Building a New World
By: Brent Abell
I can be lazy. Writing in an existing location means research. It means I have to look at maps and figure out buildings and other things related to the city I’m destroying on no particular day. Nobody needs a reader from a city messaging them and getting schooled on how the flower shop on Lincoln Avenue is really five storefronts down and is a red building, not a blue one like I’d described.
So, I came up with the perfect solution… I imagined a new town.
The idea is really a product of reading years of Stephen King stories set in his fictional town of Castle Rock. When I conceived and wrote my first novella, In Memoriam, I wanted to begin a series of tales taking place in the same town. The more I thought about the town’s future, I more using a real location didn’t make sense. I wanted to rain Hell down on these people and I didn’t want to be constrained by reality.
And thus White Creek, Indiana was born.
In Memoriam introduced the town, but the new book in the series, The Calling, gets the story going at a faster pace. The town has a very sordid history dating back to its founding. I haven’t started to get deep into the history in the books yet, but there have been some small nuggets dropped in some short stories and in The Calling.
What I can tell you so far is that the town has had some bad things happen to it that go back to its founding. An event occurred two years after the land was settled and it resulted in a great evil being bound to the earth under the town. Over time, the bindings on the evil have deteriorated and it’s leaking into the soil, and the people.
Now, I have to be honest, making up your own town isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Remember the first line of this post? Yeah, I’ve had to re-think my life and not be lazy to pull this off. Unlike King, who has people paid to keep his Dark Tower stuff straight, I have to do it on my own. The maps of real towns I could look up? I have to make the maps. The shops and stores? I have to invent them. The history? That’s on me too.
However, now that I look back on my choice, building my own world was the right one. There’s something about opening the doors to a place I created that is wholly satisfying. Seeing the local landscape take shape is exhilarating. There a sense of pride I take in White Creek and when it gets brought to its knees, I cry for the people. After all, they are my people and my town. Blood will run through the streets and my tears will mix with it and the ink from the page.
I invite you hop in your mind’s car and take a trip with me. Past the big city limits, out in the country, is a nice town some like to call home. The lighthouse on the shores of Lake Michigan is lit up to welcome us and a fog is rolling in off the water. Take my hand and let me show you the sights. We can visit the memorial to the Bourne Sanatorium fire or head out to the little island beyond the lighthouse to lay a flower on the graves of the four founders. We’d better get going, we have so much to see together.
Welcome to White Creek.
The Calling – Brent Abell
Carl Volker has a problem. After waking one morning with a hangover to find his wife gone, he notices a crow stalking around his yard. As days go by with no word from his wife, more and more crows gather.
Frank Hill is sheriff in the seemingly pleasant town of White Creek. Up until recently, his job has been fairly mundane but after a recent spree of murders, bodies are beginning to pile up and Frank has no clue as to who the killer may be.
White Creek has kept its secrets hidden well over the years but the sins of its past are coming to light; the town harbors an evil and the bindings that keep it in check are beginning to unravel.
As Frank and Carl’s friendship is tested and their destinies are revealed, the dead accumulate while the crows watch and The Calling begins!
Brent Abell lives in Southern Indiana with his wife, sons, and a pug who sits around eating the souls of wayward people. His stories have been featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His work includes his novella In Memoriam, collection Wicked Tales for Wicked People, and novel Southern Devils; which are available now. He also co-authored the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on the second book in the Southern Devils series and the next book with Frank Hill in the White Creek Saga.
Facebook: Brent T. Abell