Today marks the beginning of the "Hydra Blog Hop". Not only will I be introducing a Hydra author each day this week, but I will also be featured on a fellow Hydra author's website for as long as the "Hop" runs (Sept. 10th-15th). Today's stop will be at Amy McCorkle's Blog. Tune in later this week when I feature her for part of the "Hop".
But enough of the formalities. Everyone: please give a warm welcome to Mr. Pardoe, author of Virginia Creeper~
Virginia Creeper – A Tour of Where I Live
by Blaine Pardoe
Virginia Creeper is a story of Virginia’s Piedmont region. It’s not a tale for the faint of heart – the events in the book are fairly frightening. What adds to this is the setting, in this case, where I live.
Virginia’s Piedmont is nestled along the Blue Ridge mountain range. It is a place where some families go back to the 1700’s. George Washington surveyed the county I live in (Culpeper) for example. It is a place where the yuppies of Northern Virginia nimbly collide with farming communities and the rolling hills of horse country.
The people – well, they can be colorful. We have your off-the-shelf rednecks, respectable folk, young money, old money, and counties where you are known by your family name, the church you attend, or your role in the community. As a people we tend to be more conservative than Northern Virginia. Your family roots tell your story. Comealongs (shirt-tail Yankees who have moved here) are treated differently than those that are born in Virginia. I was born in Virginia but raised in Michigan and I am quick to point that out when I’m in a group of my fellow Virginians. It changes the nature of our discussions and how I’m regarded.
The Civil War (or, The War of Northern Aggression as it is often referred to) is not just a tourist event, it took place in our yards, fields, and homes. The Piedmont was settled before America became a nation and our Indian heritage is embedded in our rivers and roads.
The people of the Piedmont love NASCAR, guns, steeplechase, polo, God, state, and country – in an ever-changing order. We can be a quirky bunch, but you will rarely live in an area where you have such friendly and loyal friends.
It is into this mix that Virginia Creeper is set. These apparent contradictions are intertwined in my book. The events described in the book happened here because of those contradictions. This is a story of horror that could only happen in a place where the heritage goes back as far as some of our dark roots burrow.
A question I got the other day is, “are all of these places real?” Yes. If you want, you can find Indian Pulpit, if you are so brave and inclined. Pignut Mountain is a very real, though I have obscured in the book the actual location of the death pit – for obvious reasons. The burned out hulk of the Beverly Mill can still be seen from Route 66. The Frost Diner and the other locations are all quite real. This last year the movie J. Edgar was filled in front of the Fauquier County courthouse, that’s how out of place Warrenton Virginia can appear in the 21st century. I invite you to go and seek out these places if you ever visit the area. But, if you’ve read Creeper, be prepared to be scared.
About the Author:
Blaine Pardoe is an award winning author who lives in Amissville Virginia. He is the author of numerous science fiction, military history, true crime, horror, and business leadership books. He is considered one of America's best writers about the Great War. His books have been published in six languages and he has been a featured speaker at the U.S. National Archives, the United States Navy Museum, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.