Friday, March 29, 2013

Calvin Dean, author of The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff

Author Bio:  Award winning Writer/Producer/Director/Editor Calvin Dean likes to stick his knows in the business of America’s Fortune 100 companies. When he isn’t producing corporate presentations, he’s churning out children’s books or supernatural, horror, mysteries and thrillers. Calvin lives with his family in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee. Visit him at or on Twitter @jcalvindean.

Title: (Debut) The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff
Author: Calvin Dean
ISBN: 9781482032314
Page count: 300
Genre:  Horror/Mystery
Price:  Regularly $15.99, now $10.20 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Kindle and Nook also available.

Tell us about your book:  In 1863, Jonas Barloff survived a fatal gunshot wound at Gettysburg.  Upon his return home to Mississippi after the war, heinous crimes ensued - and ceased upon his death in 1913.  Authorities never pinned the crimes on Barloff, which eventually attained folklore status.  It's 2013.  The crimes are back and so is a man claiming to be Jonas Barloff.  Meanwhile, a popular high school senior is dead, victim of a head-on collision.  One problem.  There was no second vehicle.  Its as if he hit a solid wall of thin air.  As the community mourns, two classmates begin to snoop.  A chance discovery places their deceased friend at a crumbling antebellum home, the old Barloff estate.  Will a puzzling epitaph in the Barloff family cemetery help the two teens solve the mystery?  Not until they come face-to-face with an evil no one could possibly imagine.  Even if they live to tell the story, no one will believe them.  Not in a million years.

How long did it take to write the book?
  The book began as a short story in 1972, the product of a ninth grade writing assignment. Placed in the back of my memory, the story reemerged in earnest in 2008.  Eleven manuscripts and two beta readers later, The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff was released on March 1, 2013.

What inspired you to write the book?  A fan of horror, I have often been left wanting with the novels I've read - wanting more horror, but not gratuitous violence.  More spooky atmosphere.  More shadows.  I decided to write the book I've always wanted to read.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?  The writing process took a while because I needed time to familiarize myself with the characters.  Their personalities needed time to develop and mature.  When I felt like writing, I wrote for hours at a time.  If I didn't feel inspired, I left the word document alone.  As for research, I read several Civil War articles and books to help me capture the proper tone.  The battle scenes depicted, though fiction, are based on actual events.  I visited several modern scenes mentioned in the manuscript for authenticity.  The small community mentioned is mythical, but based on my hometown, Senatobia, MS.  And finally, Jonas Barloff is based on two of my ancestors, one enlisted in the Confederacy in Grenada, MS and survived Gettysburg.  Another relative was wounded at Gettysburg and died at a POW camp in Maryland.  Genealogical research is courtesy of my Aunt Sybil.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
  Turn on the 10 PM newscast or open any local newspaper and you'll see stories of horrible violence - a school shooting, a terrorist strike, a drive-by shooting.  Even in my novel one gets the impression that evil prevails.  I want people to remember this: the future has been revealed in the pages of scripture.  God wins!

Excerpt from book:
Chapter 2: 
     Daniel wiped a sleeve across his perspiring forehead and sucked
in enough oxygen to expand his upper body, a vain attempt to
calm the hammering inside his chest. After several days of
contemplation, he reached his decision.
     On the first attempt, the car keys slipped from his sweaty palm and
dropped to the floorboard. Cursing under his breath, he grabbed the keys
and aimed for the ignition again. With one quivering twist of his wrist,
the Miata roared to life. The same shaking hand found the gear stick and
jammed it into drive.
     Daniel surveyed the street outside his parent’s home, the sidewalk,
the neighborhood. Satisfied the coast was clear, he applied the gas and
set his plans in motion. From this moment forward, there would be no
turning back.
     Daniel’s decision, made in the clear light of day, cast long shadows
of uncertainty, but because of the righteousness of his plan, his family’s
dilemma would soon be solved no matter how thorny the path.
     All that mattered to him was his father. Stricken with an aggressive
form of lung cancer, he refused to allow the disease to humble his family
of modest means. When the oncologist prescribed a regimen of
chemotherapy, the side effects of which included certain financial ruin,
Daniel sought an alternative, if unconventional remedy.
     He steered his Miata from the highway onto Whitten’s Ferry Road
at Magnolia Cemetery. On this cool, early evening in March, a thin fog
haunted the tombstones to his immediate left. Pressing the accelerator,
the sports car surged past the graveyard and into the rural countryside.
     By dark, he arrived at an antebellum home of Victorian architectural
design – his destination. Suffering decades of neglect, the once stately
residence now bowed under the weight of its crumbling facade. From
Daniel’s vantage, the home looked abandoned. Uninhabitable. Evil.
     Regardless, his confidential appointment required immediate
attention. The secret transaction, born of love but conceived in hell,
lacked one small but significant detail – a signature. Once enacted, the
ill-advised pact assured perilous and irrevocable consequences, execution
of which could come at a time and place not of Daniel’s choosing.
     The terms didn’t matter. In fact, the terms meant nothing to Daniel.
His father’s sudden turn of misfortune left him little choice. Besides, he
was not convinced his plan would end badly. After all, he was a high
school senior and star athlete with his entire life ahead of him. Time
offered plenty of opportunity to right egregious wrongs.
     Steering the car from the pockmarked road into the unpaved
driveway and over the overgrown dormant lawn, Daniel stopped the

Where can we go to buy your book?  The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff is available in paperback, Kindle and Nook at and Barnes & Noble.

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
Barnes & Noble:



  1. I got a chill looking at this cover!
    Now I want to read the book more than ever before!!

  2. Virginia, thanks for the opportunity to connect with friends, readers and anyone interested in the authoring process. I had a great time being in the spotlight. Hoping for even greater success for your blog.

  3. Thanks for sharing about your book and you Calvin. Also, thank you everyone for supporting this blog and what it is all about. It has been very exciting seeing the reach grow with each post.