I consider this new book from Hippocampus Press my second best book. I am extremely happy to have it available for my fans to buy in this low-cost trade edition.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
I doubt that I shall be attending any future conventions or HPL film festivals, due to the situation at home (having to take care of mom, who is crippled and suffering from intense dementia) and my own bad health and lack of $$$. I don't mind, really, I have so little energy these days, and my life now should be dedicated to staying home and writing my final books. I've always prided myself that, unlike H. P. Lovecraft, I am an authentic Lovecraftian recluse. But I do painfully regret having to miss WHC this year, as it is being held once again in Salt Lake City, and its theme is "At the Mountains of Madness"!! Two of my publishers (Centipede Press and Hippocampus Press) will be there, and Derrick of Hippocampus will receive an award during the Bram Stoker banquet. (I am hopeful that the next book from Hippocampus, my own UNCOMMON PLACES, will be out in time for the convention.....) And I haven't seen Jerad since the official release of THE TANGLED MUSE from Centipede early last year. (The book has just gone out of print.) So, this year's WHC is an event that I really should be attending.
But I have things to do. I thought I would be content with not having a new book out next year; but that year is 2013, such a delicious date! How can I not try to have a book out in 2013?? Nay, the more I brooded upon it, ye more I knew that I would not be able to rest unless I try'd, at least try'd, to write a new book this year for publication next. And so I am trying, in earnest, to write another book inspir'd by Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth, but this time a collection of actual stories rather than prose-poems and vignettes. I plan on calling the book Monstrous Aftermath, & we'll see if I can actually write ye damn'd thing this year and then offer it to a publisher for release next year. To the task of that writing, I nigh return.
|ye Queen of Eldritch Horror at MythosCon, wearing me Miskatonic River Press hat|
Sunday, February 19, 2012
That's me at World Horror Convention in Salty Lake City, holding the issue of Weird Tales in which Maryanne and I had the lead story. This is just one of the intense gifts of joy that came into my life through my obsession with H. P. Lovecraft. The way I came to that obsession is curious. As a high school kid, I was obsessed with theatre and convinced that, upon graduation, I would go to Hollywood and become the new Boris Karloff. The epitome of this obsession in high school came when we staged Arsenic and Old Lace, in which I played the role of Jonathan Brewster, a lunatic who murdered people because his plastic surgeon performed an operation and gave the Brewster Karloff's face. Boris Karloff played the role in the original Broadway stage production. But even in my comedic roles, a little bit of Karloff infiltrated the performance, as can be seen below in the photo of me in a high school production of The Fantasticks.
So when I went to Ireland to serve two years as a Mormon missionary, I was obsessed with horror films, but had no interest in weird fiction. Robert Bloch, who had written a piece on Forry Ackerman for one of my horror film fanzines, continued to write me. My mission leaders frowned on me going to horror films in Ireland cinemas, and so I began to collect books by Robert Bloch, or anthologies in which Bho was one of many writers. That's how I got hooked on horror fiction. I placed my first short story with Space & Time, a small press magazine that is still being published today. While serving in Omagh, I found a paperback called The Haunter of the Dark, published by Panther. I was astounded to see that H. P. Lovecraft had dedicated the title story to my buddy, Robert Bloch.
Upon returning to the states, I discovered Arkham House. Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos enchanted me. The first three volumes of Lovecraft's Selected Letters got me to fall in love with Lovecraft's personality as presented in his correspondence. I began to date my letters 1776 instead of 1976, and I used archaic spellings such as "shew'd". I publish'd a series of Lovecraft fanzines and used my friendship with Bloch to get into touch with other surviving members of the Lovecraft Circle such as J. Vernon Shea.
I was still determined to be involved with theatre, but mostly I wanted to become a famous Mythos writer like my heroes August Derleth and Brian Lumley. I discovered that one of the original members of the Lovecraft Circle, H. Warner Munn, lived in nearby Tacoma. I began to visit him every week-end. He came to the production of The Prince and the Pauper in which I had a wee role, and posed for ye photo below.
