This past weekend was the first annual Harlan Crypto Con. I attended the event as a vendor, team member Tony Felosi did a presentation and team member Jennifer Williams lunched her Urban X jewelry line at the event. Also in attendance was author and friend, Judith Hensley who was there to unveil two new books.
We know some of you may not be familiar with Judith's work but her latest two book are sure to draw attention from much of the cryptozoological field. We thought it would be great to conduct a short interview with Judith and tell you about her fantastic new books.
TM: We want people to get to know you, so tell us a little bit about your background?
JH: I was born in Harlan County, grew up just outside of Chicago and came back to live and teach in Harlan County when I finished my teaching degree at Cumberland College because I love the mountains and the people here that are my roots. I've been writing since I was in grade school. I retired from 30 years of teaching at Wallins Elementary in Harlan County. My greatest passions in life are my faith, my family, writing, and photography. I LOVE the great outdoors and the beauty of God's handiwork through nature.
TM: What inspired you to write your 2 newest books?
JH: I started collecting stories over 40 years ago from other people. Among those were tales of animal encounters, black panthers, and bigfoot tales. My students did 11 story gathering book projects while I was teaching. I've been involved in, written, or published around 35 books all together.
TM: About how long did it take you to compile the stories and get the book done?
JH: When I decided it was time to put the panther tales together, I had a great inpouring of comments from Appalachian Americans when I asked if anyone had seen a black panther. I also had almost 100 pages of bigfoot sightings. So the Panther Tales book split into two books - Panther Tales and Woodland Encounters AND Bigfoot and Woolybooger Tales.
TM: How has the response been to books, so far?
JH: I had generally collected these stores over many years, but from the time I made the decision to put them together and get them published was from January - April 2018. The books are hot off the press, so I can't honestly judge how much public interest there is or will be, but it seems like both topics are those that people find interesting.
TM: Do you have any future books in the works, if so what are they about?
JH: I am currently working on the 4th book in a Christian women's faith based series of Warrior Women which is a collection of stories from women of all ages and all walks of life who have overcome challenges through the love and strength they've found in Christ. The current book open for submissions is Warrior Women: Victory on the Battlefront of the Mind. Panther Tales II is already in progress and I am very interested in hearing from women with a story for the Warrior Women Series, or anyone who has a big cat story to tell or other unusual woodland encounter.
I'm always writing something, including my weekly column for the Harlan Daily Enterprise that has been carried for over 20 years, "Plain Thoughts." I currently have 18 books in print through Amazon.com and also available on Kindle.
TM: Are there any thing else you would like to add?
JH: I'd like to thank the people who carried interviews with me on their podcast shows - Jimmy Blanton, Daniel Benoit, and Ed Brown. Also, I appreciate interviews with Thomas Marcum, Michael Cooke, Ed Brown, Tony Felosi, and Byron Crawford. I'm a story gatherer for many of my book projects. Without people's willingness to share their stories, many of my books would not exist.
TM: Well, it was my pleasure to let you interview me for your book. I'm glad you found the stories interesting and was able to include them. Thanks for doing this short interview with me. We wish you much success with the new books and your future projects.
I have been reading Judith's Bigfoot and Woolybooger Tales and I'll have to say it is a very good read and I have almost finished it already. I think many people who have an interest in Bigfoot will enjoy reading it. The book presents some historical background information along with numerous modern day sightings. The intent of the book is not to prove or disprove the existence of Bigfoot, but to share stories from people who say they have had eyewitness accounts. As stated I did an interview with Judith for her books and I'm glad my person account and some of my research is included. I think readers will really like it and want more. If you would like to purchase this book you can do so by Clicking Here!
I have not started reading Panther Tales and Woodland Encounters yet. But I do know we have this big cat in our neck of the woods. In fact, I seen one last summer myself. I'm sure this will also be a great read. What makes this even more interesting is that Judith has seen a black panther herself.
I can remember numerous times that some member of my family has described and told about these panthers. I'm glad that Judith has put this book together with the various stories. We are often told by officials that we just don't have black panthers around here but there is a lot of people who would dispute that. If you would like to purchase this book, then please Click Here!
Here are a few more of Judith's other books.
Also check out a couple of her websites.
One Step Beyond the Door
Mountain Wisdom Mountain Folk
This post by Thomas Marcum, Thomas is the founder/leader of the cryptozoology and paranormal research organization known as The Crypto Crew. Over 20 years experience with research and investigation of unexplained activity, working with video and websites. A trained wild land firefighter and a published photographer, and poet.
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