After three years of off-and-on writing, rewriting, editing, and more, horror author Isaac Thorne’s new Lost Hollow novel Hell Spring is now available for preorder at retailers everywhere and on IsaacThorne.com. Last week, digital advance reader copies (ARCs) of the novel were sent to reviewers who had previously joined Isaac’s Launch Team Newsletter. In addition, the book has been made available for reviewers on NetGalley, BookSprout, and Edelweiss. Members of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) were also offered ARCs via email and other HWA channels.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to believe I’m finally at the preorder stage for this novel,” Isaac says. “I started writing Hell Spring back during the lockdown days in 2020, but didn’t finish up the first draft until very early this year. The pandemic blues plus all of the other cultural, societal, and political ills weighing down on the United States and the world right now made it difficult for me to sit down and concentrate.
“I know a lot of folks get a creative spark when things get bad in the world,” he adds. “As for me, I’m more likely to sit my ass down and work when I’m not terrified that democracy is a thing of the past.”
That said, Isaac points out that much of the plot and story of Hell Spring is ripped from real-world history. “I can’t help it. Shit happens and it sticks in my head and I ruminate over it. That’s how ideas get set aflame in my head. It might be weeks, months, or years, before I find the energy to sit down and write the relevant passages. Meanwhile, the fire keeps getting fuel.”
Hell Spring is the tale of eight neighbors in the small fictional Tennessee town of Lost Hollow who become trapped in their local general store during a thunderstorm with flash flooding. One of them is a stranger, an alluring predator with a taste for humanity’s flaws. While the neighbors struggle with their own secrets and sins, they must also combat the stranger’s appetite for their demise.
The story was at least partially inspired by one of Isaac’s own experiences. An extreme flooding event in May of 2010 took property and lives all across Middle Tennessee. Isaac’s own property damage was frustrating, but minimal compared to some of his neighbors. Nevertheless, the event left something of a scar.
“I don’t care if I ever see extreme weather again,” he says. “Unfortunately, that’s not the timeline we live in. I watch the news. I see it every night. There’s no season that isn’t a hell season sometime, somewhere these days.”
Hell Spring is available in hardback, paperback, and ebook formats with an audiobook edition on the way. Although the ARCs have only been out for a week as of this writing, reviews so far have been positive. Print and ebook editions ship on Sept. 21, 2022.