Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Miskatonic Books and Blog

Larry Roberts, of Bloodletting Press and Arcane Wisdom, is a devoted Lovecraftian and now has opened a new bookstore at Horror Mall:    By clicking on the title of this blog entry you will be taken to Larry's new Miskatonic Books blog.

I am really really excited about Larry's forthcoming publication of my new book, my charmed book as I call it.  His books are so beautifully designed and produced, and this adds to the joy of being published.  Book-making is an art, and I love my books to be as artful and gorgeous as possible.  Although the main edition of Some Unknown Gulf of Night will be a paper-bound chapbook, there will be a limited hardcover edition of 100 copies.

I am now working on the next two books, one for Miskatonic River Press (a book that I have tentatively titled Gathered Dust and Others) and a book I am writing with Maryanne K. Snyder.  The book that I am writing for MRP will be a traditional and yet very strange collection of Cthulhu Mythos fiction.  The tone of the book has been highly influenced by the wondrous artwork of Santiago Caruso, who will be illustrating my book.  The book I am writing with Maryanne will be a 100,000 word collection of weird fiction, prose-poems and verse all of which will be inspired by the works on Clark Ashton Smith.  I am determined that this book will have a first edition hardcover, and Jerad of Centipede Press has expressed a tentative interest in publishing it!

So I have an entire year of work ahead of me, lots and lots of writing.  One of the aspects of gathering at MythosCon was to realise that the world of Lovecraftian publications and Mythos writing is quite alive and thriving.  We have much to look forward to!

Monday, January 10, 2011

MythosCon was Intense ! !

My darlings:--

I had such a great time at MythosCon, which was certainly the most amazing and exciting Lovecraftian event I have ever attended.  The photos above shew me holding up a Japanese paperback edition of Cutting Edge -- editor Dennis Etchison brought copies to give to me and Bill Nolan.  As far as I know, it is my only appearance in Japanese.  What a fabulous gift!  The other photo is me reading from my newest book,
Some Unknown Gulf of Night, to be published this year by Arcane Wisdom and illustrated by the magnificent Matthew Jaffe.  I hate doing readings and I was very glad that Robert M. Price went ten minutes over in his reading just before mine, thus I only had to read for twenty minutes rather than half an hour, and five minutes of that was spent yakking about my new book.

I flew down with some of the most devoted Lovecraftians I have ever known, Greg Lowney and Maryanne K. Snyder, and their youngest son Victor.  Greg is one of the fellows who helps to organize and run The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, and Maryanne is one of the finest readers of weird fiction, a woman of intense wisdom regarding the genre, and my collaborator.  She and I will write our first collaborative book this year, a collection of 100,000 words of weird fiction and poetry inspired by the works of Clark Ashton Smith.  Centipede Press has already shewn a tentative interest in publishing it.  We had a hotel some three miles from the convention, but Tempe has a wonderful free bus (the blue bus) that Greg and I rode one time.  I lucked out in that Sunni and Jason Brock, who were also staying at the hotel, gave daily rides to and from the hotel to S. T. Joshi and myself.

It's always such a pleasure to get together with S. T., but it is most wonderful to see him in full Lovecraftian mode as he was at this convention.  He knows (and remembers) so much, has such interesting ideas (with which one does not always agree), and he has worked so diligently.  All of the panels he was on, concerning the revisions or the letters or Lovecraft scholarship, were of intense interest, hugely because of him.  But he was joined on these panels with other giants such as Steve Mariconda and and Ken Fair, Jr.  I've known Ken through correspondence for about 40 years but this was the first time we have met, and he is a pure Lovecraftian gentleman.

Some writers and editors I was hoping to hang out with did make it.  I had some quality time with the charming Lois Gresh, and it was fascinating to talk with her at length in Hospitality and find out that we shared so many views on aspects of writing and other things.  She is delightful.

It was a blast, as always, to see Ramsey Campbell, and his reading (of his story from Black Wings, was hugely entertaining.  For some reason I missed Cody Goodfellow's reading, but the wild man and I were on a panel together about modern Mythos writers, and he was great.  We invited Bob Price and Ann K. Schwader to participate on the panel as well.  Ann's reading, of her poetry, was excellent, and I am intensely excited about a sonnet cycle concerning Lavinia Whateley that will be a portion of a forthcoming collection!

The best readings, for me, were by the incredibly handsome Matt Cardin and the intensely fascinating and talented Michael Cisco.  Both men are superb Lovecraftian scholars as well, and their weird fiction is quite simply some of the finest out there.  Matt has a recent collection out from Mythos Books.  We both had stories in The Children of Cthulhu.  But it was the Michael Cisco reading that blew my mind.  It was a performance, really, and a chilling one.  He read his extremely disturbing tale from Black Wings, narrating it as the people who told the tale.  He did this with such powerful conviction that we were all utterly amazed when the reading ended.

