Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jeffrey Thomas, Sweet Brother

There are those encounters that so enrich one's life, and no one has more enrich'd mine own than Jeffrey Thomas.  If I remember correctly, we first met when he was chosen to illustrate an early story.  He was then editing his journal, The End, and I began to submit some of my early Lovecraftian tales to it.  He then delighted me by proposing that his Necropolitan Press issue my first American collection of weird fiction, and thus we worked on Tales of Sesqua Valley, for which Jeff supply'd all of ye interior artwork.  As ye above video shews, Jeff has dedicated his life to writing, and produced a remarkable body of work.

It was with great pleasure and huge relief that I worked with Jeff as my editor for my forthcoming book from Miskatonic River Press, The Strange Dark One--Tales of Nyarlathotep.  It may be the one of my many books that is free from misprints, because Jeff and I scoured the texts for errors.  His generosity and patience as an editor amazed me, and he went out of his way to make the entire experience so pleasant and professional.  And then he astounded me by creating art pieces for each and every tale, despite his own crowded schedule.  The art montages are phenomenal, as ye can see below.

I've just read the forthcoming book's title story, and I consider "The Strange Dark One" one of my very finest tales of Sesqua Valley.  At 14,000 words it is certainly the lengthiest tale of the valley I have yet penned.  I amazed myself, rather, by basing some of it, and one of its main characters, on incidents from the August Derleth tale, "The Dweller in Darkness," which may be found in Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos.  I also brought in some aspects of Lovecraft's "The Haunter of the Dark," and played with Nyarlathotep's relationship with Sesqua Valley and its first-born Beast, Simon Gregory Williams.  I became utterly lost in the writing of the story, and although I got some things wrong (my understand of, and my description of, the windows from the church in Lovecraft's "The Haunter of the Dark," for instance), I consider "The Strange Dark One" one of my finest weird tales.  I grow anxious for the book to see publication--which is slated for October.

Our relationship has reached its apex with our collaborating on an entire book of original Lovecraftian fiction, Encounters with Enoch Coffin, to be publish'd by Dark Regions Press.  For this book, Jeff concentrated on setting tales in the "real" New England, and I set most of mine in "Lovecraft Country."  (I did set one tale in Providence, and another wee tale in Sesqua Valley.)  The stories that Jeff wrote for this book are among the very best tales he has ever conjured, so absolutely strange and wonderful.  With this book, Jeff and I wanted to create our own sinister Lovecraftian artist, our own Richard Upton Pickman.  Seldom have I felt as inspir'd as I did when writing my novelettes concerning Enoch Coffin.  Jeff and I plan to write a novel concerning the artist at some future date.

Jeff has enriched my life so much, and I am enternally grateful.  Love ya, my brother!

1 comment:

  1. I am mighty proud and touched by these generous words, from an author whose work I worship -- my longest-running and dearest writer friend. Love you too, brother!