Central Ohio Legends & Lore

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Yeah, so this just happened.

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My latest endeavor hit Central Ohio bookshelves and online retailers everywhere on June 26th. And I have to admit it’s one that I am quite proud of.

For one, Central Ohio Legends & Lore gets me back a bit closer to my Weird Ohio roots that so many of you have been asking me to return turn. In other words, while this new book has some ghost stories in it, the vast majority of it centers on just plain ol’ weird stuff. You know, things like UFOs and the Ohio Grassman.

But what’s more, for this book, I made a conscious effort to focus on real weirdness: Stuff that sounds too weird to be true, but it is. Case in point, this pic from the cover of Central Ohio Legends & Lore:

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This picture is of a real mine fire in New Straitsville, Ohio. The fire was started in 1884 and still burns today. That’s right, there’s a 133-year-old fire burning right now under New Straitsville, Ohio.

I wanted to focus on real stories like that because I feel that with today’s paranormal reality shows, just uttering words like “ghost” or even “unexplained” can often cause the general public to react with cries of “BS” and “that’s not real”. Sadly, I think a lot of, in this case, Ohio folklore, is being abandoned and forgotten. I’m hoping to change that.

Of course, that’s not to say I abandoned the Ohio ghost story. Far from it. In fact, Central Ohio Legends & Lore contains some of my favorite Ohio ghost stories, including some that had yet to be included in any of my other books. In fact, I can honestly say that the research I did for one particular ghost story in the book, Thurber House, got me really, really excited.

It also led to an event being planned for this fall that is going to offer some lucky people the chance to stand at the crossroads where the paranormal and literary worlds meet. And who knows what will happen! Details on that event will be coming soon, so keep an eye on this blog. In the meantime, if you want a hint, go read James Thurber’s The Night The Ghost Got In.

Central Ohio Legends & Lore is available at most Central Ohio bookstores, as well as select grocery stores and even Walgreen’s. It’s also available at Amazon.com and all the other online retailers. It will also be available for purchase at all of my upcoming appearances and presentations. I’ve already started making the rounds on a bit of a mini-signing tour. At some of the locations, I will be giving brief talks about Central Ohio Legends & Lore. Come the fall, we launch into full-blown presentation mode, of which the new book will certainly be a large part. For a full list of upcoming appearances, click here.

Hope you have as much fun with the book as I had writing it!

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An Evening To Benefit The Humane Society Serving Clark County

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Over the years, I’ve given presentations at a wide variety of locations for an even wider variety of reasons. But the ones that are nearest and dearest to my heart are the ones that are done for a great cause. It’s a truly amazing and humbling experience to look out across an audience and know that we’ve all come together to share some strange and spooky stories and to help those less fortunate.

That’s why I’m so happy to announce my next appearance: The Strange & Spooky World of James A. Willis—An Evening to Benefit the Humane Society Serving Clark County.
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This special, one night event will take place on Saturday, April 29th at The Heritage Center: 117 S Fountain Ave, Springfield, OH 45502. Proceeds to benefit the Humane Society Serving Clark County.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • Doors open at 6:30 pm
  • Refreshments and Appetizers (by donation) from 6:30 pm until 7:45 pm
  • Presentation begins at 7:45 pm
  • Book signing and meet and greet following the presentation

Tickets are $25.00 each and can be purchased at the Humane Society front office, or by US Mail.

If ordering tickets through the mail, please send payment (cash or check only) to:

The Humane Society Serving Clark County
Attention: Event Department
5201 Urbana Rd.
Springfield, OH 45502

The deadline for mail order tickets is noon on Saturday, April 22nd. Please be sure to include your full name and mailing address with your order.

This will be a special evening in that I will be sharing my personal stories and experiences from my favorite strange and spooky locations that I have visited over the years. Plus, as if you needed any additional incentive, this will mark the very first time that I will be talking about some of the locations I visited for my upcoming book, Central Ohio Legends And Lore.
71xEPsPbFHL So what are you waiting for? Reserve your seats and let’s pack the Heritage Center!

For more information on the event, please click here.