Sunday, February 23, 2014


Pareidolia - 

When I first stumbled across photos on the internet of Savannah’s deserted gunpowder magazine, I knew I had to find a way to work the structure into the Witching Savannah series. I set out one drizzly February morning to visit the crenelated red brick building, but finding it proved no small feat.  My imagination began to convince me that it was under some enchantment, as even though I had seen pictures and found old news articles that mention the building, the magazine itself seemed to have faded from the memory of nearly every local. I knew it was located off Ogeechee Road—actually an article I found said that it was plainly visible from that stretch, nestled in among a grove of trees. What I had failed to consider was the age of the article. Those nestling trees had grown up and filled out since publication,  and now screened the magazine from view.

 I spent what seemed like hours traveling up and down Ogeechee Road, peering out through fogged windows, stopping once at the side of the road when I thought for sure I had finally found it, only to realize I was sorely mistaken. The sad thing was I even had the exact longitude and latitude for the structure, but alas, my GPS system wanted nothing to do with degrees, minutes and seconds. It wanted good, solid street addresses or nothing. Nearly frustrated to the point of giving up, I pulled into the parking lot of an auto parts store that I knew had to be in the magazine’s general location.

 I went in and spoke to a clerk, describing the building, its history—as best I knew it—and its appearance. He was sorry, but he had never heard of the place. He did offer to ask someone who was working in the back if she knew of it. The young woman came out, and I launched anew into my spiel, when she smiled and pointed over my shoulder. “I think you are talking about the building next door.” And, yes, as it turned out, the gunpowder magazine was sitting a few yards away on the far side of their parking lot. Needless to say, learning it was next door to an auto parts store did strip away some of the building’s romantic glamour. But still, I had gone to all this trouble to find the place, so I crossed the lot and managed a four point landing in the ravine that separates the wooded area that houses the magazine and the auto parts establishment.

I felt convinced I had wasted my time, until I caught sight of the single story red brick castle. Like much of the rest of Savannah, it was so accessible and surrounded by the everyday, but somehow still magical and haunting. I hadn’t even finished brushing the dirt from my knees before I began imagining Jilo and Mercy hiding out here, working magic together. Even with the sounds of a steady flow of traffic coming off Ogeechee, this place seemed secluded, somewhat out of sync with both its mundane surroundings and the year in which I had come to visit it. A misty Savannah morning paired itself with this writer’s overly active imagination to convince me that even though there was no one else around, I was not alone. In that moment, Savannah wore down what remained of my healthy skepticism, and I found myself taking photos, convinced that one of them would show more than had met my naked eye.

         Let me make one thing clear: I am not a believer that orbs are in any way supernatural.  I chalk them up to dust or insects or pixilation, but just as there are few atheists at 30,000 feet, Savannah had a way making me question this. I will leave you to be the judge.  The building was locked, but there was a gap large enoughfor me to put my camera through and snap a couple of photos. The following is a blown-up version of an orb caught in one of these photos.

In it I see the face of a man with a shaved head and mustache. He appears to be wearing sunglasses. Pareidolia, you say? I’m certain you are right. At least I am right now, sitting thousands of miles away from Savannah. Still, haunted or no, you will encounter this setting in the very first pages of THE SOURCE (Witching Savannah #2) coming out on June 3rd. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014


With The Source (Witching Savannah Book 2) in the final stages of copy editing, and The Void (Witching Savannah Book 3) in the hands of my (first) editor, I am turning back to Shivaree, the novella I began late last summer.

Shivaree is my take on the vampire tale. I know, I know.The world is awash in stories about vampires.

What makes Shivaree unique is that this dark Gothic dream unfolds in a time (the early 1950s) and place (the fictional town of Conroy, Georgia) where supernatural evil is more than given a run for its money by the evil engendered by racism and other forms of bigotry. In fact, one of the challenges in writing Shivaree has been making my vampire more frightening than my human monsters. Although evil, through and through, in many ways Shivaree's vampire remains a more empathetic character than many of Conroy's other residents. The blurb follows:


At the close of the Korean War, sturdy army nurse Corinne Ford turns her back on a troubled past to travel to rural Georgia and marry her battlefield sweetheart. Corinne soon learns she was not the first woman in her fiancé's life. The once exquisite Ruby, failed actress and dabbler in dark magic, had been brought back from Hollywood to her father's house, sick, broken, changed. Her death cleared the way for many who had wished that she had never returned. Soon, Corinne is confronted with evidence that her fiancé's first love is neither forgotten nor truly gone. Backlit by the Klan's burning crosses and scored by the cacophony of shivaree, the traditional wedding night abduction of the groom, SHIVAREE (A Novella) looks into a world where the monsters of folklore confront the monsters of history. SHIVAREE (A NOVELLA) is a work of Southern Gothic Horror running approximately 30K words.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


The Line gets a mention on


J.D. to appear on Charleston's
 ABC Channel 4
Lowcountry Live
March 20th, 10 AM

Meet J.D. in Savannah -
Book signing at Savannah's
 Bob's Your Uncle
305 East River Street
Savannah, GA 31401
Saturday, March 22nd

Release date for The Source (Witching Savannah #2)
has been pushed UP from July 15 to June 3,2014!