Thursday, June 16, 2011
Supernatural Friday: Guest Blogger Theresa Bane: Folktales and Ghost Stories of North Carolina’s Piedmont
My newest book, “Folktales and Ghost Stories of North Carolina’s Piedmont” contains twenty-one regional folktales from the area, including Asheboro, Greensboro, Jamestown, Lexington, Old Salem, Siler City, and Summerfield.
Usually I write historical, non-fiction reference books, such as “Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology” and “Actual Factual Dracula: A Compendium of Vampires.” However, for this book, I teamed myself up with folklorist and storyteller Cynthia Moore Brown. She has been performing for over thirty years and on five of the seven continents. A co-founder of the NC Storyteller guild, she has been acclaimed as a long time favorite. This is Cynthia’s first book (we are already working on a second together) and it was indeed a wonderful project to undertake as it was like no other book I have ever written before. Normally I do months and months of research before committing a single word to paper. This time all I had to do was press “record” on my old time cassette player and let Cynthia’s storytelling magic begin. At the end of each session I would take the tapes home with me and transcribe them exactly as she spoke the words aloud. But the process was not complete yet, not by a long shot.
You see, when Cynthia tells one of her stories she is able to see her audience, and by use of body language and tonality of voice is able to create an atmosphere all around her that she projects outwards. When she is talking for an old woman, she does more than uses an rickety voice, she stoops over and shuffles along, pretending to pull an invisible shawl around her shoulders. It is amazing who artful she is at her craft, as you can almost see the shawl and envision the environment she speaks through words.
To read exactly the words Cynthia spoke did not make for anywhere near as good a story as the one she told. It was up to me to put my talents to work as a writer, and flesh out her verbalization so that when read, the same imagery and feelings are created. Furthermore, I had to do so capturing not just Cynthia’s voice, but her beautiful southern style of speaking.
So far, everyone who has read the book has simply loved it, and if I must say-so myself, I think that you will too. I have two personal favorite stories in the book. The first is the “Gentleman Ghost of Uwharrie Mountain.” It’s such a bitter sweet tale of revenge and restitution. The other tale I love is the one that Cynthia created just for this book, the story of one Valentine Leonard. Not only is a real life Revolutionary War hero, but also, her husband is a direct descendant of him. In fact, they still attend the church that Valentine helped found. I think that this book will delight readers of all ages and quickly will become a family favorite. If you don’t have time to read this summer, you can always listen to Cynthia tell her stories on her CD, "Ghost Stories from the Graveyard."
QtR – Theresa Bane
Folklore and ghost stories from the Piedmont area of North Carolina come to life as told by the region's favorite performer, Cynthia Moore Brown. Hear the sad tale of "The Gentleman Ghost of Uwharrie Mountain" in Asheboro; "Lydia," the phantom hitchhiker of Jamestown; and the real-life account of Lexington's very own hero, Valentine Leonard. Rediscover fan favorites, such as the humorous "God in the Lake," the eerie tale of "The Woman with the Basket," and Old Salem's very own whistling "Little Red Man." Appearing for the first time in print, 21 spine-tingling ghost tales from the region's renowned storyteller, including four original tales composed by Cynthia herself, perpetuate the history of tradition in and around Piedmont. Each story is beautifully written out by co-author Theresa Bane to capture every blood-chilling moment of the story-telling experience. This book will delight readers of all ages and quickly become a family favorite.
Theresa Bane’s Bio:
Vampirologist, Theresa Bane has been featured on Discovery Channels’ “Twisted History: Vampires” as well as E!’s “10 Sexiest Vampires” for her knowledge and expertise on the undead.
Bane is the author of “The Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology,” “Actual Factual: Dracula,” “Haunted Historic Greensboro,” “Ghost Stories and Folklore of the Piedmont, North Carolina,” and “The Encyclopedia of Demons.” She has also written a dark humor book entitled “The Bloodthirsty Weasels: On the Loose and Buck Wild” as well as regularly writing content and satirical articles for on-line magazines. Recently she has delved in audio books and has been the Associate Producer on Patricia Brigg’s “Dragon Bones” and “Dragon Blood,” both produced by Buzzy Multimedia.
When not writing, Bane travels educating audiences about the differences between traditional mythology and horror fiction. A diehard gamer originally from the NY/NJ area, she currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, T. Glenn Bane. Please feel free to visit her website at http://www.theresabane.net/
Cynthia Moore Brown’s Bio:
Cynthia Moore Brown has been an acclaimed performer and educator for over three decades in North Carolina, the South, and Europe. She retired after thirty years as a librarian first, then a K-5 Art Specialist, and now performs, does her art, and travels.
Cynthia uses her many talents to bring texture to her down home Southern Style. She is an artist, a writer, an educator, a musician, and a nature lover. She is a co-founder of the NC Story Telling Guild and a festival organizer.
Cynthia’s lively performances of folktales, music, and visual arts are favorites to her audiences around the world and home again. Visit her website at http://www.folkteller.com/