Sunday, December 25, 2011

New Hardcover Collection

I went to Amazon and wrote a wee review of my new book, GATHERED DUST AND OTHERS, typing up the Contents and all; only to get a message from Amazon that my review could not be published "as is."  They have done this too many times at Amazon.  There is absolutely no reason for my review to be rejected or censored.  So, a pox on them.  I doubt I'll be bothering to write any more reviews there.  Still, it's a great place to have your book available at.
Of course, as soon as I have a new book published I have to re-read the entire thing in book form because I KNOW there are gonna be typos that I've missed.  No matter how carefully a book is proofed, the misprints sneak in.  I can read the proof copy one-hundred times and never find some--and then I read the published book and find them instantly!  Jeffrey Thomas and I proofed the book together, and he found most of the mistakes.  I did find a few.  On one page I meant to type "especial," but it appears as "especially."  Bah.  

I wanted GATHERED DUST  to include some things that have never appeared in hardcover, and I wanted to include most of my "dead boyfriend" tales that were inspired by the death of my old junky boyfriend, who died in my arms after having choked on bile, after he snorted some filthy street smack.  I have a new wee thing, a tale of Gershom that is tied to the story "The Tangled Muse," and so I had "The Tangled Muse" included in the book even though it will also appear in my forthcoming book from Hippocampus Press.  

Most of the new stuff is Lovecraftian.  One of the new original pieces is "These Deities of Rarest Air."  I know I wrote the thing when I was in a state of deep depression -- but I have no memory of this new prose-poem sequence being so confused and lacking of any kind of logic.  It is, for the most part, like one continuous wail of self-pity, and I am rather embarrassed by it now.  I guess it shews a portion of my mentality that may be of some interest to psychologists, but self-pity rarely profits expressions of personal art.  It inspired horror as I read it--the horror of "Oh my gawd, why did I allow this to be published!!!???"  But I like the connected couple of bits at the end that tell a kind of story, so what the hell.

This is my first book with Dark Regions Press, and I am absolutely exhilarated with their production of it.  The handsome hardcover has a sewn-in gold book ribbon and the jacket is sturdy.  I love Wayne Miller's superb painting for the jacket.  It shews a scene from the title story, which is a sequel to J. Vernon Shea's "The Haunter of the Graveyard" that appeared in Derleth's original edition of TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS.  The story as it appears in this book is actually its second version.  The original version was written in segments for a 10,000 word extension of my prose-poem/vignette sequence, "Uncommon Places," as it will appear next year in my second collection from Hippocampus Press.  Each segment in "Uncommon Places" is inspired by some entry or entries in H. P. Lovecraft's Commonplace Book.  It came to me that I could make this 10,000 word final extension mostly a connected short story inspired by Shea's tale, something I have wanted to write for a long time.  So the plot of the story was inspired by such entries from the Commonplace Book as:
[entry 176] "Man blindfolded and taken in closed cab or car to some very ancient or secret place."  So I have a scene where the main character is blindfolded in a cab.
[165] "Terrible trip to an ancient and forgotten tomb" inspired the expansion on something that Vernon mentioned in his original story but never expanded on, of the tomb of Obediah Carter.
[112] "Man lives near graveyard--how does he live?  Eats no food."  This inspired a major component in the tale and is illustrated in the jacket painting by Wayne Miller.  Here's how I briefly describe it in ye tale:

"My uncles experiments with filming seemed to incorporate some kind of trick photography near the end, for on the last spool of film he is shown in close up, dangling from the vines of the tree, vines that resembled cloudy veins through which a dark substance flowed in the direction of my uncle's upraised arms, into which the vines had penetrated.  Uncle Silas did not regard the camera as he muttered, 'More, more--my arms are hungry.'"

When I began working on this first book for Dark Regions Press, I decided to completely rewrite those separate segments from "Uncommon Places" and turn them into one smooth narrative, a novelette that I could then dedicate to Vernon, my dear chum.  I expanded some portions of the story and deleted some of the prose-poem segments that will appear in UNCOMMON PLACES when it is published next Spring by Hippocampus Press.  

GATHERED DUST AND OTHERS, then, is a good gathering of divergent pieces, a showcase of all aspects of my writing.  I have my "dead boyfriend" takes, a new tale set in Gershom, my city of exiles ("Let Us Wash This Thing"), and some few things that have never appeared in hardcover.  The book will also be released as trade pb and will be my first ebook, for ye with Kindle.

Next year my second book for Dark Regions Press will be publish'd:  ENCOUNTERS WITH ENOCH COFFIN, written in collaboration with Jeffrey Thomas.  It contains a series of connected tales and novelettes concerning a sinister New England artist, Enoch Coffin, who is lured into intensely Lovecraftian adventures through his love of arcane things and his connection with antient New England sorcery.


  1. So I sent a query to Amazon concerning my review of my book, and they said it is their policy not to allow authors to review their own books. And yet I have reviewed most of my own books there! It's a bad policy. An author can explain her book to a potential buyer as no one else can.

  2. It seems very stupid. I have enjoyed your prior reviews, as they have provided useful information. And of course since they are clearly signed by you they do not have any undue influence, except perhaps the superficial one of raising the star rating. Perhaps they should set things up so the author can leave "blank stars" or some such.

    Until they get sensible, maybe you could ask a Friend to post the informational portion of the material.