Life was interrupted by coming out as queer, which caused me to kicked out of the Mormon Church, and then I became extremely active in the local punk scene. Eventually, I returned to writing, and my determination to be a writer of Lovecraftian weird fiction never wavered. It was a common idea that writing Lovecraftian stories for the small press was a phase that young writers went through on their way to becoming professional writers who did their own thing. I vowed that I would never stop writing Lovecraftian horror, but that the writing of it wou'd become a core portion of my personality. If I was to be remembered as a writer, I wou'd be remembered as an author of Lovecraftian weird fiction. I would, as an artist, be audaciously Lovecraftian, over the top. People would tell me that I should stop "trying to be Lovecraft" and be myself; & I wou'd reply that when I am Lovecraftian, I am "myself" utterly.
I wrote primarily for small press magazines, but over the years they vanished and I lost my market. Thus I began to concentrate on writing collections of short stories for various small press publishers. Now, at age 60, I am more obsess'd with writing Lovecraftian horror than ever before. It is a passion that never wilts, that contains an eternal magick and thrill. It is the air I breathe. I have gained more and more confidence as a writer, and I owe it all to H. P. Lovecraft. When I got the idea to write a entire book that was inspired by HPL's Fungi from Yuggoth, I felt no hesitation or doubt--I knew that I could handle such a project, and that I wou'd do it as well as I cou'd. The result, Some Unknown Gulf of Night, is my finest book. When I proposed to Jeffrey Thomas that he and I collaborate on a book of Lovecraftian horror fiction concerning a stranhe New England artist, our own version of Richard Upton Pickman, I knew that I would so enjoy working with Jeff on the book; & it resulted in a book of really original and entertaining tales that are Lovecafian up ye arse. The more I write Lovecraftian fiction, the more I find ways in which to express myself as a Lovecraftian artist. HPL is my Sacred Fount.
Now that I am an antient thing, my lifestyle has settled down considerably. No longer a punk party girl, going out and being wild, and having to stay home because I moved in with my disabled mother so as to be her full-time companion and helper, writing is the one part of my myriad selves that still fully functions. It is what I live for. What I have given to H. P. Lovecraft is a growing library of books that pay homage to his genius, to his Literary Art; what H. P. Lovecraft has given me is--life itself.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
S. T.'s stunning anthology of Lovecraftian horror, BLACK WINGS, will see an American trade paperback edition next month. I got my contributor copy yesterday. We are disappointed that the publisher, Titan Books, thought it necessary to change the title--adding ye notorious name. It seems that "Cthulhu" is, for nigh, a commercial selling tool, and there have been a number of books, fine anthologies all, using the name in their title: Cthulhu's Reign, The Book of Cthulhu, New Cthulhu. This is unfortunate, as this implies that these books collect tales of the Cthulhu Mythos; but one of the emphasis of new Lovecraftian anthologies is that they do not embrace the cliches of Mythos fiction, and some such books, like Ellen Datlow's excellent Lovecraft Unbound, stated in their guidelines that stories including Cthulhu Mythos cliches would not be accepted for publication. This is emphasized in the sub-title of S. T.'s book, "Twenty-One Tales of Lovecraftian Horror."
There was a time, when I was editing Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, that I went through an anti-Mythos phase, and it was my editorial policy that I would not accept Mythos tales for my journal. I wanted, as an editor, to emphasis that modern Lovecraftian fiction was so much more than the tired old cliches, the cosmic tentacles and yet another rare dark book -- books so "rare" and yet every library and lunatic wizard seemed to own a copy. I found it impossible not to include some excellent tales that did indeed contain elements of the Mythos, but this taught me that modern Mythos writers can use such elements with originality and intelligence. It has been one of my main goals as an author to write books of modern Mythos fiction that actually pay homage to HPL without just ripping off his ideas--and yet, Great Yuggoth, how I delight in pilfering Lovecraft's tales and bringing his characters and ideas into my own writing -- it's simply irresistible.
This anthology of S. T.'s, which has spawned a series (P. S. Publishing will be bringing forth Black Wings II in March) is also irresistible. I am so proud to be one of its writers, and delighted that it is now available in a handsome American pb edition.