Wednesday, September 19, 2018

ye new novel

Actually, ye young witch is riding a moth on ye cover, not a butterfly....
I recorded nine minutes of video yak, but for some reason YouTube uploaded a mere four minutes--very frustrating when they do that. This is a fantasy novel of 188 pages, with opening chapters set in Arkham and Sesqua Valley, but with ye bulk of ye narrative set in our vision of H. P. Lovecraft's dreamlands. I may be order'd for $20 at Hippocampus Press htpp:// Ye novel is quite outlandish and Lovecraftian, and I am extremely pleas'd to have penned it with my clever co-author. For those who are attending ye H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon in Portland, OR next month, I'll be doing a reading from the novel there. 
beast witches to all,
--hopfrog, esq.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Isn't that a wonderful book cover? Ye cover design for my newest book is by Daniel V. Sauer, and I am extremely pleas'd with it. This is my third book written in collaboration with David Barker--ye others being The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal and In the Gulfs of Dream and Other Lovecraftian Tales. Some few portions of the novel take place in Arkham and Sesqua Valley, but ye majority of the work is set in H. P. Lovecraft's dreamlands, a place of infinite fictive possibilities. We're hoping that ye book will be available at The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon in Portland, Oregon this October; and if so I shall certainly do a reading from ye book. The novel is now available from Hippocampus Press for $20. Paperback, 188 pages. 

No other news, my ducks. Hope all is well with y'all.

Friday, July 20, 2018

It's Theatah, Darling--Drama Drama Drama

Oh yes, my ducks, I was once certain that my future wou'd be in drama, perhaps as a playwright but moft assuredly as an actor. Indeed, as a high school student I was determined, after graduation, to become "the next Boris Karloff" and make my living in horror cinema. (I had, after all, won Best Actor Award, pictur'd above, in 1970.) It wasn't until I played in a few professional productions, after high school, that I discover'd, to my dismay, that I was a wretched actor, that I slurred dialogue and was a bit of a ham. Thus I set aside my acting awards (I had won two, but lost one, a golden medal, when I attach'd it by safety-pin to my punk rock boots and it flew off during a slam-dance session), and took up ye Pen of Weird Fiction. I feel, however, that my tales are pregnant with drama, although I tend to avoid scenes of violence. 

I am still uncertain when my next two books will see publication, but I am hoping it happens this year. We lost our original illustrator for my forthcoming Hippocampus title, a weird novel set in Lovecraft's dreamlands, written with David Barker. My publisher assures me that he will find some equally fabulous illustrator, but this may delay publication. So, be patient, my sweets, ye tomes will tumble toward ya in time.  

Hope all be well with y'all.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

still yakking



Pictur'd above are my two chums, Ghoulie Shea and Bho Bloch. I knew them moftly through correspondence, although Vernon and I began to engage in lengthy 'phone conversations. It was Bloch who introduced me to Vernon by supplying me with his address. Shea became a very important friend, a living link to my great obsession, H. P. Lovecraft. I often sit and dwell on memories of Vernon, always regretting that he is gone and feeling fortunate to have known him in his last years. I've been thinking about him, moftly, because I've been rereading some old Necronomicon Press booklets, and recently dipped into Vernon's In Search of Lovecraft. 

Vernon had two or three tales publish'd in professional volumes, and edited two fictional anthologies of his own. His short story "The Haunter of the Graveyard" remains one of my favourite Cthulhu Mythos stories, and so enchanted me that I actually wrote a sequel to it,"Gathered Dust", whut became the title story of one of my books publish'd by Dark Regions Press. (The story will be reprinted this year in my new hardcover collection from Centipede Press.)

So here's to J.Vernon Shea--devoted Lovecraftian, cherish'd chum.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Ligotti vinyl!

ye foto is a bit blurr'd, perhaps because I was quivering with excitement: a new audio reading of Thomas Ligotti on Cadbra Records! It is my humble opinion that Ligotti is the greatest weird writer of all time. I don't have that personal/aesthetic connection with him that I have with H. P. Lovecraft; but I will not hesitate to say I think Ligotti the better writer of ye two. His work is damn near flawless. Cadabra release vinyl-only products, so this reading won't be available in any other format, to ye best of my knowledge. The record comes with a wondrous large pofter featuring the artwork of Jason Barnett. The reading by Jon Padgett is fabulous, and Barnett's musical score is creepy-cool. I am always struck with how "alive" an audio reading makes a literary text, far more than "hearing" the text in my mind as I read silently. 

