Man, what a year 2017 was. Talk about a mix of the good and bad (or the wonderful and the dreadful): while my personal and family life featured a number of highlights, the national political scene swung into something so bad it’s become a parody of itself–which in no way mitigates the harm it’s doing and has done. In the past, I’ve tried to use social media as a way to keep in touch with friends and family and to share news relevant to my writing life; this year, however, I found myself speaking out more than I ever have about socio-political conditions in the country. I expect that will continue in 2018. Oh, and the whole finding-out-I’m-diabetic thing was less than a thrill.
Yet there were good things this past year, and I don’t want to overlook them. My wife is the joy of my life, as are my sons and grandchildren. We took a ridiculous fifth dog into our household. I had the pleasure of being room-Dad for David’s AC/DC rehearsals at The Rock Academy, and then watching him and his fellow cast members dazzle their audiences. I continued to study Tang Soo Do, and went a good part of the way towards learning the new forms necessary for me to advance to my next rank. I also taught a good deal at the school’s Saugerties studio, which I found both rewarding and challenging. As the year came to an end, I was reminded how much I love my friends Laird Barron and Paul Tremblay–seriously, these guys are the best. I attended my first Necon with Laird and had one of the best conventions I’ve ever had. The Fisherman won an astonishing two awards, a Bram Stoker Award and a This is Horror award. House of Windows was re-released in a snazzy new edition by Diversion Press. I wrote and had accepted for publication a number of stories, and am on the verge on completing my egregiously overdue third collection, Sefira and Other Betrayals. I finally read Peter Straub’s brilliant The Skylark (not to mention, his astonishing novella, The Process [is a Process of its Own]). David and I saw a lot of the movies you’d expect (Wonder Woman, Justice League, Spider-man, Star Wars) and went to a number of the Rock Academy’s other shows (including their fabulous punk and metal shows).
As the New Year wheels forward, I’m back writing, because that’s what I do. I hope the months to come bring you and yours something good.
Here’s a picture of a happy dog, because why not?
The Fisherman just won the Bram Stoker Award!
Needless to say, I am gobsmacked, and possibly stupefied. I wasn’t able to attend the awards ceremony, but Ellen Datlow was gracious enough to accept the award on my behalf and read these remarks:
The very first writing award I wanted to win was the Bram Stoker Award. I’m more thrilled than I can say to receive one for The Fisherman. As some of you know, it took a long time for this book to be completed, and then to find a publisher. Its reception since then, however, has been nothing short of amazing. I’m grateful to everyone who took a chance on the novel, who left an Amazon or Goodreads review, who recommended it to a friend or family member. I’m grateful, too, to those of you who saw fit to honor the book with this award. No one who looks at the novels listed in this category can fail to be impressed by their combined achievement. To have been numbered among them has been about the highest praise The Fisherman has received. If you haven’t read any of them, yet, then please accept my recommendation that you do so, post haste. Together, they display the particular brilliance that shines from the darker corners of the literary tent.
There’s no way my book would have come to pass without the love and support of my astonishing wife, Fiona. My younger son, David, already an accomplished fisherman at a young age, provided invaluable technical assistance. My older son, Nick, my daughter-in-law, Mary, and my grandkids provided support and silliness. Laird Barron and Paul Tremblay talked through various narrative possibilities and complications with me, and cheered me on to the finish line. My agent, the indefatigable Ginger Clark, never stopped asking when I was going to get back to that book whose opening chapters I’d showed her all those years ago. And Ross Lockhart and Word Horde accepted The Fisherman with enthusiasm and promoted it with gusto. My deepest, sincerest love and thanks to all of them.
I am stunned and delighted to report that The Fisherman has won This Is Horror‘s Novel of the Year award! Here’s what I had to say:
“I’m thrilled and humbled that the voters have selected The Fisherman as Novel of the Year. To have been nominated alongside the other novels in this category was already an honor, and the ballot as a whole is a reminder of the talent flourishing in the horror field. I’m grateful to everyone who sat down with my book and gave it a chance, and I’m thankful to everyone who cast a vote for it. The Fisherman owes its publication to Ross Lockhart, for which, many, many thanks. It owes its composition to my lovely wife, Fiona, for which all, all of my love.”
It’s a terrific slate of winners; congratulations to Victor LaValle, Livia Llewellyn, Mike Davis, Ross Lockhart, and everyone else!