I got to meet Walt DeBill and Richard Gavin, two of the gents (along with Bob Price and Jeffrey Thomas and Don Webb) with whom I wrote a Lovecraftian round-robin story that will be published in the next issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction.  Among scholars was the always excellent Peter Cannon, who is also the author of some fine weird fiction, much of it humorous.  I was extremely pleased to learn that Peter will be having a new collection of weird fiction published by Subterranean Press!

One of the real highlights was a slide show and talk given by Steve Mariconda concerning the area that inspired Lovecraft to write "The Colour Out of Space" -- such a thrilling presentation that really opened my eyes concerning the area called Arkham.

Donald Sidney-Fryer is one of our polished gems, an excellent fellow in every way, who speaks the music of poetry so beautifully.  His presentation of the poetry of Spenser, Clark Ashton Smith, Nora May French, George Sterling -- and his own brilliant poetry (published recently by Hippocampus Press) -- was outstanding and hypnotic.  We were graced with fine writers from all over, including the brilliant Canadian writer Simon Strantzas and the writer from Lovecraft's Providence, Jonathan Thomas.  New York poet Fred Phillips gave a delightful reading from his recently published Hippocampus poetry collection, and the amazing William F. Nolan is still writing as he approaches age 83 -- he is working on his first Arkham House collection!

Two of my intense joys at MythosCon was meeting Matthew Jaffe and Tom Lynch.  Matthew is such a great artist.  The original painting of his cover for Laird Barron's Occultation was on display in art room, and then he brought an unfinished piece that was just as remarkable.  His talent is immense and his style simply divine.  When Larry Roberts asked me about who I wanted to illustrate my Arcane Wisdom book, I immediately thought of Matthew, and he has agreed!  I'm in heaven.  Tom Lynch now runs Miskatonic River Press.  Last year he asked if I would be interested in writing him a collection of weird fiction set in Lovecraft Country, and I said that I would.  That will be the first book I complete this year, a wee thing of around 50,000 words.  And, yes!, it will be illustrated by Santiago Caruso!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Tom is a delightful fellow and absolutely devoted to bringing out new books of good Mythos fiction.  We talked S. T. Joshi into writing an Introduction for this new book, which I hope is but the first of many I write for Tom.

Okay, I need to get some more sleep.  Utterly exhausted.  Many many thanks, Adam and Mark, for the finest convention I have ever been to.  I have touched on just a part of it here.  It was four fantastic days, and I have come home with more energy than ever before for the writing of my books of Lovecraftian weird fiction.  You make me so proud to be a modern Mythos writer.  I wish you the best of luck with continuing this amazing convention.  If you are able to do it again, I think it may be remarkable how the attendance will have grown.  I have every intention of talking about it continually on my YouTube channel, and will soon send you some $$$ for pre-registration for next year!  Ia!  Ia!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Santiago Caruso and Miskatonic River Press

The year is starting off well, with an official story acceptance.  I wrote a wee tale for Dead But Dreaming 2, an anthology forthcoming from Miskatonic River Press.  Tom Lynch, of MRP, then invited me to write a collection of traditional Mythos fiction for him, and it sounded like a nice challenge, with each tale set in Lovecraft Country.  I've looked at some of the products from the press online and have been very impressed with the atmospheric cover illustrations.  Then, I recently did a Google search on "The Dunwich Horror," and I came across a video on YouTube that showcased Santiago Caruso's amazing illustrations for Lovecraft's tale -- and I was simply blown away!  As is evident by now, I love Lovecraftian art, especially illustrations for Lovecraft's weird tales.  It is one of my great disappointments that I have absolutely no talent for drawing.  I have a number of artists appear in my fiction, and I am now preparing to write a complete book of tales concerning a weird New England artist, a book I am going to write with Jeffrey Thomas, who is himself a fine artist.

When I discovered that Santiago Caruso does art for Miskatonic River Press, I became really excited -- perhaps there was a chance that my publisher could get Santiago to draw the cover illustration for my book!  I shall be meeting Tom at MythosCon, and I am going to stress how wonderful such a thing would be.  And the very idea of it makes me approach the writing of that book differently -- I want to be more descriptive and visual in my prose style.

I've been trying to work on a tale that I will submit for possible inclusion in Arkham Nightmares, an anthology being edited for Arkham House by Lois Gresh.  I have no been successful, everything I have try'd to do has been a false start.  Then, last night, I was watching a program devoted to the marvelous poet, W. S. Merwin, during which he read a poem that mentioned following a black dog -- and that was the key I needed.  I now have almost 1,000 words of semi-polish.  I had planned to set the tale in Sesqua Valley, but 'tis nigh set in Arkham.  Perhaps I'll have a rough version that I can shew to Lois when I meet her at MythosCon.  I am so looking forward to that convention!