelude with the now elderly mother in a corridor aboard the retired liner in Long Beach, California.

Standing at the edge of eternity, the old woman and the Bennetts have the complex task of setting certain aspects of the past in order as the doors to their lives are closing. Guy is thrust into an unwanted and unexpected voyage of self as he is solely enjoined to bring the three together one last time. “”The Travelers”” is a journey to the limits of despair, grief, anxiety, and joy that are common to every human experience of suffering and growth.

About the Author: Keith Wayne McCoy majored in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Indiana. “The Travelers” was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. In addition to writing, Mr. McCoy is a world-class collector of furniture and memorabilia from the 1930s luxury liner QUEEN MARY. He lives in southern Illinois.

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Comments

  1. I think that a summer setting for a paranormal or thriller gives a contrast that makes the story that much more eerie. I look forward to reading this story. Have you thought about setting your next book in the Shawnee National Forest? I remember some pretty spooky hikes there!

    • I forgot to mention that I enjoyed the blurb for The Travellers very much.

    • Hi, Mary!

      Yes, the Shawnee National Forest would be a perfect setting for a supernatural-themed novel. I have pondered it. Rimrock and Garden of the Gods offer a retreat from civilization and, so, naturally, a place of unreality. Thanks for liking the blurb of “The Travelers”. Would you like a PDF?

      Sincerely,
      Keith Wayne McCoy

  2. Virginia H says:

    This sounds like an awesome read. Loved the excerpt and would love to read this book.

    • Hi, Virginia!

      Would you like a PDF or Kindle? And to what email address? Thanks, and sure would appreciate a review to Amazon when you are finished.

      Sincerely,
      Keith

  3. Fun summer memories

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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