‘Mumblings’ launch party brings a spooky good time to Appalachia

We had a great time at the Mumblings Pre-launch Party last night at Cicada Books & Coffee in Huntington, West Virginia.

A shelf filled with books and artwork.

Mumblings” is a horror and dark fiction anthology of 13 short stories written by West Virginia author Caitlyn Pace. The collection takes readers on a journey through the Mountain State, filled with cryptids and other characters from local folklore, as well as tales of disaster.

Books, stickers and post cards

Her publishing company, The Henlo Press, hosted the event, and had created a Kickstarter campaign prior to the release party. Supporters received special gifts based on the level of sponsorship. For example, I pledged $35 and received stickers designed by Kentucky artist Kody Christian, post cards, a Mothman pin, a travel journal, and a personally autographed copy of the book. The campaign finished with 40 backers that pledged a total of $1,197 to help bring this project to life.

Two women smiling

All funds raised from the Kickstarter campaign went toward firstrun production and advertisement costs for the book. Additional funds were used for stretch goals, events, author development, and readership in the Tri-State area.

Man holding a piece of art

As part of the festivities, guests were encouraged to tell stories of their own. Each storyteller was allowed to hold an “emotional support plushie” of Mothman while speaking. First prize was a handpainted Mothman wall art. Second place was an Annabelle doll. I won third place and received a whole bunch more stickers.

Man holding a doll.

Pace also read some excerpts from her book.

Woman reading a book

In the front of the store, Valtinen Erik Karille was reading tarot cards for guests. Karille will be the next author published through Henlo Press. His book, Thief of Roses: A Dark Retelling of Beauty and the Beast, is scheduled to be released in February 2023.

“Mumblings” by Caitlyn Pace will be the book of the month for the December meeting of Storytellers of Appalachia Book Club. Copies of the book are available at Conquest Books where the group meets on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. Conquest Books is located inside the Jewel Art Gallery at 323 15th Street in downtown Ashland, Kentucky.

Readers can also pick up copies at Cicada Books in Huntington.

Published by Gwen Clayton

Gwen Clayton is a freelance writer living in Ashland, Kentucky. She is the former editor of the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, and has written for numerous other publications since 1986. Her first book, the paranormal thriller "Fermata Cellars," was published in 2016, and her Bible-inspired short story, "Purr: A story of love, lions and a Hebrew named Daniel," was released in 2019. She recently finished writing, "Zinfandel’s Grimoire," which is the sequel to 'Fermata;' that book is in the editing and design phase of publication. Her current works in progress include the third book in the Rivervine Trilogy, tentatively titled, "Comatis Unveiled," and the nonfiction, "Dragon's Poker Table: A rocker chick's breast cancer journey." Her books are independently published under the imprint, Rivervine LLC. In addition to writing books, Clayton contracts as a copywriter for local, small businesses.

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