I now have so many Cadabra pofters on me walls that I'm running out of space; but I think this one will look good on ye inside of ye front door, just below the peep-hole. I usually keep the front door partially open, so I will be able to turn my head and gaze at the pofter as I am stall'd in my writing in ye dining room. Of course, one of the nice side-effects of listening to an audio reading is that it makes me want to return to ye text in book form, to sit quietly in my armchair and become lost inside a book. Ahhhh....

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018



I recorded for about five minutes, but only one and one-half minutes actually appear'd on YouTube. I haven't tried recording anything because I hate the appearance of my rotting teeth--the few that I still retain. But whut ye hell. It wou'd cost a fortune to have dental work done, so I just stay home and don't shew myself to ye world. But I'm going to ye Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland this October, so I figure I might as well get used to people seeing my decrepitude. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Far Between - Wilum, part 1

Remembering ye past, thankful for old friends, & delighting in ye present...

Friday, April 6, 2018

new BLACK WINGS VI hardcover!!

Yes, my ducks, ye newest volume of S. T.'s wonderful series, Black Wings, has just been publish'd in hardcover by PS Publishing in England. It contains my story, "To Move Beneath Autumnal Oaks," whut I originally penned for an anthology called Autumn Cthulhu, from which it was rejected. This is an instance in which rejection is a step up, because instead of appearing in that paperback volume the story will now see hardcover publication, and those hardcover editions from PS Publishing are beautiful. Also exciting for me is that this is one of ye few times when a Sesqua Valley story has appear'd in a hardcover volume. Yeehaw! To order ye volume, go to

Of course, this new story will be included in ye paperback edition of the book when that is publish'd by Titan Books, and that will certainly be available in ye States. And I am thrill'd to learn that S. T. has decided to include "To Move Beneath Autumnal Oaks" in his forthcoming paperback anthology, The Best of Black Wings!!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Ye Eldritch Bitch Is Back....

Yes, my sweethearts--I pose as Lovecraft Scholar yet again, with an essay just publish'd in The Curse of Yig and Selected Ghastly Ghostwritings, just publish'd by PS Publishing in jolly ole England. This is a delightsome series edited & illustrated by Pete Von Sholly. Ye contents for this new volume:
Introduction, by S. T. Joshi;
The Curse of Yig, by H. P. Lovecraft (with Zealia Bishop);
Medusa's Coil, by H. P. Lovecraft (with Zealia Bishop);
The Horror in the Museum, by H. P. Lovecraft (with Hazel Heald);
Out of the Aeons, by H. P. Lovecraft (with Hazel Heald);
The Diary of Alonzo Typer, by H. P. Lovecraft (with William Lumley);
The Shadows out of Madness of the Horrors in the Texts, by Pete Von Sholly;
Smother'd by Night-Gaunts, by W. H. Pugmire;
Did Lovecraft Write Lovecraft Pastiches?, by Robert M. Price;
The book uses S. T. Joshi's definitive texts, and there are numerous fantastic full-colour illustrations by Pete. 
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
After a long spell of not writing fiction, I am trying to find my way into ye composition of two new tales. One is to be a traditional Cthulhu Mythos tale, and I want it to be securely in that tradition. The other is the kind of story I swore to myself I wou'd never write--one in which H. P. Lovecraft is portray'd as character. I have protested to ye editor that I do not write such stories, but he is insistent that I do so nigh. So I have to decide the time in HPL's life that I want to paint, and then invent some fantastic plot through which he staggers. I am not hopeful that anything good will come from my efforts.

I hope all be well with y'all.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

au revoir Stan Sargent

Nightmare from Crete

Stand within a ring of standing stones,
Tremble as you touch the hungry air,
Answer that which haunts a Cretan lair,
Night-usurper of King Minos' throne!
Language from a dim forgotten age
Eagerly develops on your tongue;
Yowl an antient name forever sung,
Stimulate a nameless heritage.

