If you read The Root Witch: An Urban Legend Caught on Tape short story, I thank you! If you left a review saying the story was too short and wanted more, as many did, you got your wish!

Those comments rattled around in my head. But could I do it? Was there enough to the story to sustain an entire full-length novel? Of course, there was!

What’s in the novel?

The Root Witch, a Dark Earth Rising Novel, fully explores TV news producer Sandra Molina’s backstory and her daily struggles in the tough, mostly male newsroom. It explains why she made the risky decision to send a news crew so far away to cover the sighting of The Root Witch. Sandra also gets a nemesis and a love life.

The other big difference between the short story and the novel is the addition of a new main character named Knox. He’s a Forest Service ranger assigned to a vast territory in central Utah, which includes the aspen forest. With hiking boots on the ground, you’ll be able to see him come to grips with the legend of The Root Witch.

Also, expect a heavier 80s vibe in the novel, including a scene at a dance club that existed in Salt Lake City. Of course, this being Utah, it didn’t serve alcohol. But that never stopped anyone from drinking!

What’s up with that creepy forest?

Today, the forest in the novel is known as Pando. Latin for “I spread.” It’s one of the world’s largest single organisms, with a shared massive root system. All the trees are male genetic clones. But since the story unfolds in 1986, I simply refer to it as the aspen forest near Fish Lake, because scientists didn’t name it until later.

What is Dark Earth Rising?

The Dark Earth Rising series, of which the novel is a part, is a collection of standalone books. You can read them in any order. Each is a separate story, set in different places, with unique characters. A theme links the novels: some thing in nature striking back against damaging human activity.

To avoid confusion on my Amazon listing page, the short story The Root Witch is no longer available.

What’s next?

Now that the Root Witch novel is done, I’m working on the next book in the Dark Earth Rising series. This one is set in a copper mining town in Wyoming. Expect a murder mystery, haunted caves, and a creepy ghost story.

If you haven’t read it already, please check out The Devil’s Shallows. The eco-horror novel with something scary in the water, also a Dark Earth Rising novel, is set on the Central Coast of California not far from where I live.