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The Cold Strangeness

Craig Moody Author Interview

Craig Moody Author Interview

The Stars of Locust Ridge is an extraordinary coming-of-age journey of a young woman’s acceptance of family and friends. What were some ideas that were important for you to capture in this story?

Thank you for the wonderful compliment! I didn’t consciously set out to capture any particular ideas for this book; I simply wanted to tell the story of a young woman in rural Appalachia who experiences strange, otherworldly encounters. I was intrigued by the juxtaposition between the warmth and folksiness of the setting and the cold strangeness of the supernatural undertones. In the end, I think the book tells a story of misjudgment. Although the core of the story is of Genevieve and her traumatic journey to unravel dark family secrets and the identity of the mysterious beings and encounters that haunt her, it also tells a tale of everything not being what it seems. It comments on how society often assumes something or someone is safe and respectable, even when there is proof to the contrary, and how we tend to misjudge and fear what often turns out to be innocent, even helpful.

I always enjoy the way you develop your characters. What is your writing process like to bring your characters to life?

My writing process is very spiritual for me. It’s a channeling experience. I lock myself in a dark room, push the laptop screen down, dim the screen’s brightness, and place a piece of paper over it. I need to at least be able to see that the word processor is indeed capturing what I am typing, but I can’t view the actual words without snapping out of channeling mode and into editing mode. I always see myself as the first reader of the stories. I receive the inspiration, and I often stew and ponder about what will happen, but in the end, the writing comes through me and becomes what it is meant to be; I simply get out of the way and allow it to happen. I never try to interfere, judge, or control it. Much like a parent and their child, the writing does not belong to me, it comes through me. The books are their own entities that belong to the world, not just me. I am blessed and honored to be the vessel they enter the world through. I am a firm believer that all art belongs to everyone, not just the artist that delivers it.

Novels are often based on wild premises, but you are able to write engrossing novels about everyday people. How do you find inspiration and ideas for your books?

Again, thank you for the compliment! Inspiration comes to me from so many different places. I can see a commercial on television that will spark an idea, or hear something in a conversation, or often through song lyrics. I am heavily influenced by songwriters, which perhaps explains some of the lyrical tone to my writing. I am also heavily inspired by film. I refer to the inspiration that I receive for book ideas as “seeds.” They come to me in a rounded way where I see at least a beginning and ending. It’s a feeling, really. Still, although I may know the type of seed it is, say an apple tree, for instance, I never know the exact details until the seed is planted, cultivated, and grown. All I know is that it is an apple tree. I won’t know the type of apples, the number of branches, etc. until the tree is fully grown. That is how it is for me with story ideas. I receive them as an inspiration, but they become what they are meant to become on their own; I do my part by getting out of the way and honoring and staying true to the process.

What is the next book that you are writing, and when will it be available?

I am so glad you asked this! I have written two books this year, both of which I plan to release next year. I am very excited about them both and believe they add variety and uniqueness to my body of work. I hope and pray to have a long, prolific, and fruitful writing career, and truly feel this is only the very beginning!

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The Stars of Locust Ridge by [Moody, Craig]

The stars are moving over Locust Ridge, Tennessee, in early March 1973. Sixteen-year-old Genevieve Delany witnesses the odd phenomenon in the skies above the one-bedroom house she shares with her mother, Eva. A self-reliant girl often left alone by her workaholic mother, Genevieve starts to question her reality the night she first views the flitting orbs of golden light zipping across the Appalachian heavens. Discovered screaming and alone in the woods between her home and her Uncle John’s nearby cabin, the young girl is haunted by a series of unexplainable night terror episodes. What is the cause of the often-violent hazy night encounters? Who are the shadowy and silent mysterious men seen peering out from just beyond the tree line?

The Stars of Locust Ridge captures the journey of one young woman’s coming-of-age acceptance of family truths, the extraordinary bond between women, and the unbreakable ties of kinship, both blood and beyond.

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The Stars of Locust Ridge

The Stars of Locust Ridge by [Moody, Craig]

Genevieve Delany doesn’t have the easiest of lives. Nestled in the Tennessee hills, she resides in her family’s cabin virtually alone, attending high school, and alternately checking on and being checked on by her mother’s troubled brother, John. Gen, as she is called by her small family, finds herself overcome with any and every emotion possible for a young girl her age. From her newly discovered feelings for Kenneth, the son of Sevierville’s doctor, to her fascination with the moving stars that dance above Locust Ridge, to the night terrors that have begun to plague her, Gen is dealing with more than any one girl should ever face.

The Stars of Locust Ridge, by Craig Moody, is a mesmerizing tale of a young Tennessee girl caught up in a madness she cannot explain and isn’t sure she wants to fully understand. Genevieve is wise beyond her years but at the same time, she is terribly naive and impulsive. Raising herself and depending on occasional comfort from her uncle, who has his own set of issues to face, she remains confused about the way her teenage life is changing and has as many questions about her feelings as she does about her own background. Unanswered questions seem to be the focal point of Moody’s work.

I flew through Moody’s book and allowed my sleep to be preempted by the tragic turns of Genevieve’s life. There are so many things I want to expound upon, but I won’t spoil Moody’s work for readers. I will say this–Moody begins the book with numerous loose ends that the reader sees flying about like so many fall leaves in a whirlwind. They all seem to be related, but the reader doesn’t see how they could possibly ever connect. The true beauty of Gen’s story is that they, indeed, are connected and tie together neatly and into one fantastically written gift by the book’s end.

I am not sure I can say that Moody’s work isn’t completely realistic fiction. The way Moody presents Gen and her feelings about her supernatural encounters, the reader is left wondering, if not hoping, there might actually be life out there beyond our planet. I can honestly say that Gen’s humble life and her innocent outlook on her close encounters leaves me with a feeling much different from any other book I have ever read on the topic. The way Moody intertwines her tragic life with the notion of extraterrestrial beings is unique and captivating.

I could write for days on the treasure that is The Stars of Locust Ridge. Craig Moody, a new author for me, has skyrocketed to the top of my list of favorites. At just under 250 pages, it is a quick read with charming characters and a truly engaging plot that will leave you guessing to the very end. Nothing is more satisfying than trying to outguess yourself as you read, and Craig Moody succeeds in providing readers with just that type of reading experience.

Pages: 244 | ASIN: B07KSXPGJK

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