Appetites that ravage ev'ry nerve,
Rabid as a lust you cannot quench,
Greedily devour your soul, and hence,
Esoteric blasphemy you serve.
Netherworld of Darkness spiraling,
Titan Qom-maq is your Ever King!

I wrote ye above poem in tribute to my friend and fellow-author, Stanley C. Sargent. It was publish'd in my 2003 hardcover collection, Sesqua Valley & Other Haunts (pb reprint from Mythos Books, 2008). For my 1999 collection from Mythos Books, Dreams of Lovecraftian Horror, Stan wrote an Introduction and supplied cover/interior artwork. That book was dedicated to "Stanley C. Sargent, Esquire, my brother in prose". Now, to-day, ye Ides of March, is a sad day for me, because not only is it the date of H. P. Lovecraft's death, it is ye date on which my beloved Todd died in my arms. But to-day it is especially poignant, because my buddy Stan died on ye sixth of this month. I don't know the cause of death. 

I was able to meet Stan when some convention I attended took place in his home town of San Francisco and we shared a hotel room. Then we shared rooms again when he attended the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival. He was dubious about my drag-queen lifestyle (indeed, when he drew my portrait for Dreams of Lovecraftian Horror it pleased him to portray me far more masculine than I then dressed, wanting to make me look butch rather than fem). 

He was a good friend, although we became distant because of silly nonsense in these past few years. I shall always cherish his memory and return to enjoy his wonderful short stories. Peace unto his Shade.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

plotting a new wee tale

I'm beginning work on a new Mythos tales, and I wanted in it to pay tribute to one of my favourite character actors, Reggie Nalder (pictur'd above from a role in Boris Karloff's THRILLER. So I am playing with ye idea of basing one of my characters on Nalder's "performance aura" as I have seen it in Thriller and one or two films. 

It feels like I haven't worked on a piece of fiction for a long long time; so I am looking forward to penning this--although first I need to go to Office Depot and get a new large keyboard to attack to this laptop. I cannot compose on a small laptop keyboard because I feel all cramped and have to bend over too much. 

I've look'd though those of my old notebooks that I cou'd find, fo stoy ideas jotted down and such, but have found nothing to use fo this new project--so I am going to spend ye rest of the night rereading passages from Lovecraft and dreaming dark weird dreams.

My r key is sticking on this laptop keyboard--very annoying.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973) Trailer

I recorded ye video above when my laptop was making a horrendous humming sound during ye recording of videos. My opinion of the film has risen since I recorded the video, and I now consider it a very good film indeed.
And Now the Screaming Starts is one of my favourite horror films, based on ye superb Gothic novel, FENGRIFFEN, by David Case. Mr Case pass'd away recently, & that inspir'd me to watch ye film again, and to do a search this morning on audio books read by David Case (who, although he was American, has a rather British sound to his performance voice). I fell in love with his voice when I borrow'd his reading of Richard Ellmann's biography of Oscar Wilde (Knopf 1988) from our public library, at ye beginning of my long deep adoration of Wilde that began after seeing him portray'd in a British telly series, LILLIE. I've never found a copy of that audio for sale; but just to-day I discover'd a reading by Mr Case of THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY on cassette tape, whut I have just order'd. I think I have two other unabridged readings of Wilde's novel somewhere in ye house. 

For me, FENGRIFFEN remains the perfect Gothic horror novel. I have for many years felt a desire to write a similar novel, inspired by FENGRIFFEN but set in Sesqua Valley. I feel I may yet compose such a volume. And dedicate it to ye memory of David Case.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Best of Black Wings

S. T. has pofted ye contents of ye forthcoming BEST OF BLACK WINGS paperback anthology. I am so pleas'd to have one of my better stories appear therein. Ye Contents be:

