First, I must thank Dwyer & Michaels and the rest of the people at 97X for the awesome article they posted about Devils Glen last week. I saw an immediate jump in sales as a result.
Devils Glen has been gradually rising up the charts. At one point this week it was the 11th hottest new release in Horror/Dark Fantasy on Amazon. Pretty cool!
That is all thanks to the wonderful “Quad Citizens” out there telling their friends about it and posting stuff on Facebook, Twitter, etc. And of course, the fantastic reviews on Amazon are great too. I’m humbled. Word of mouth truly has an impact. Keep it up!
You can check out the 97X article here
Also, we received a nice 4-skull review from scifiandscary.com. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here.
The Real Devils Glen
If you’ve read the book, you know I used a lot of real locations in it, including Bettendorf/Quad City businesses like Whitey’s and Happy Joes. I felt like it would add a certain degree of authenticity to use real places, especially for people familiar with the area. I also used locations like Sunnycrest Park, Sunset Circle, Fenno Cemetery, and the Bettendorf mansion (the Bennett mansion in the book).
No, I did not use any real events or people, though some of the characters were inspired by people I knew growing up. Randy Wall, for instance, is obvious to anyone who grew up in Bettendorf, though the character in the book is quite different from the guy he’s based on. However, I did have real people in mind for every character—some of them were a mix of a few people. I find it easier to write believable characters if I can imagine people I know in those situations. I can see how they might react and hear their voices. Hopefully, it all comes through in the story.
Several people from Bettendorf have commented how they always felt Devils Glen was a creepy place. I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt that way! The park has a long history of stories passed down from year to year. In fact, the name itself was apparently based on an old Native American legend of devils who lived in some caves in the cliffs next to Duck Creek. . . they referred to them as “the devils of the glen.” I assume that is why there is no apostrophe in Devils Glen.
Of course, kids make up stories all the time. A park like Devils Glen, shadowy and tree-covered, lends itself to all kinds of imaginative storytelling. I remember hearing one disturbing tale when I was a kid about a guy who dressed up as Dracula and terrorized teenage girls in the park and at the nearby Devils Glen trailer park. And there were other stories about make out sessions being interrupted by strange sounds or mysterious figures walking around at night through the trees. I incorporated some of those tales into the book.
Share Your Stories
Do any of you Bettendorf people have stories/memories to share about Devils Glen? If so, leave them in the comments below, or on the Facebook post. I’d love to read them.