My name is Nolan Emerson and, along with my good friend Jared Drocy,
I am the author of “Shadyside: A Horror Novel”.
The novel takes place in our hometown of Lakewood and Jamestown, NY where we both grew up. Jared was raised and spent most of his life on a road called Shadyside Rd in Lakewood. The story mainly takes place on its namesake, though it is completely fictional. We wrote the majority of that story in the very house where the book takes place. “Shadyside” is a dark and twisted roller coaster that culminates into an ending that is shocking and has stuck with many of our readers well after they put the book down. John Willman, a seemingly normal, blue collar man, spirals down a dark path after tragedy and uncovered secrets plague his life. Donna Mayhart, a loving, single mother and nurse finds herself and her six year old daughter caught in John’s twisted descent into uncontrollable evil.
I had no intentions of writing a book in my life.
once I was out of a job like many of you in 2020, I had nothing in my life. No direction. Stuck at home with no purpose. I bought “The Outsider” by Stephen King and the lightbuld was lit in my head. I was good at creative writing and school but for the first time, writing a book of my own occurred to me while reading King, my favorite author.
I called Jared, who had many of the same horror interests as me and asked him to join me in this journey.And that’s where it all began. Jared and I wrote this story in the midst of the pandemic. In the darkest times of our life, we reached to the deepest parts of our mind to bring to life a story that is not for the faint hearted. This is a first person dual perspective of how tragedy and traumas effect us in a different way. We explore the nature versus nurture debate. How much are we really in control of? We all have demons. Some shelter them away while others allow themselves to be consumed. But what if those very demons weren’t something in your own head? What if they were around you? What if you believed them to be your best friend? Our demons take advantage of us when we’re at our most vulnerable. Many of us are scared to be lonely but maybe instead we should be scared that we’re not alone.
There are many, many layers to unpack in “Shadyside”.
Our goal was to write something genuinely scary. Something that stuck with people. When you put the book down for the night, we wanted you to struggle to sleep. We wanted our characters to live in your head the way some of them experience themselves. Too many books and movies today, in my opinion, are afraid to go THERE with their story. We didn’t want to be part of that mold. If you love horror, this book is for you. I took a great many influences in this story. Most are subconscious but one that I was aware of was the influence of Ari Aster’s “Hereditary”. That film changed the way I looked at horror. If you have seen that movie and understand the subtleties that are hidden within the movie, you’ll see some of those same themes explored in “Shadyside”. As i said, I also took great influence from Stephen King, the horror master. “IT” was a novel that had a huge impact on my writing. I had never been so immersed in a world as I was while reading that story. That’s when the importance of character development was really driven home to me. You can have a great storyline, great twists, and a beautiful way with words, but if they don’t care about your characters, your story will fall flat. That’s what I learned most from King.
I am currently writing a prequel to “Shadyside”.
My goal is to turn this into a trilogy which was the plan from the beginning. You will actually get to read part of the first chapter of the prequel in “Shadyside” itself. Jared will not be part of the next two books. Life has a way of pulling you in unexpected directions. With his first kid on the way, that is, of course, his main priority. He will still be a part of the following books in input and support. The following stories wouldn’t exist without him! But I am excited to venture on my own and continue to build my way to becoming a full time author!
Beyond the “Shadyside” trilogy I have ideas for some horror comedies. Something that’s lighter in tone but still has my heart of horror. I also have ideas for some “Goosebumps” style kids horror! Where the journey brings me, I will go!
An interesting fact about me is that I don’t just write in the horror genre. I have immersed myself in it. When I was eighteen, I formed a group with my friends and we traveled the country and filmed documentaries inside America’s most haunted locations. These documentaries can be found on YouTube under “PitchBlack Paranormal”. I have had countless unexplainable experiences in those quests.
If you’re interested in reading “Shadyside: A Horror Novel”, it is available on Amazon in hardcover and paperback. It is also free on Kindle Unlimited!