Published: May 31st, 2017
Vincent, a musical prodigy, is caught up in a concert rivalry with a former student. He travels to Romania to settle the score, but what he discovers is the horrific true story behind the song his protégé wrote, “The Man in the Forest.” Supernatural phenomena and horrific sights abound, but the locals are tight-lipped about the mysterious goings-on. Can Vincent and his group upstage their rival, or will they fall prey to the curse of the man in the forest?
Michael's Thoughts On: The Man In The Forest
Writing The Man In The Forest was quite a journey.
Working through an overtime filled career schedule and finding little time to write, the entire project took about two years. It began with a walk in my neighborhood at night. I was passing a wooded area and heard a noise that caught my attention. When I looked over at the trees, I saw a tall figure looking back at me. After staring for a moment, it was clear that I was looking at a bunch of mangled branches, but the adrenaline I felt in those few moments combined with what I initially thought I saw was the inspiration for the story.
I've always held a fascination with horror stories, however the endings of most usually left me disappointed. A series of exceptions I found were in short stories. There were a couple I was working on already; one about a living ventriloquist doll named Johnny Nelson, and the other about a feral child, Isabel Yell.
In the planning process for the book, I found a golden opportunity to combine these different horror concepts to revolve around the mysterious "man in the forest." With all the pieces in place, I had to find a path to an ending; it was the only portion I left vague in my planning stages. The climax in the book turned out to be improvised. The story had built to the point where I could allow it to tell itself. It no longer needed my "plotting" to do so. I'm proud of the result, but what I'm most proud of is the fact that the story is layered. A reader can go from cover to cover and just enjoy the ride, but they can also spot clues to solve several mysteries which weren't directly spelled out. There is a hidden theme to the story when following in the footsteps of the main character, Vincent, but I hid an even bigger mystery that readers still have yet to solve; who is "the man in the forest?" Nobody's found the answer yet (or at least no one's gotten it right who's taken a shot). All the secrets are hidden within the pages. Can you find them all?
About the author:
Born and raised in Central Florida, Michael Warriner pursued an early interest in learning music and creating characters in hand-drawn comic books. He began his career working simultaneously in the mental health industry and as a character performer at his local theme park. It was while pursuing his degree in Psychology that he began writing stories “just to kill time.” Before long, he had written two manuscripts. This developing interest in telling stories was further driven by his fascination with amateur filmmaking. By day, Michael now applies his education and training to assist clients diagnosed with mental illness. By night, he writes novels, and in his free time he composes music. He draws upon these varied interests to create unique characters and thrust them into memorable stories.