Lewiston author signs new book for community at Hastings on Saturday
Local author Al Halsey said although he’s still getting used to the idea of hosting a book signing, it’s easy to do it for the community he loves.
“I’m from Lewiston, so I am just kind of getting my feet wet in the writer thing,” Halsey said.
Halsey’s first book, “The Mists of the Miskatonic,” was released in January. He self-published the tribute anthology and was inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Halsey said his interest in Lovecraft’s works began at age 12 and he has read more of his work than anything else.
“His stories inspire me,” Halsey said. “I just love what he did — the way he created a mythology and the way he put it together. His stories have this kind of creepiness to what he writes. It’s not hack and slash, there’s a suspense to what he writes that really intrigues me.”
“Hellgate, Montana,” Halsey’s second book, was released on March 10 and was published by Permuted Press. The book is the first of a paranormal western series about the tale of Jeremiah Brandt, a bounty hunter of the supernatural.
“Hellgate was really inspired by my love for Missoula,” Halsey said. “That’s an area that I am really fascinated with. When that story started forming in my head I looked to Missoula, because it’s a place I like to visit and it’s a place I like to live.”
“Hellgate, Montana” takes place in 1875, since it was a time before the area became well documented, he said. Halsey said the time period was chosen to be when Missoula was small and on the edge of the frontier.
Halsey said part of what makes writing enjoyable for him is seeing the effect his work has.
“I’m just some schlub from Lewiston, and I get on Amazon and my books are being ordered all over the world,” Halsey said. “That’s amazing to me.”
Writing serves as a stress release, Halsey said. For 26 years, Halsey has worked at Northwest Children’s Home in Lewiston with children with emotional behavior problems.
“I go home and try to turn all of that off,” Halsey said. “Writing is kind of one of those emotional outlets that I use to get away.”
Before publishing formal books, Halsey started with writing short stories. He said he had several ideas floating around in his head when he finally started writing in 2008.
“I know of people who are better writers than me, but they don’t write,” Halsey said. “(Writing) just doesn’t happen, you have to work at it.”
Halsey advises writers who are attempting to become published to be persistent and try to find people who can give feedback.
“I would tell people who want to write ‘Don’t be discouraged,'” Halsey said. “It took me seven years to get to this point where I am seeing success with ‘Mists.'”
Aleya Ericson can be reached at email@example.com