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Interview with Henry Mitchell, author of magical realism Among the Fallen

cover of Among the Fallen by Henry Mitchell

Not everything is what it seems.

Drovers Gap, population 703, appears to the tourists passing through as one more sleepy Appalachian village, just off the interstate, on the way to someplace spectacular and important. But there are simmering tensions and unspoken malice behind the seemingly placid facades, and a spark from afar will ignite an explosive and insatiable evil that hungers to devour the town and everyone in it.

Excerpt from Among the Fallen

Wendl was reading the story aloud. It was an old story. He knew it by heart. After a while, lost in the flow of his remembrance, he no longer even glanced at the ReadPad. Mid-way through the tale, he felt something wet and warm and viscous in his palm. Wendl stared down at the ReadPad. A thick red liquid oozed out of it, dripping off his fingers. He raised his hand to his face and inhaled. Wendl had been in the War, a long time ago when he was still young. There was no mistaking. He had never forgotten the smell of blood.

“Are you alright, Grampa?” said the child sitting beside him. There were two of them, a boy and a girl. The boy had spoken.

“I’m sorry, children,” Wendl smiled down at them, “I must have dozed off.”

“You were talking funny,” said the girl.

“It was the Old Tongue,” Wendl said, “as we spoke it among the Fallen.”

“But the Old Tongue is not allowed,” said the boy. His voice tremored with fright.

“We should report you, Grampa,” the girl admonished, looking suddenly very serious and grown-up.

“Are you going to report me, children?” asked Wendl, chuckling, as if they were sharing a joke.

“Oh, no, Grampa,” the boy said, shaking his head, vigorously, “They would cut out your tongue.”

“Then how would you tell us stories?” asked the girl, wild-eyed and giggling.

An Interview with Henry Mitchell

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I never planned to be a writer. When I was diagnosed with macular degeneration at age 70, I told my wife I wanted to do something I could get better at during whatever years were left to me. She said, “Write something.” So I wrote a novel, and after two hundred queries and almost as many re-writes, it was accepted by a publisher. Now at 82, eight published books later, I still hope to write one or two more.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

I would have lunch at Hemlock House and order Abigail Trammell’s meatloaf. We share her recipe at all my book signing/reading events.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

Wendl VonTrier might admit, “I never trusted Goodmother Wandalena.”

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

I would definitely have drinks with Wendl the Púca, whatever shape they were in. Police Chief Omar Longshadow would have some good tales to share. I will buy drinks for anybody who will tell me an intriguing story.

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

I would buy the dwarf a beer.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

I don’t believe in genre. A good story defies classification. Depending on what page you pick to read, you could identify just about any genre in Among the Fallen.

About Henry Mitchell

Henry Mitchell reads and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

He has written five novels and two collections of short stories.


Henry Mitchell will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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