AUTHOR: Renée Pawlish
BOOK TITLE: Nephilim Genesis of Evil
Tell me a little about your book.
The story, in a nutshell, is this: what if the Nephilim, who
are half-man, half fallen angel, mentioned in Genesis 6, are still around and
they try and take over a Colorado mountain tourist town. Nephilim
has been compared to the early writings of Stephen King.
What gave you the idea for this particular story?
I’d been rereading King’s ’Salem’s Lot and had a dream about
a group of people in a small mountain town, and they are trying to get away
from some ethereal beings. That
was the start of Nephilim.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you
organize your writing time?
I’m a part-time writer and I generally write in bursts. I’ll mull over an idea for a while and
then start writing it, and I’ll work feverishly until it’s done. Then I’ll take a break before the next
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve loved writing since I was a kid. I made attempts at writing novels and
then really worked at it after I got out of graduate school.
What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I hope readers enjoy my books and feel like they couldn’t
put them down. I’m always
flattered when I hear those type of comments.
Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write mysteries, horror, children’s books, and some
non-fiction. I am partial to
mysteries because that’s what I love to read, but I enjoy stretching my writing
by tackling other genres. That’s
one great thing about the self-publishing explosion – writers are not limited
to one genre, they can write and publish whatever they want.
What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do
you get past it?
There are times I just don’t feel like writing. When that happens, I force myself to
sit at the computer and I work on writing exercises and the juices usually
Is there anything in your story based upon a real life
event? If so, tell me about it.
Taylor Crossing, the setting for Nephilim Genesis of Evil,
is loosely based where my parents have a cabin. It was fun to use that setting, and to describe the
mountains I love so much.
How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
The protagonist in Nephilim,
Rory Callahan, is not very much like me, other than that he writes. There is more of me, and my sense of
humor, in Reed Ferguson, the detective in my Reed Ferguson mystery series.
What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
For Nephilim, I
did a lot of research on who the Nephilim were, especially in Apocryphal
books. I enjoyed doing this
research; it was interesting to see the theories on who the Nephilim were, and
what might have happened to them.
Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why
or why not?
I don’t write sex scenes, and I tend to not write a lot of
violence either. My belief is that
if you write something well enough, you don’t need to be blatant in describing
sex or violence as the reader’s imagination is much more powerful than what you
can put on paper.
What about your book makes it special?
Nephilim is a
different twist on the typical horror story and on stories that involve the
Nephilim. I tried to write
something that would get the reader involved with the characters, a story that
would scare you without resorting to just grossing you out.
What is your marketing plan?
I use social media, a blog, and I sometimes advertize. I also attend some book clubs to try
and build word-of-mouth. Marketing
is tough, especially with so many other self-published authors releasing books.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
They can visit my website or blog:
Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of
It’s cliché, but write a good book. Too many indie authors write something
and think it’s good, and the reality is it’s not. It takes time to learn the craft of writing. Get feedback from other writers, and
from quality editors to see how you can improve your writing. Then consider publishing.
What’s in the future for you?
I hope a bestseller so I can quite my day job. But regardless, I’ll keep writing
because I love telling stories.
It was an evil he couldn’t explain.
This thought weighed heavily on his mind as he thumbed through a book, the muted sounds in the New York Public Library going unnoticed, as were the words on the page in front of him. He blinked hard, once, trying to erase the image of the shapeless thing – that evil – he had seen a few months ago.
He was waiting to cross Broadway near Times Square. Cars droned by, and the chatter of conversation filled the air. And then he saw it, hovering above the traffic, watching him. He studied it as he started across the street. It seemed intangible, almost like a faint haze, and yet somehow it had substance. Its very presence threatened him, and he knew it was evil. It spoke and a chill raced through him. Suddenly, he heard screaming, then a car horn blared and tires screeched. He turned just as a taxi plowed into him. His chest exploded in pain and then he blacked out.
The hair on his arms prickled now as he thought about it. He had felt the evil then, right before the accident, and now, a few months later, it still lingered along with a few aches and pains. He sighed, as if the expulsion of breath could take him away from the apprehension he couldn’t escape.
He tried to concentrate on the book again. He’d spent days researching, trying to tie that black, formless cloud to unexplained sightings, ghosts, spirits, anything, but with little success. The closest thing was vampires transforming into a mist – was
that black haze he’d seen some kind of vampire coming after him? He didn’t know, and that troubled him more.
And the fact that he couldn’t explain it scared him almost as much as the experience itself. Because he should’ve been able to explain it. After all, he was an expert in paranormal phenomena; he’d built a highly successful career as a journalist researching not only ghosts and vampires, but other psychic phenomena, people supposedly coming back to life, séances, crop circles, and on and on. He’d spent countless hours exposing charlatans and ferreting out the truth behind “unexplained” things. But he couldn’t explain this.
He sighed again and slammed the book closed, eliciting a dirty look from a woman who frowned at him over her minuscule glasses. He mouthed a “sorry” and picked up another book. He had a stack of them, all about various types of baffling phenomena. He’d skimmed through about half of them, but he’d found nothing about mysterious black forms that communicated with people.
He was about to give up when he saw it, just a chapter heading: Evil presence in Colorado mining town. Curious, he turned to the short chapter and began reading about strange happenings during the 1880’s in a small mining town called Taylor Crossing. As the story went, the townspeople had literally disappeared overnight. One day the place was thriving, the next, it was a ghost town.
Impossible, he thought. That type of thing was hyperbole, it never really happened like that. But he kept reading. The chapter on Taylor Crossing gave a brief history of mining in the area, then discussed the town itself, how many people had lived there and so on. He began skimming, and then he saw it.
A year after the town died, an industrious newspaperman found a few town residents living in Boulder, a town northwest of Denver. They reluctantly spoke of others who had seen a mysterious black form, dark and menacing, coming after them. Rumors of an evil presence had drifted through Taylor Crossing. It had been insufferably hot, and this had fueled rumors that the presence was the devil himself, coming to visit a sinful town. Others wouldn’t say what they thought it had been, fear keeping them silent. If only their friends had left, the surviving town members lamented. But those who’d seen the mist-like thing had disappeared shortly after talking about the evil presence. None of the survivors could explain what their friends had seen, or what it meant, but it was obvious that the stories and disappearances terrified them, so much so that they fled. That was all they would tell the newspaperman, who concluded that whatever had happened at Taylor Crossing would forever remain a mystery. The chapter ended noting that the town had revived itself in the last fifty years as a tourist town. The author of the book described how she had visited the town, and found that although it was located in the idyllic Rocky Mountains, she’d felt a chill unrelated to the mountain air the entire time she was there. She’d never found anything evil, per se, but she still felt something amiss in the atmosphere of the town. The book had nothing more on Taylor Crossing.
As he finished reading he felt his hands go damp and his heart thumped like a piston in his chest. He flipped through the pages again, and his mind raced. Whatever those residents had seen was too similar to his own ominous experience to dismiss. He had to know more about this mountain town and the black form that had visited there. He took the book, copied the chapter on Taylor Crossing, and left the library.
He spent the evening working on his laptop, organizing the notes he’d compiled over the last couple of weeks. He took the laptop and the photocopies he had made, stored them in his briefcase, and packed a suitcase full of clothes for an extended trip, sensing that he would be gone for a while. The next morning he called a travel agent about long-term lodging, made some arrangements, loaded up his truck, and headed out West.