Friday, October 12, 2012

TBR welcomes George R. Appelt, Jr.

TBR: Welcome to TBR, George. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
George: I have always loved mysteries and paranormal tales with a lot of atmosphere. So it was no surprise that when I started writing novels I gravitated toward the paranormal suspense genre.  

TBR: Tell us about “Shepherd’s Fall” and where it's available.
George: My debut novel, “Shepherd’s Fall”, was published in April and it is available on at

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
George: “Shepherd’s Fall” tells the story of Will Shepherd, an ambitious IT professional who accepts his dream job and relocates his reluctant family to an old Victorian mansion in the country. At first he thinks he has it all, but he soon learns that his new home is poisoned with a terrible history of violence and bloodshed. Now, plagued by bizarre hallucinations and under attack by entities bent on revenge and death, Will races to save his sanity, his loved ones, and his soul before his family becomes another chapter in the cursed land's history of pain and misery.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
George: I’m a pantser. I like to start with an idea for an ending and an inciting incident and then see where the characters take me. After the first draft I then go back and massage the story. I find that if I plot out the novel in too great a detail I lose interest because I feel like I have already written the story.

TBR: Any tips or tricks for world building you’d care to share?
George: My world in “Shepherd’s Fall” is very close to the real world only with an amped up supernatural element. I think that, in order for paranormal components to ring true for the reader, the author has to establish rules and remain consistent about how those paranormal components work. I think anything is possible and believable if the fantastic elements behave consistently.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
George: I love Harry, he is one of my favorite characters, but it would definitely have to be Gretchen because she would be a lot of fun. She had such a wonderful, positive way of looking at the world. I’m sure there would be a lot of laughter at dinner with her.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
George: That the Susquehannocks and early settlers around Chickies Rock believed there were 4ft. tall creatures that were similar to big foot. They were called albatwitch, which is short for “apple-snitch” because these small Bigfoot reportedly loved apples. While I didn’t use these creatures in “Shepherd’s Fall”, I do have a sidekick character in an urban-fantasy I’m working on that is an albatwitch.

TBR: What's next for you?
George: I’ve just finished a quirky mystery that will begin an ongoing series. And I’m starting another paranormal suspense tale about five friends and a spell book. Also, I’m polishing a few short stories. I am toying with the idea of writing a serial that would appear on my blog.

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
George: I’ve had one reader ask if I will pay her electric bill because she now sleeps with the lights on. She enjoyed the book and highly recommends it, but it really scared her. When I sat down to write “Shepherd’s Fall” I didn’t think about scaring my readers, I simply wrote about what scares me so it is interesting when others are also unnerved by the story.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
George: I love Stephen King’s writing, and I’m really excited by Joe Hill’s work, and of course Peter Straub’s Ghost Story is an all-time favorite. I’m currently reading a novel called “The Sun Village Project” by Caroline Cooper and I’m also reading Larry Kerr’s “By The Light of the Moon.” I have an hour commute to my day job, so I’m listening to Brad Meltzer’s “The Book of Lies.”

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
George: They can visit my website where they can find info on upcoming events, a list of my current and future work. They can also follow me at where I blog about writing, other authors I admire, and true ghost stories that people have shared with me. And I’m also accessible on or follow me on twitter@GeorgeRAppeltJr. 

TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, George! Best of luck to you.


  1. Welcome George! Hope no albatwitches still lurk in central Pennsylvania - I'd hate to run into any in the orchards behind our house! :)

  2. Creepy things always happen in attics. Will Shepherd's house is no exception. Lucky for me, my house has no attic!


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