Today I interviewed author Pat Fitzhugh. His new book, Ghostly Cries from Dixie is available today. Pat Fitzugh’s bio can be found here: http://www.bellwitch.org/pf_presskit.pdf. His website is http://www.bellwitch.org/
The book can be ordered at Amazon and other online retailers, as well as manytraditional bookstores. If you’d like a signed copy, you can order it directly from him at http://www.bellwitch.org/ghostlycries.htm
1.) -Please tell us about your book, Ghostly Cries from Dixie.
Ghostly Cries From Dixie is a compilation of ghost stories from the American South. The book is 180 pages long and has 22 chapters. Each chapter is a different story. The book contains 19 pictures. For more information, please see http://www.bellwitch/ghostlycries.htm
2.) -Tell your favorite story from it. The one that most upset you, if any did.
My favorite stories from the book are “The Bell Witch” and “Mayhem on the Mississippi.” Both stories are very rich in history, which makes them scarier. None of the stories upset me; I am fascinated and intrigued by ghost stories.
3.) -What can we expect from you in the future?
More ghost stories, including a rewrite of “The Bell Witch: The Full Account” and a sequel to “Ghostly Cries From Dixie.”
4.) –Tell us about the Bell Witch, since you wrote a book about it.
It’s the story of an entity that haunted one of Tennessee’s pioneer families. It’s believed to be the world’s most documented haunting, and the only case in which a person was allegedly killed by a spirit. The mystery remains unsolved.
5.) -What motivated you to start writing about the paranormal?
My love for ghost stories; I only write about my passions. I never write “just for the sake of writing,” which I feel is a big mistake. I write because I want to share my passions with others.
6.)-Which of the books do you feel you did the best in writing in?
Although “The Bell Witch: The Full Account” (2000) contains the most information, “Ghostly Cries From Dixie” (2009) is written much better. Why? Because I am nine years older, which means I’ve had nine more years of writing experience. My writing, although not perfect by a long shot, improves with every book and article I write.
7.) -What kind of research do you do?
That depends on what I am writing. I spend a lot of time in libraries, archives, and graveyards.
8.) -Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
To me, writing should always be fun. I could never be happy, or have fun, being a slave to a “schedule.” I write whenever I feel the urge.
9.) -Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
Stephen King, John Grisham, and William Faulkner.
10.) -How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
I have been writing off and on for about 25 years. Being a writer was one of my many goals.
11.) -What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
There are two equally good rewards: 1) holding the finished product in my hand, and 2) seeing people “move” in some way (laugh, cry, yell, etc.) because I was able to connect with them through my writing.
12.) -Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I live in Tennessee with my family. I enjoy writing, photography, fishing, and roadtrips. I hold degrees in accounting and computer information systems.
13.) -Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Yes – beware of the many people and businesses who prey on aspiring writers. Secondly, read “Getting the Words Right” by Theodore Rees Cheney. It’s the only writing tool you’ll ever need. Written by a real-life editor, the book addresses the most important issues faced by writers today – coherence, unity, effective transitions, revision techniques, how to write an ending, and much more. Read the book three times.
14.)-How may readers contact you?
Through my website (www.bellwitch.org) or through Myspace.
15.)-One last question, do you believe in ghosts or the paranormal?
Yes. I was brought up in the Christian religion, and the Bible says that ghosts, spirits, and demons are real. Therefore, I believe in them.