SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
CK: The main character is Dante. He is a very sheltered new adult (19-years old) whose idea of a good time is hanging out in his parents’ basement renting movies and playing video games. He’s someone who can do very little for himself. Partly because he has never had to fend for himself, so he’s a bit babyish. He is interested in girls but has never had the nerve to even ask a girl out—much less kiss one. The story opens by ripping him away from his parents’ house and sending him to stay with his elderly grandmother in a one-horse town in the Adirondack Mountains. There he is forced to grow up and has his life turned on its head when he meets a beautiful and sexy girl named Angie. Did I mention she has special powers?SC: Special powers would be helpful some days. But I digresss. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
CK: I do believe in ghosts and the paranormal. I believe we are both physical and spiritual beings. Although, I have no direct experience to speak of. I’ve really been blown away by some real life accounts. The Warrens and their experience depicted in the bone-chilling film, The Conjuring. The Exorcism of Emily Rose, based on a real-life exorcism gone bad.SC: What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
CK: I’m already thinking about a follow-on to The Girl from the Woods! I’d love to explore the characters and setting more.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pennant Collective
Date of Publication: April 25th, 2017
Number of pages: 144
Word Count: 43,000
Cover Artist: Nick Kiefer
It’s summertime and the last place 19-year-old Dante Elton wants to be is at his grandmother’s in rural upstate New York. But it’s exactly where his parents dump him, as they jet off to Europe. Without a car, cell service, or even basic television, there is nothing to do but wander around the nearby woods just as he had as a small child…
There he meets sexy—and slightly older—Angie Sewall while on a hike. On the surface, she’s a devoted daughter content to be single while she manages her father’s medical practice. Yet deep down, Angie is bored and heartbroken…and is harboring some special gifts that she keeps secret from her father and their backwoods community.
When Dante’s grandmother’s health declines, he reaches out to Angie’s father for help, only to uncover the good doctor’s dark side. When Dante confides in Angie, it drives a spike into their budding relationship. He’s left to wonder if he’s all alone in his quest to save his grandmother
As the sun splintered through the gaps in the tarp, Dante held Angie in his arms while she slept. He had never felt or even imagined being this happy. He watched her sleeping peacefully, half-expecting she would just vanish like the girl from his dream. She seemed other-worldly, more of a product of his imagination than the surrounding environment. In the real world, a beautiful girl like Angie would barely give him the time of day. She wouldn’t be into reading horror or Japanese anime either. She would probably be rejecting his friend request on Facebook.
He still hadn’t told Angie that she had appeared to him in his dream back in New Jersey. He figured she would probably just laugh at him. The past few weeks, he had assumed he would forget about it. Yet somehow, the thought wouldn’t vacate his brain. If she had actually appeared to him in his dream, this was no ordinary girl, and that frightened him. She seemed normal, but her father did not. He was an eccentric man with a sketchy past. Dante had come across a stack of books on witchcraft in his study. But she brushed it off, saying that he had grown up in Massachusetts, and everyone up that way was into the history of Salem.
Chris is a graduate of Rutgers University and studied the art of storytelling at Gotham Writers' Workshop in New York City. Chris' first publication, "Loot," became a bestselling Kindle Short Read, in the category of Young Adult Fiction.
"Loot," set on Halloween in 1977, tells the tale of three boys who skip Halloween to hunt for cash to purchase an Atari in an old farmhouse belonging to one of their deceased aunts. Adventure ensues in his coming-of-age tale in the spirit of Stand by Me and The Goonies.
In addition to authoring prose, Chris is a screenwriter. In 2013 he wrote the screenplay for a short film, The Baseball Card, about three twelve-year old boys who fight over a Don Mattingly baseball card during the summer of 1984. The Baseball Card was an official selection of the Garden State Film Festival, Hoboken International Film Festival, and Maryland International Film Festival in 2014.
The Girl from the Woods is his debut novel.