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Return of the Dread I

Bill's Blog Shorts: Check 'em out. You never know what's in 'em.

(Note: It's been several weeks since my last blog post but for good reason. I have left the big city and moved to Bear Town, aka New Bern, NC. It was hard work and time consuming but now I'm back in the saddle and posting on a regular basis once again.) May 5, 2017 will forever be a landmark date for me as it was the first time I autographed anything for anybody. In this case, it was a copy of Black Hearts White Bones for my friend and long-time colleague Stephen F. Tomajczyk. The request represented much more to me than an ego stroke (which indeed it was). You see, Steve is a widely read and successful writer who has supported my creative writing efforts for more than 20 years. Perhaps as much seeing my novel in print, his request signified to me that I have truly crossed over into the world of publishing and qualify for the titles of "author" and "novelist." The road I've traveled to reach this point in my writing career has not been an easy one, but Steve, more than anyone else, encouraged me to keep on plugging away.

And now I find myself in a new home nestled along the side of a creek that flows into the Neuse River. As a writer of historical fiction, it's like stepping onto Ground Zero of North Carolina's colonial origins. I am surrounded by history.

At the closing for this refuge of serenity, I was gifted a book written by local historian and fellow Tar Heel Edward Barnes Ellis, Jr. The non-fiction New Bern History 101 should be a must-read for natives and transplants alike. As the subtitle of the book says, the book provides "The essential Facts for the Native, Newcomer or Visitor to the Colonial Capital of North Carolina."

For those who have never been to New Bern, it is a city transitioning into the Twenty-First Century while tenaciously hanging on to its small town roots and history. Among other notable facts, it boasts of being home to Tryon Palace as well as the soft drink Pepsi-Cola. If you grew up in a time when people in a neighborhood knew each other by their first names and went out of their to help each other in times of need, New Bern is a wonderful place to visit and an even better place to live. It also happens to be the birthplace of my sister, Peg, and the home of my brother, John.

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