Black Bottom Hollow is a novel about dark magic in the Kentucky backwoods, and a boy who tries to escape from his family's past.
Black Bottom Hollow is a horror/dark fantasy novel about black magic in the backwoods of Kentucky, and the terrible secrets guarded by a single family. It is the story of a young boy on the edge of manhood, his death and rebirth, and the horrors he must face on his journey to being an adult.
Take a look at the prologue to see what you think of the style.
The story begins with the death of its protagonist, eight-year-old Remy Calloway. After “extreme measures” on the part of his great-grandmother, Remy comes back from his near-death experience, but he does not remain unmarked by it. The formerly athletic young boy now has a twisted leg, leaving him lame for life. Without the freedom of running, Remy turns sullen and quiet, becoming known in his family as a deep thinker. Other side effects become clear—side effects that require Remy to be home-schooled and taken out of public life. Six years pass.
As a teenager entering young adulthood, Remy has few friends. Most of his cousins live in different parts of the county now; only a few remain in Black Bottom Hollow. Among them is his cousin Ruby, whose ardor for Remy has not dimmed with the passage of years—to his worry and occasional horror. Not only is he more aware of their blood relationship, he is in love with Kay—a girl he first met on the day of his death. Kay's mother does not approve of their relationship, considering Remy to be little better than white trash from a white trash family, so they pursue their relationship largely in secret. Remy’s only close friend is Eric Lee, another home-schooled Hollow kid; Eric Lee is extremely fat, and has never left Black Bottom Hollow as far as Remy knows. His weight demonstrates a mighty appetite—and conceals how inhuman it is.
Remy himself has begun to feel the stirrings of something dark and unwholesome within himself. Even as he agitates to return to public school, he fears that one of his “episodes” might wind up getting himself or someone else hurt. You see, Remy’s leg isn’t just lame—it has gone bad. Black Bottom Hollow holds many secrets, and Remy himself has become one of them. He fears that if his girlfriend finds out what he is, and how he became that way, she will leave him. On the other side of it is Ruby, who knows everything and still wants him—but is his cousin.
A new inhabitant has come to the holler as well—an artist from the city. He says he has come to paint the local beautiful countryside, but his true motives are darker. His eye falls on Remy’s girlfriend, and on Remy’s family. He seeks to claim the secrets they guard down in the Hollow for himself, and for his masters.
As Remy’s sixteenth birthday approaches, he must choose between his family’s wishes for his future and the things he believes in. Without a full understanding of his home’s secrets, he will be consumed by the darkness inside him or worse still. Learning those secrets, though, could tear him away from his true love and leave him trapped in Black Bottom Hollow forever.
We are the land. The land is us. Welcome to Black Bottom Hollow.
The novel is in progress, but nearly finished--close enough for me to start worrying about the costs of finding an agent, a publisher, and all the other costs that go into a debut novel. I'm looking to put together enough money to see Black Bottom Hollow come into print, either through traditional publishing or self-publishing. In the event that I go over my goal, I'll see if I can't offer some special incentive to all of my contributors, as well as going out for some interior art as well as cover art.
(Special thanks to Creative Commons for the music for my video. It's Alistair Cameron's "Light Banjo," and it's available for free use through the Creative Commons License.)
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