First, I want to thank those of you who have ordered Tom Ligotti's Centipede Press book as a result of watching my videos concerning the book. It came as a surprise to me that YouTube could be used as a form of book promotion; when I first began to do my video blogs, I just thought, wow, what a cool tool for queer-punk exhibitionism, what a great way to nauseate the planet. But as a serious tool for discussing my own books and those of authors I admire, YouTube is ideal. Now if only I can get rid of that annoying whirring sound that has begun to plague my audio. I'm going to purchase an individual digital mic to plug into the mic outlet and see if that helps. Of course, I can rarely be completely sane and Literary in my videos, and often my imp of ye perverse commands that I be goofy; thus my reading from Tom's superb book was prefaced with four minutes of Lady Gaga shtick.
My next-to-be-published book will be UNCOMMON PLACES, from Hippocampus Press. The majority of the book is made up on the newer things that I wrote for my Centipede Press omnibus; many readers simply could not afford the expensive hardcover, and I like to have my writing available in less expensive trade pb editions. The above image is Gwabryel's front cover painting, and he has provided many interior illustrations as well. I consider UNCOMMON PLACES my second-best book, following SOME UNKNOWN GULF OF NIGHT. S. T. Joshi encouraged me to write a number of wee prose-poems for the book, a form that I adore. The book reprints my prose-poem/vignette sequences that pay homage to Oscar Wilde and Edgar A. Poe. The book's title piece was previously published in THE TANGLED MUSE, but for this new book I have added an additional 10,000 words to the sequence, making it 25,000 words. Using Lovecraft's Commonplace Book, I wove a tale in segments that is a sequel to J. Vernon Shea's "The Haunter of the Graveyard." I have since revised and expanded those segments as a single entity and entitled it "Gathered Dust," and it is the title piece for my new book from Dark Regions Press. I had expected UNCOMMON PLACES to be published first, but such was not the case, so the second version of the sequel to dear Vernon's tale has been published before the first version. Vernon Shea was a wonderful friend whom I met through correspondence in the early 1970's, when I first became an obsessed Lovecraft fan and wrote to as many of the surviving members of the Lovecraft Circle as I could. Vernon and I became very close, talked often on the 'phone, and he really supported my early Mythos writing, poor as those stories were. I was annoyed when his "The Haunter of the Graveyard" was dropped from TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS when Jim Turner re-edited that book for Arkham House, and had plotted ever since to write a sequel to Vernon's story as a way of paying homage to our friendship.
There are many very strange wee prose-poems in UNCOMMON PLACES, and a new sequence entitled "Letters from an Old Gent," made up of prose-poems in the form of letters that Lovecraft might have written to various chums and loved ones. The book is really solid and contains what I feel is my best writing of those things that I had penned before writing SOME UNKNOWN GULF OF NIGHT. The book will be the first Hippocampus Press book to be published this year, so I expect it to come out next month or early March.
My lab results are in from my new doctor's examination, and my health is much improved. I've changed my diet and am taking my heart medications, and I hope to really return to writing this year. I didn't think my writing had much of a future, I was so weak, and thus I announced my complete retirement. Happily, that was absurdly premature. The writing is still very slow-going. I am writing a book of weird fiction with Jessica Amanda Salmonson, but I suspect this will be a two-year project. The book will be a combination of past book ideas, with some strange and campy stories, and some tales inspired by Clark Ashton Smith. I also want to write another book inspired by Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth. Another mate, Paul of Cthulhu, who runs the yog-sothoth.com site (click on the title of this blog to be taken to the yog-sothoth forum), has recorded his own reading of the sonnets, and he supplied me with a file for listening to his remarkable readings, read in his beautiful British voice (I simply adore poetry readings by Brits)--and it filled me with an ache to return to HPL's Fungi and write one more book completely inspired by the sonnets, but this time a book of actual stories rather than prose-poems. I'm going to dedicate the book to Paul and see if Arcane Wisdom Press wants to publish it. Again, writing is slow-going, so it may take me more than a year to write the thing. But at least I have the mind-set to return to working on new weird fiction. Writing is something I must do--it is vital to my existence. I write because I must, because without it I go completely gaga.
Be well, my darlings.
|Gwabryel's illustration for "House of Legend," one of the wee prose-poems soon to see publication in my next book, UNCOMMON PLACES.)|