Hell Spring received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Isaac Thorne.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Hell Spring, Sept. 21, 2022
What’s the book’s first line?
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
A group of small-town neighbors in 1955 become trapped in their local general store during a severe thunderstorm with flash flooding. Among them is an alluring stranger with a famous face who at first appears to be a victim of the storm. Before long, she begins to prey on (and feed off) their guilt and shame. Can the neighbors survive the predator in their midst? Or will they become victims of the night the townsfolk all remember as Hell Spring?
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
In May 2010, a massive flood event occurred in my home region of Middle Tennessee. The disaster killed 21 people and destroyed property to the tune of millions of dollars. Famously, a temporary metal school building was recorded floating down Interstate 24 at Bell Road. National media and cable news mostly ignored it at first, instead continuing their nearly 24-hour-per-day coverage of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the exclusion of everything else. It was only after Middle Tennessee residents began calling them out on social media that they paid attention. It took many folks years to recover from the damage of this event. Some never did. Now, as extreme weather events like this one seem to occur daily around the globe, I felt compelled to write a story that combines such an event with a little bit of commentary about toxic shame.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
I think it’s an entertaining read for fans of Stephen King, Tim Waggoner, Ronald Malfi, or other folks who tell tales in a similar fashion. More than that, I think it’s an important look at learning to love yourself (and leaving other people the hell alone).
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
There are several primary characters, but the main protagonist is Peter Mayberry. His most distinctive characteristic is his inability to reconcile his upbringing and the religious climate of his time and place with his personality. Although he desperately wants to be a good person, he fears he is not because his nature is contradictory to what his abusive mother and the local church have instilled in him from an early age.
When did you first decide to become an author?
I was just a kid when I made that decision. I wrote my first story as soon as I could string words together. I always loved reading (and learned to earlier than many of my peers). Writing my own stories seemed like a great way to get the stuff in my imagination out of my head and into something I could mold.
I’ve written several books, but The Gordon Place was my first novel in 2019. Hell Spring isn’t exactly a follow-up to that, but it is set in the same small town of Lost Hollow.
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
Believe it or not, my day job Is writing! I’m a technical writer when I’m not writing creatively.
How much time do you generally spend on your writing?
At least an hour a day creatively, although generally more than that if you count plotting and researching and all the other things that go into the process beyond the act of typing.
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
Marketing. Full stop. I am not a generally social person, so networking is more difficult for me than most. It can also be incredibly expensive.
What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?
Lately I’ve stopped giving out general advice on being an indie author. Although we all have some similarities in our journeys, we all have unique circumstances. Processes that work for some indies just don’t work for others.
Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?
Never say never, but probably not. The need for validation drives a lot of folks to seek the traditional path. I don’t much require that. Also, it seems to me that there’s a tremendous loss of control going the traditional route, yet you as the author still must do the bulk of the heavy lifting not only in terms of producing the book but also in terms of marketing it. Rather than go the traditional route, I’d be more likely to hire a manager or an assistant or a publicist to handle the stuff I don’t like to do or don’t do well. If I could afford it.
Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)
Fame kills people. I’m not chasing that. I wouldn’t turn down fortune, but it’s not a specific goal. I will say that I get a huge rush of dopamine from finishing a book and putting it out there. I don’t know why. I don’t have any expectations beyond that. In fact, this book (Hell Spring) might be the first work of mine that I’ve ever marketed with anything resembling a plan. I think if you treat everything you try as an experiment, eventually you’ll figure out your true motives.
Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?
Am I a cliché if I say Stephen King? Although Richard Matheson is probably more accurate. That man wrote for everything everywhere and always did it well.
Which book do you wish you could have written?
Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.