In addition to being the birthday of my talented friend, Paul Tremblay, today is also the official release day for my second novel, The Fisherman.
I’m extremely grateful for all the support I’ve already received, in the form of several very kind reviews. I’ll put up links to them in another day or two. In the meantime, I wanted to present an excerpt from the book: the acknowledgments page. While writing a novel is ultimately a solitary activity, it doesn’t take place in a vacuum, and without a lot of help from a lot of people, this book would not have seen the light of day. So:
When I started writing the story that would become this book, my wife was pregnant with our son. He’s now twelve-going-on-thirteen. Needless to say, that’s a long time from start to finish. A lot has happened during that time, a lot has changed, but the love and support of my wife, Fiona, has remained a constant. More than that: as the years slid by, she was the one who said, every now and again, “You have to get back to The Fisherman.” This book wouldn’t be here without her. Thanks, love, for everything.
That twelve-going-on-thirteen-year-old has blossomed into quite the fisherman, himself these last few years, pretty much on his own. (I basically sit nearby with a book and try to make comments that don’t sound too ignorant.) David Langan’s technical advice helped a great deal in making the fishing-related portions of this narrative more accurate, while his love and all-around awesomeness made the rest of my life better.
My older son, Nick, and my daughter in law, Mary, and their trio of astounding kids, my brilliant grandchildren, Inara, Asher, and Penelope the Bean, have brought and continue to bring more joy into my life than I probably deserve.
It’s becoming a critical commonplace to say that we’re currently experiencing a resurgence in the field of dark/horror/weird/whatever fiction. I happen to think this is true, but what matters more to me is the friendship so many of my fellow writers have offered me. Laird Barron and Paul Tremblay have been the other brothers I never knew I had, even as their work has made me grit my teeth and tell myself to do better. Sarah Langan, Brett Cox, and Michael Cisco are pretty good, too.
These last few years, I’ve continued to benefit from the kindness of writers whose work inspired my own. Both Peter Straub and Jeffrey Ford have been unfailingly generous in their support and example. While I am at it, let me raise a glass to the memory of the late, great Lucius Shepard, whose encouragement, praise, and fiction I continue to treasure.
My indefatigable agent, Ginger Clark, has been a champion of this book since I sent her its first three chapters a long, long time ago. Every now and again, Ginger would send an e-mail encouraging me to finish the novel, and when at last I did, there was nobody happier. I’m grateful for her continuing faith in me and my work.
As was the case with my previous novel, House of Windows, The Fisherman took a while to find a home. The genre publishers said it was too literary, the literary publishers, too genre. Thanks to Ross Lockhart and Word Horde Press for responding so immediately and enthusiastically to the book.
And a final, heartfelt thank you to you, the reader, for the gifts of your time and attention. You make this writing life I have possible, and I’m grateful for it.
If I were going to add any names to this list, it would those of the writers who provided some very flattering blurbs for it: Laird Barron, Adam Cesare, Michael Griffin, Stephen Graham Jones, Richard Kadrey, Victor Lavalle, Cameron Pierce, Pete Rawlik, and Paul Tremblay. For about a day, their kind words made me more insufferable to my family than usual. (“Do the dishes? Do you know what Victor Lavalle had to say about my book?”)