"Lesser Demons", by Norman Patridge
"Howling in the Dark", by Darrell Schweitzer
"Passing Spirits", by Sam Gafford
"When Death Wakes Me to Myself", by John Shirley
"The Abject", by Richard Gavin
"Dahlias", by Melanie Tem
"Bloom", by John Langan
"Thistle's Find", by Simon Strantzas
"Houdini Fish", by Jonathan Thomas
"Artifact", by Fred Chappell
"Cult of the Dead", by Lois H. Gresh
"The Dark Sea Within", by Jason V Brock
"Night of the Piper", by Ann K. Schwader
"The Woman in the Attic", by Robert H. Waugh
"The Walker in the Night", by Jason C. Eckhardt
"The Organ of Chaos", by Donald Tyson
"Voodoo", by Stephen Woodworth
"The Shard", by Don Webb
"To Move Beneath Autumnal Oaks," by W. H. Pugmire
"Lore", by Wade German

I am uncertain if Titan Books will bring forth an American edition; hopefully, they will. It is an honour to have my stories appear in this outstanding series.

 In ye video above, the fellow who narrates pronounces Miskatonic with ye first syllable sounding "Meeskatonic," long e sound. I have always pronounc'd ye first syllable as rhyming with "mist". Discuss.  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ligotti on Vinyl

Forthcoming from Cadabra Records is this spoken-word performance of The Bungalow House, read by Jon Padgett, with musical score by Chris Bozzone. Ye record is no longer up for pre-order and general sales will begin in April. 
Package Includes:
150 gram vinyl--blue and black swirl;
deluxe heavy weight tip-on gatefold jacket;
12-page booklet with new essay;liner notes by author Matt Cardin, & new interview with Thomas Ligotti;
18" x 24" promotional poster;
newly commissioned art by Jason Barnett.

Friday, February 2, 2018


Above is Camille Alquier's jacket illustration for my soon-to-be-publish'd hardcover collection from Centipede press, An Ecstasy of Fear and Others. This jacket art shews one of ye major themes in my weird fiction--ye seductive beguilement of horror. I think this kind of emotive response to nameless horror in my work was inspir'd by H. P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," where at ye story's conclusion the narrator not only accepts but seems to revel in ye revelation of his true nature. I, for one, celebrate my Outsider nature. 
     There is not yet any definitive release date for my new book, which is actually one of two new titles from mine pen to see publication this year (the other being the supernatural novel I co-author'd with David Barker, Witches in Dreamland, to be publish'd by Hippocampus Press). It feels like it's been forever since I've had a new book out, so I look forward to holding these new ones in mine antient paw. 
     I am still--unhappily--unable to concentrate on ye creation of new fiction. My mind is a void of ideas & imagery. However, I suspect that once the newer books have seen print I'll suddenly feel ye urge to write new tales--that's usually the way it works with me. I'm at that point where I feel I have made a solid if slight contribution to ye genre. My goal of wanting to be recognis'd as an author of Lovecraftian horror is now fully realised. When I was young my ego ached to be "known" as a writer; and this is something that young writers are often impatient with, wanting ye "fame" of being an author before actually doing the work. I had one goal--to be known as a Lovecraftian writer, to be wed artistically to H. P. Lovecraft to an almoft audacious degree. I think I'm there.
     My cd/cassette player died, so I order'd a new inexpensive one, knowing that one takes a chance in ordering such things online. My new player ain't fancy and looks rather "cheaply" made; but it is so nice to be able to play my Streisand and Barry Manilow and RuPaul cds in ye living room. So excuse me now as I go to listen to ye soundtrack of The Beautician and the Beast.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

my hand be weary

oy, my weary left hand...
Went to S. T.'s to sign 300 signature sheets for ye forthcoming special hardcover edition of his anthology, THE RED BRAIN--GREAT TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS, in which my story "Pickman's Lazarus" appears. He and Mary had a special gift for me--ye kitty cat holiday shirt pictur'd above (with my oldest cat, China, looking on). It's very pleasant when ye friends one visits are also cat lovers. They have three cats. I have six, and the lad who rents my basement has another. I spend gobs of $$$$ on litter.
Signing signature sheets is probably the moft boring aspect of being a publish'd writer. It just gets so boring, having to sign your signature hundreds of time. S. T. is super-fast at signing; I am not, and when I try to keep up with him my signature becomes chaotic. So he is finish'd and sits patiently while I am plodding along.
Ye great reward is that S. T.'s charming wife, Mary, always makes a marvelous dinner for after ye signing is finish'd. So although my hand be weary, my stomach is well pleas'd.
Hope ye new year is treating all of ye well.