A book set in West Virginia is a paranormal murder thriller | West Virginia News
By SAVANNA SHRIVER, Times West Virginian
FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — “Josephine’s Star” is the first book in a six-book series called “The Spiker’s Instruments.” This is a paranormal murder mystery thriller set in West Virginia.
“I wanted the main focus to be to make West Virginia as quaint and scenic and beautiful as it is,” said author William Marcato. “To use real locations with a bit of license – places that anyone in the area would know about and could visit.”
The book features several locations based on Marion County Staples. For example, the High Level Bridge, Rock Lake, and Valley Falls are evident in the novel. Marcato said all character names were also carefully selected. Russell is a character in the book named for Russell Yann, who died in January 2021 and owner of Yann’s hot dog stand.
“I think it’s an honor to be included in a book about West Virginia. The story is very good and I think it was a very nice thing to do,” said Catherine Galambus, daughter of Yann and owner of Yann’s Hot Dog Stand.
“My dad probably would have loved him, but he wouldn’t have said he loved him,” Galambus said.
Marcato came up with the idea for the book in 2006. He said the six-book series could be used as a tool for people interested in paranormal things, especially psychic abilities. Marcato said that growing up he did things out of order and wanted to make sure readers followed the right steps. For example, he explained that using a Ouija board as a child might have been too much for a child.
“I’ve always been interested in paranormal things. I’ve been researching this, actually, since I was a teenager. But what I generally do is I look at different belief systems when it comes to religion, science, and the paranormal, and I like to see where those three intersect,” Marcato said.
William Marcato is actually the pseudonym of William Kittle, son of Helen and Arnold Kittle, who were both Marion County teachers for 62 years. Helen ended her teaching career as a librarian at Fairmont Senior High. She died on February 21, 2012. In honor of the release of Marcato’s book and the 10th anniversary of Helen Kittle’s death, Fairmont Senior Librarian Tricia Parker set up a memory board and book display in the library where Kittle taught.
Parker said she thought the display would be a great way to honor a fellow librarian.
“I jump at every opportunity to support a local author…I read the book and thought it was great. It was interesting and kind of left you on a cliffhanger,” Parker said.
Marcato was always interested in reading from an early age, but he never thought he would be an author. He started college majoring in chemistry but switched to English. He wrote several poems and short stories, but “L’étoile de Joséphine” is his first published book.
Helen Kittle was William’s teacher. Marcato said his mother was a wonderful teacher and a person who could make anything fun.
“She had the face of her teacher. It’s a strange feeling to share your mother with your friends. And people certainly saw her as a very motherly figure,” Marcato said of having her mother as a teacher. “I didn’t have a first name for a very long time. I was Mrs. Kittle’s son probably until I was about 35 years old.
Kittle said he felt a special connection to his mother. She was a bit superstitious, but never really believed in anything as passionately as Marcato. The book is dedicated to both of his parents.
“My mom always said to find a career that you love and enjoy, that you can either help or entertain people, but also give back to your community. I think with that I did all three,” Marcato said.
Marcato expects the second book, which will focus on learning how to use tarot cards, to be released around October. “Joséphine’s Star” is available in paperback or ebook. His Instagram and Tik Tok are @spikersinstruments.
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