I just saw a wee thread on a Ramsey Campbell site in which people were discussing my fiction, and one lad was saying how frustrated he was that I am so dogmatic about remaining an author of Lovecraftian horror. Here's the thing: I am convinced that my growing reputation has been the result of staying Lovecraftian in the majority of my work. I want to cultivate a solid core of readers, and I want those brave souls to be Lovecraft fans. Because I care absolutely nothing for commercial "success", I have the freedom to write exactly what I want to write. But with this freedom comes a responsibility to do my very best -- especially if my fiction is supposed to be a sincere tribute to Lovecraft. We do not pay homage to Lovecraft by stealing his ideas -- and although I love to borrow bits from his weird tales, I hope that I do so with ingenuity, in my own way. I believe, and this has been my goal as an author, that we can write Lovecraftian fiction that is uniquely our own. We must, if our work is to have any validity.
However, I feel that I have certainly crossed over the Mythos fence and written tales that are not in any way Lovecraftian. My collaborative tale in Allen K's INHUMAN #4 is in no way Lovecraftian -- and my story in S. T. Joshi's BLACK WINGS -- although it deals in part with Richard Pickman -- is not very Lovecraftian, but rather tries to be an original work that has its inspirational roots in "Pickman's Model". One of my favouriter tales in SESQUA VALLEY & OTHER HAUNTS is "The Zanies of Sorrow," and I like it because it seems to me original in a non-Lovecraftian way.
Yes, I am adamant in remaining an author who is linked to my Master and my Muse, H. P. Lovecraft. But I don't think this retards my efforts. Lovecraft is an eternal fount of priceless inspiration -- moreso now than ever before. We can write in his tradition and still be absolutely our artistic selves. Selah.