By Don Helin
In his novel, THE BURNING TIME, JG Faherty delivers a novel so thrilling that Brett J. Talley, author of the Bram Stoker Award nominated THAT WHICH SHOULD NOT BE says, “JG Faherty has delivered a fantastic novel that will delight fans of dark fiction. Horror drips from every page, and his mastery of folklore and the Cthulhu mythos adds an air of reality to THE BURNING TIME that’s impossible to ignore. I highly recommend it.”
Wherever The Stranger goes, evil follows. Wild dogs roam the fields. Townspeople turn on each other in murderous fury. Innocent women throw themselves off bridges. Swimmers disappear, victims of a deadly beast that haunts their waters. And the worst is yet to come. The Stranger plans to open a gateway to the nether realms and release the Elder Gods to bring forth Chaos on Earth.
Only one man knows the truth, a country mage whose family has fought The Stranger before. But can he defeat his ageless enemy before Hastings Mills is nothing but a smoking ruin and the townspeople become unwilling blood sacrifices to the Old Ones? With only the help of a young woman and her teenage son, he will have to use all of his arcane knowledge to thwart his adversary and prevent the final apocalypse. In Hastings Mills, THE BURNING TIME has arrived.
I had the chance to catch up with JG Faherty the other day and ask him a few questions.
Did any particular event inspire the plot for THE BURNING TIME?
The story began, for me, as an homage to Manly Wade Wellman, a writer whose stories of the supernatural detectives, John Thunstone and Judge Pursuivant, had entertained me immensely when I was in my teens and discovering stories by people whose names weren’t King, Koontz, or Straub. The combination of humans fighting a more powerful foe and Wellman’s down-home, often southern characters and settings intrigued me. I’d always wanted to do that sort of a heroic but tragic figure.
Then I took a trip to Sedona, Arizona, and learned about the legend of the Kokopelli. It wasn’t just a fertility and party symbol, it also represented The Trickster, that mythical being (also known as the Coyote) who caused all sorts of trouble for humans. And I thought, “What if this Trickster was still around, and what if he had an ultimate goal in place, to bring back the Elder Gods who’d spawned him so many eons ago?” And Pow! Just like that, the idea came to me. The supernatural creature – not a vampire, or a werewolf, or a monster, but an eternal force of darkness – striving to open the doors for the Cthulhuian Gods waiting to take back Earth from the humans. And the simple country image whose family has, for generations, wandered the country doing their best to thwart the Trickster.
Is there anything special you’d like to tell us about THE BURNING TIME?
I think what really stands out about THE BURNING TIME is that it has layers. It’s complex, which makes it the kind of book you can read more than once and still discover something new. The cross-over between Native American myths and Cthulhuian mythos; a simple country magician who really is a lot more than that, even if he doesn’t want to admit it. A lonely hero who discovers love long after becoming a widow but is afraid to pursue it, not only because he feels it would be disrespectful to his dead wife, but because it would only end in tragedy. The subtle fires that burn beneath the surface in a small town – greed, envy, anger, frustration, hatred, despondence – and what happens when they get fuel dumped on them.
What are you doing to promote your book?
Everything I can! There will be a blog tour on the Internet, book and ebook giveaways, appearances, and, of course, the usual uncountable mentions on social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. One of my giveaways will be through The Big Thrill. In addition, the week after its release I’ll be at the American Library Association Winter Meetings in Seattle, where I’ll be coordinating the Horror Writers Association’s presence, including a booth that will be open every day. Also Horror Day, a day the ALA has dedicated to dark fiction, which will include panels on topics such as literacy, YA horror, the eBook revolution, and graphic novels. Following that, my next big conference/promotional mega-stop will be at the World Horror Convention/Bram Stoker Award® Weekend in New Orleans.
I’ve finished two Adult novels that I’m pitching to publishers. The first is THE CURE, which is about a veterinarian who has the power to heal, but that power possesses a darker side – for each person or animal she heals, she has to pass the illness or injury on to another, or suffer it herself. The second is HELLRIDER, about a murdered biker whose ghost comes back from the dead to avenge itself against the gang who killed him. And I’m also pitching a YA sci-fi thriller, LIGHTNING FROM A CLEAR SKY, which is about a girl who gets struck by lightning and develops the power to see through walls and move through time. Now the Army wants her powers so they can create super-soldiers. Any agents or publishers reading this? Drop me a line!
When you’re not writing, what are you doing (hobbies, family, etc)?
I believe in setting aside quality time for myself. I’m lucky that my full-time job is home-based (I own a resume preparation company, www.a-perfect-resume.com), so after work and a couple of hours writing each day (and several hours on the weekends), I still have time to do the things I enjoy. I like to cook. My wife and I enjoy hiking on the weekends, going to movies, and entertaining. We have a dog, so she needs a good walk every evening. I read. I play the guitar for fun. I’ve also gotten into urban exploring; there are a lot of abandoned buildings, including a couple of mental institutions, near me, and I’ve spent a lot of hours combing through them.
A couple of favorite jacket blurbs or reviews
“Faherty’s best tale to date…A rip-roaring supernatural horror tale…A grand adventure…a good old-fashioned good versus evil supernatural tale that moves along at break-neck speed. You will find yourself staying up late into the night as you get lost in the town of Hastings Mills and all the frightening things that are happening there.” Peter Schwotzer, book reviewer, Famous Monsters of Filmland, HorrorNews.net, and LiteraryMayhem.com.
“This dude is twisted! JG Faherty really knows his stuff!”- Ray Billingsley, creator of the best-selling nationally-syndicated comic strip, CURTIS.
JG Faherty resides in the haunted Hudson Valley region of NY. Living in an area filled with Revolutionary War battle grounds, two-hundred year-old grave sites, ghosts, haunted roads, and tales of monsters in the woods has provided a rich background for his writing. JG’s previous books include CARNIVAL OF FEAR, CEMETERY CLUB, THE COLD SPOT, and HE WAITS. His YA paranormal adventure novel, THE GHOSTS OF CORONADO BAY, was a Bram Stoker Award finalist in 2011. His other credits include more than two dozen short stories.