To promote the forthcoming release of the audiobook edition of A Season of Whispers, I’m currently in the midst of a six-week blog tour around the internet, which kicked off last Friday with a glowing review by Kirkus Reviews.
Some of the stops are spotlights or brief excerpts but the rest feature original content like interviews and reviews. I’ll post links to those as they appear.
On Friday, April 9, several Aurelia Leo authors and I will be available for an AMA on the Fantasy subreddit. You can find me on Reddit as KoolMoDaddy-O (don’t laugh! it’s my gamer handle for Minecrafting with my kids!).
Feel free to ask me anything writing related — about A Season of Whispers, Emerson and the transcendentalists, the last book I read, or my favorite coffee (Café du Monde). And if you don’t want to talk to me, you can quiz my fellow Aurelia Leo authors, including publisher Zelda Knight, instead.
Over at Goodreads I’ve posted some free bonus content for A Season of Whispers.
I did an extensive amount of historical research for the book, and while writing it I left a trail of breadcrumbs for myself in the margins. If you’re curious about the context of a certain passage or phrase, now you can read those breadcrumbs for yourself.
Goodreads has a feature in which you can share the notes and highlights made on your Kindle with others. You need to link your Kindle and Goodreads accounts to create the notes but once they’re made public, anyone can read them.
I’ve made a bunch of annotations to A Season of Whispers that explain many of the historical and literary references in the story, which you can read here. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the book yet — spoilers are hidden unless you want to see them.
The notes can also be accessed by scrolling down on the book’s Goodreads page to the section labeled Featured Notes & Highlights.
I don’t believe the notes pop up unannounced on your Kindle. You can only read them through Goodreads. They’re free to access and you don’t need a Goodreads account.
And if you have a question that isn’t answered by the current notes, feel free to reach out. I’ll be adding more notes over time.
Connecticut is a geologic hodgepodge. Only the northwestern corner, shown in blue and brown and yellow on the map above, is original to North America. The pink zone on the eastern border and southeastern coast was once part of Africa, while most of the state — the green and ocher areas — was the mud and sediment on the ocean floor between the two continents that was thrown to the surface as the tectonic plates pulled apart. The yellow zone down the middle was a failed rift in Pangaea.
To complicate things, the glaciers of the last ice age stretched from Canada all the way to Long Island Sound, completely blanketing Connecticut and terminating in the berm of rocks we now call Long Island. As they receded, the glaciers left the boulders and stones they had pushed before them, which makes Connecticut soil so notoriously difficult to farm.
The yellow division on the map, called the Newark terrane, is chock full of fossils and dinosaur tracks. At the Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, you can see hundreds of three-toed footprints left by Dilophosaurus, pictured here, or at least a theropod dinosaur very similar to her.
The tracks — which crisscross each other, running hither and yon — were discovered on the site in 1968 during construction of a building. Those plans were scrapped and a geodesic dome was built over the spot, where visitors today can admire the tracks from raised walkways. Amazingly, what’s visible is a fraction of the total as scientists left several thousand more tracks buried for preservation’s sake.
I’ve always associated dinosaurs and fossils with the southwest and the northern plains, so I was surprised when I discovered Dinosaur State Park less than an hour from our house. I haven’t been there in years but once upon a time it was a perfect day trip for our pair of dinosaur-obsessed boys, and our visits left, well, an impression on me.
This geologic history is a gold mine for a writer of Gothic fiction. After all, the overriding conceit of the genre is that the past haunts the present — and who’s to say if something from antediluvian epochs, thought long dead and gone, might not whisper in our ears tonight?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s tour through some of the settings and places that influenced my novel A Season of Whispers, which is now available in various ebook formats and as a trade paperback. Thanks for reading!
A Season of Whispers is now available from Aurelio Leo.
You can order it on Kindle, Nook, or in print from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or direct from the publisher Aurelia Leo with a choice of file formats, including trade paperback.
Still unsure whether it’s your cup of tea? Check out some of the nice reviews on Goodreads.
Or you can consider the appraisals of these upstanding writers and editors:
“With a heart of mystery, a temperament of horror, and a persuasion of literary splendor, Jackson Kuhl’s A Season of Whispers will lead you though slowly darkening twists until you’ve sunk inescapably into the sinister depths of Bonaventure Farm.”
— Eric J. Guignard, award-winning author and editor, including That Which Grows Wild and Doorways to the Deadeye
“Channeling past masters of the Gothic — namely Hawthorne, Lovecraft, and Poe — Jackson Kuhl has fashioned a pitch-perfect narrative for which those scriveners would be proud.”
— C.M. Muller, editor and publisher of Nightscript
“The monstrous forces that manipulate the Bonaventure commune are surpassed only by the evil that lingers at the heart of humanity: greed, power, and madness. By reaching into America’s transcendentalist history, Kuhl has authored a novel that is strangely reflective of our modern world.”
— Marc E. Fitch, author of Boy in the Box and Paradise Burns
“A Season of Whispers is as much a fascinating tour of an obscure Emersonian outpost in New England as it is a chilling tale of the darkness of a man’s soul.”
— Daniel Altiere, screenwriter of Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster
“This rich look at man, Nature, and man’s nature reveals the dark side of those who buy and sell utopia.”
— Baylen Linnekin, author of Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable
Though Emerson may have preached self-reliance, he was both a good friend and neighbor; and while Thoreau is often mischaracterized as a hermit, he likewise credited friends and family for his successes. A Season of Whispers wouldn’t be here without the support of the blurbers above, my publisher Olivia Raymond at Aurelia Leo, editor Lesley Sabga, and my family, especially Kristie. Thank you.