The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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March 18, 2013

Raleigh man's trilogy published

A Raleigh County man who has been writing since he was 13 years old has recently published a dark trilogy called “The Valley of the Shadow.”

Nathan Manning describes his trilogy as a dark, horrific tale of the moral decay of 21st century society.

“The storyline is about the apocalypse and the last nine months leading up to the end of mankind.”

Manning drew inspiration from novels like Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and George Orwell’s “1984.”

“It’s really about drug abuse, political corruption, ecological devastation. It’s a mind trip with very complex, college-level reading material. It’s not light fare at all.”

Manning, a Liberty High School graduate, said he has always been drawn to writing, and his style has evolved over time.

“I write a little of everything. I started out with poetry and songs in middle school and high school, then moved on to essays and short stories later.”

He said “The Valley of the Shadow” trilogy is a gripping story that adds up to over 1,000 pages, but the cliffhangers and intense plot keep readers turning the pages.

“One narrator tells the whole story in daily journal entries. It’s almost like a puzzle, but the more you read, the more pieces fall into place.”

This is Manning’s first published piece and is now available online at Barnes and Noble, as well as Amazon.

He said that he works at a convenience store and part three of the trilogy recently hit the shelves there.

“At that store alone, we’ve sold over 300 copies. People are reading it and they’re loving it. It’s going better than I had ever hoped.”

He said he is unsure how many online copies have been sold, as he only receives payment twice per year.

Since he put a link to his books on his website, he said the global numbers have dramatically spiked, showing readers from as far away as Switzerland and Australia.

“I believe in them. I think they’re highly marketable and I’m not stopping until Hollywood comes knocking on my door. I think it addresses very important social issues of the day.”

Although this moral fable “plunges into the dark reaches of the mind,” Manning will soon show his versatility in a comedy book that will be released later this year.

For more information and to stay updated on Manning’s work, visit www.musepages.com.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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