HAZARD – Jesse Wooton, Instructional Specialist with Hazard Community and Technical College, has recently published his first novel, Into the Hills, the Garden. Wooton will hold a reading and book signing Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Stephens Library on HCTC’s Hazard Campus.
Wooton began his journey as a writer in 2006 when he enrolled as a student at HCTC. He gives credit to the HCTC English faculty who encouraged him from the beginning.
“I’ve taken every English class that was offered, from every English faculty member except one.” Wooton said.
The College noted his work and dedication in 2007 when he received HCTC’s English Honors Award while completing his Associate in Arts degree.
Wooton continued his education at Morehead State University through its partnership with the University Center of the Mountains. He received his bachelor’s degree in December 2010.
While working as an ITV facilitator for the UCM, he learned that Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) had implemented an online Masters in Fine Arts program.
“Some of the EKU faculty were writing in the genre I was interested in – literary thrillers,” Wooton added.
He applied to the program and completed his graduate degree in fine arts in 2013.
In May 2015, Wooton received and accepted an invitation to publish his first novel, Into the Hills, the Garden, with Green Cup Books. Jesse describes the novel as “cornpone gothic.”
The novel focuses on Paul Sizemore, who has a dark gift, which allows him to see things which he should not. Paul knows every secret in every heart in the Eastern Kentucky holler where he was raised. His family’s Pentecostal faith marks him as something evil— he’s faced with overcoming a witch’s destiny to do right by the sister he adores or destroying everything he knows and loves.
When asked to comment on the release, Scott Lucero noted, “Mr. Wooton is an extraordinary talent. He manages to create a mysterious little world where the unexpected happens and then happens again. He does twisted like no one else. Having seen him read before, I look forward to the dark and delightful humor to his stories. “
To learn more about the stories, please make plans to attend this author event on Thursday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Stephens Library.