The book actually springs from a short story published in Ron's anthology, Chemistry. The story, Pemberton's Bride, features evil Serena and her new husband, and is set in a Western North Carolina lumber camp in the 1930s.
I like how he writes a short story and then it grows up to be a novel. That also happened with the novel, The World Made Straight. Perhaps one of my stories will grow up to be a big book some day. Ha.
Our school was fortunate to host Ron last spring when he came to speak to our students about writing. I was honored when the librarians asked me and a few other teachers to join them and Ron for dinner the night before. You know, everytime I see that guy he ask me what I'm working on - I know Ron from the Wildacres workshops. And he did that for our students, too. You don't get that very often with famous writers. After dinner I just had to ask about training an eagle to hunt rattlesnakes - you'll know what I'm talking about if you read the short story or novel. A very lively discussion about how he learned about it and researching for fiction in general followed.
This one is going to be big, folks.