“Channeling the epic tomes that shaped horror fiction in the late seventies and early eighties, Keisling delivers a tale of small town life that is as gruesome in horror as it is personal.”
Devil’s Creek lies west of Stauford, Kentucky. Legend has it there was a church there called Lord’s Church of Holy Voices. This death cult, led by Jacob Masters, worshiped a nameless god. And there’s some truth to the legend: in 1983, the church burned following a horrific mass suicide. Masters’ six grandchildren and their grandparents were among the survivors. Called the “Stauford Six”, these children remained in Stauford, growing up ridiculed by the townspeople.
Thirty years later, the Six have made lives for themselves. Most people have forgotten about Devil’s Creek, Masters’ story whittled down to a campfire tale. Jack Tremly, one of the surviving Six, returns to Stauford to settle his grandmother’s estate. Back home, the memories begin to stir, and Jack discovers long-held secrets about his grandmother, and the church at Devil’s Creek.
Something else has begun to stir as well, something that can no longer stay buried.
Why we’re excited about this book:
Todd Keisling is one of the most exciting and fresh voices working in horror fiction today. Keisling is the author of The Final Reconcilation, The Smile Factory, A Life Transparent, and The Liminal Man, as well as a short-story collection, Ugly Little Things. Channeling the epic tomes that shaped horror fiction in the late seventies and early eighties, Keisling delivers a tale of small town life that is as gruesome in horror as it is personal. Ed Kurtz (The Rib from Which I Remake the World) says: “Brimming with dread and rooted deeply in the legacy of great American weird fiction, Devil’s Creek belongs in the pantheon of the best small-town horror novels from Lovecraft to Charles Grant, Michael McDowell to King. Keisling’s darkly imaginative creation of Stauford, Kentucky and the terrible things that lie beneath it will not only keep you up late to keep turning the pages, it will haunt you for some time to come. A stunning work.”
Why Todd’s excited about this book:
“Devil’s Creek is a small-town horror novel in the spirit of King’s ‘Salem’s Lot, with some layers of cosmic horror reminiscent of Barron and Lovecraft. It’s about buried secrets, the corruptive force of religion and fanaticism, small-town bigotry, and many other awful things.
With the novel, I wanted to take the concept of “evil in a small town” into the modern era and infuse it with the tenets of cosmic horror. The result is, I think (I hope), the most unsettling and terrifying thing I’ve written to date—but I’ll leave that for you to decide.
However, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the town’s origins. Stauford, Kentucky is a real place by another name. I grew up there. Locals who read this story will recognize it immediately. Devil’s Creek is a real place, and its legend has haunted my imagination since I was a kid. The stories surrounding the area will vary depending on who you ask, so I chose to create my own version of the legend.
All that said, there is a bit of truth to be found in these pages, and I urge you to look for it. You never know what you’ll find when you go digging.”
Forthcoming from 16 June 2020 from Silver Shamrock Publishing, Devil’s Creek by Todd Keisling is available for pre-order right now.