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Haint Bluesletter - June 2023

Hi friends,

If you read my April/May Haint Bluesletter, then you might recall my promise to share my travels from the month of May. It was a busy one for this gal! I travelled a total of three weeks throughout the month, and all of those excursions were in the beautiful, hilly state of Tennessee.

As I embark on my next (BIG) fiction project—a 6-book magical realism / Southern Gothic series—I'm taking advantage of my travels to do a little research. Although this new book series is set in Georgia and Florida, what I learned while traveling through Tennessee is that I'm pretty sure I will follow this series with another... one set in the mysterious hills and hollows of a bygone Appalachia.

More to come in future newsletters as YOU are the first to hear the scoop!

As for this month's newsletter, here's what's inside:

I will never stop saying it: Thank YOU for helping make my author dreams come true.

In friendship and support,

Recently, on Instagram, I posted photos from my trip to Chattanooga. During an outing with my Muggle team, we went to Rock City. Y'all, it was stunning.

🖊New on the blog: 6 Priorities for Becoming a Better Storyteller

In my endeavor to become a better storyteller, I’ve uncovered six priorities, which I am happy to share with my fellow writers to support and encourage your own efforts.

Shederal, Jalan, and I joined my Uncle Les and Aunt Nancy (We call her Nain), in Blue Ridge, Georgia where we stayed in a cabin on the Toccoa River and took a train ride into Tennessee.

My Uncle Les is my Daddy's brother, and because he doesn't have any children of his own, and I am an only child, we are the only ones left on my paternal side. Being with them the last week of May was one of the best vacations I've ever taken. We had a blast.

Above, you can see photos of Uncle Les and their dog, Scoot. Scoot received a character in my novel Only the Rocks That Float! The moon made an appearance (and actually let me take a photo of her) and so did the largest land snail I've ever held. Snails symbolize sacred space and determined movement. Lastly, you can also see the shenanigans we got up to in the evenings—Nain whooped us on the Dominos table and the men-folk enjoyed sippin' on some 'shine.

Last but not least, the first week of May my best friend, Stacie, and I went to the Taylor Swift concert in Nashville! I've been a Swiftie since she first appeared on the music scene in the early 2000s. The show was incredible, and the full moon showed off right above the stadium. The night was absolutely enchanting. Afterwards, Stacie and I spent a few days (recovering) in Gatlinburg where I saw a mama bear and her babies! Awww... We also went to the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud, which was a hot mess in the best sense.

New writer resources coming soon!

In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of literary, Southern Gothic, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.

Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative®, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. She holds a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, and she has worked as an instructional designer for nearly twenty years.

When she’s not writing fiction, Mandy enjoys the movies, theater, music, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, and binging The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to enhance creativity and foster wellness. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four sons, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.

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