A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, Melanie K. Hutsell grew up listening to family stories of ghosts and tales of recalcitrant women. A life-transforming discovery from her childhood–that the lyrics to Peter, Paul, and Mary’s song, “The Three Ravens,”appear in a book of ballads—propelled her forever into the magic realm where literature, music, and folklore converge.
The first two chapters (in slightly altered form) of The Dead Shall Rise (then titled Everlasting), won first place in the Tennessee Writers Alliance Novel Competition in 2001, awarded at the Southern Festival of Books. Melanie’s short fiction has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Still: The Journal (www.stilljournal.net), Trajectory, and the Knoxville Writers’ Guild anthology, Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers. Her short story, “Celestial Images,” was a Judge’s Selection (as judged by Holly Goddard Jones) in the 2013 Literary Contests at Still. Melanie has also published poetry in The Sow’s Ear and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature, edited by Brown and Rosenberg.
Melanie holds a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA in English from Indiana University at Bloomington. An avid reader and music lover, she currently lives in Maryville, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.
Melanie K. Hutsell’s debut novel, The Dead Shall Rise, uses magical realism and the earthy authenticity of Appalachia to create its modern folktale world, both beautiful and baleful. It is set in the mountain village of Beulah Creek, whose ordinary inhabitants are unsettled by the arrival of a stranger seeking shelter from a mysterious past. The woman, who calls herself Malathy Joan, moves into the haunted Greenberry place. Though she attracts friends and admirers as she tries to heal the atmosphere of deceit and disaster in the abandoned house, the spirits of its dead cannot rest and tragedy once more threatens to change Beulah Creek forever.