Local writer pens debut novel

ST. MARYS — A local resident recently had his first foray into print, as he debuted his first novel.

St. Marys resident Jason Thornsberry penned “Family Debt: The Devil’s Due” under the name J.D. Thornsberry after he was inspired by events that happened to him at a haunted house.

“Somebody a couple of years ago asked me to go to a house they thought might be haunted and take some photographs,” Thornsberry said. “I ended up taking an audio recorder, and I started getting voices and things.”

After the first visit, Thornsberry returned to the home.

“We went back to the house and had some odd experiences,” he said.

“Family Debt: The Devil’s Due,” he said, is loosely based on some of the experiences Thornsberry had in the haunted home.

“It is fiction,” Thornsberry said of his first novel. “I started writing it a little over a year ago. It took me about nine months to write it.”

It took some persuasion, Thornsberry said, to start the novel.

“I was telling my sister about the things that happened, and she told me I should write about it,” he said.

So, he took her advice.

“I sat down and started writing, and it kind of all came out,” he said. “It was my first experience with writing, and I had fun.”

After he had some pages finished, Thornsberry said he had a few of his friends read it to gauge their reactions to the story.

“The people I gave rough copies to liked it,” he said.

Thornsberry said the novel is a mix of genres, but is generally a ghost story.

“The man in the house is slowly driven in sane by the ghost haunting his house, and he doesn’t realize it’s there,” he said.

The best way to describe it, he said, is a way one of his readers described it to him.

“I had somebody describe it to me as scary, suspenseful with spirituality and an uplifting story,” he said. “I had people write back and tell me how it hooked them — one woman had planned on reading it on her vacation, and she didn’t put it down.”

Thornsberry said “Family Debt: The Devil’s Due” follows a man who offers his soul to the devil, but he gets scared before he goes through with it.

“He’s plagued for over a year by a visitor in black, and it’s driving him insane,” he said. “It goes back and forth between the 1930s and present day.”

“Family Debt: The Devil’s Due” can be found at Amazon.com for purchasing the hard copy, as well as the digital copy for the Kindle. The St. Marys Community Public Library also has a copy of the book.