Lovecraft eZine Part Deux: With Laird Barron and Paul Tremblay

It’s time for another of my sporadic efforts to update ye olde blog.  Let’s begin with a link to another visit I had to the Lovecraft eZine podcast just a couple of months after I’d been on to promote the release of Sefira and Other Betrayals.  This time, it was to take part in a round table discussion with the Honey Badger and the Pickle King.  I had a blast, and if we’re no closer to answering the question of who would win a fight among the three of us (hint:  it’s neither of them), the podcast is a good reminder why Laird and Paul are two of my favorite people.  Seriously, I love these guys.

 

Lovecraft ezine!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in the Lovecraft ezine’s weekly pod- and videocast, as the kickoff event for the launch of Sefira and Other Betrayals.  As ever, I had a blast talking with Mike Davis and the other participants who were kind enough to give up a couple of hours of their Sunday afternoons and evenings to be there.  Here’s a link to the videocast, if you’re so inclined.  Our conversation embraced such topics as who will win in the inevitable fight among myself, Laird Barron, and Paul Tremblay; whom you should lay you money on in a battle between Godzilla and Cthulhu; and what Godzilla would sound like with a French accent.

Barron vs. Tremblay, or Godzilla vs. Cthulhu? (Painting by the ever-brilliant Bob Eggleton; buy a poster of the image here).

 

During the show, I mentioned a number of novels, collections, and journals that are worth a look.  I wanted to link to as many of them as I can remember, so here you go:

Dan Chaon  Ill Will

Glen Hirshberg  Nothing to Devour (also Motherless Child and Good Girls).

Laird Barron  Black Mountain

Nathan Ballingrud  Wounds

Carrie Laben  A Hawk in the Woods

A.C. Wise  Catfish Lullaby

Navin Weeraratme  Zeelam

S.P. Miskowski  The Worst is Yet to Come

Molly Tanzer  Creatures of Will and Temper (and Creatures of Want and Ruin)

Paul Tremblay  Growing Things

Vastarien

Thinking Horror Vol. 2

Robert Wilson  Ashes and Entropy

Ellen Datlow  Echoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NPR 100 Favorite Horror Stories List

I am astonished and delighted to learn that The Fisherman has made National Public Radio’s 100 Favorite Horror Stories List.  Seeing my book listed alongside those of good friends such as Laird Barron, Gemma Files, Victor LaValle, Livia Llewellyn, and Paul Tremblay is terrific; seeing it rubbing shoulders with work by Stephen King and Peter Straub borders the surreal.  Thank you to everyone who voted for it, and to the judges for all their hard work.

 

NeCon News, or, A Glimpse into the Future

Now that Christopher Golden has shared the information on Facebook, I’m assuming it’s okay to reveal:  next year, I’ll be one of the writer guests of honor at the 39th NeCon, along with the fabulous Megan Abbott and the shiny Grady Hendrix!  Thomas Tessier is rightfully being recognized as the NeCon Legend, and the official convention Toastmaster is Kristin Dearborn.  Since I chummed him along to NeCon 37, Laird Barron has agreed to accompany me next summer, and Paul Tremblay is threatening to put in an appearance, as well.  This is in addition to the brilliant folks who regularly attend the con.

I have to admit, I’m thrilled at this honor.  To be appearing on the same guest of honor list as both Megan Abbott and Tom Tessier is a pretty heady thing.  I’ve had the pleasure of watching Grady Hendrix do several of his lecture/performances, and they are not to be missed.  My previous NeCon was among my best ever convention experiences, in no small part because of the relaxed atmosphere and deep sense of camaraderie among the attendees.  Finances prevented me from returning this year; I can’t wait to be back next summer.  Thanks to the NeCon folks for picking me.

Necon 38 Campers List

Summer 2018 Part 5: NYC

And now, a brief glance into the future:  this coming Wednesday, July 25th, the Honey Badger and I will be traveling down to NYC to take part in two horror-related reading events.  Both will feature writers Nadia Bulkin, Livia Llewellyn, and Paul Tremblay.  The first takes place at Bryant Park, and goes from 12:30 to 1:45pm.  The second takes place in the new McNally Jackson Bookstore in Williamsburg, and goes from 7:00pm to who knows when?  If you’re around, please stop by and say hello.

Snazzy poster!

 

 

 

 

 

The Quirky Curio Shoppe

Also while I was at the HPLFF this past weekend, I met one of the proprietors of The Quirky Curio Shoppe, who presented Paul Tremblay with a t-shirt inspired by his work:

Paul's Cool T-Shirt

Are those floating pickles?  You know they are.

As its name suggests, the shop is full of all kinds of neat things.  I’m not sure if and when the Tremblay shirt might be available; in the meantime, check out their other cool offerings.

HPLFF Recap

This past weekend, the Honey Badger and I drove to Providence, RI to take part in their inaugural H.P. Lovecraft Film Fest.  The idea is for Providence to have its own version of the film festival held in Portland, OR every year; though I imagine Providence’s will be every other year, between Necronomicons.  There was a fine turnout on Saturday at the Providence Public Library for a raft of Lovecraft-inspired and -inflected films, and also on Sunday at the Providence Arcade, which was transformed into the Mall of Cthulhu and where Laird, myself, and Paul Tremblay gave a reading.  I had the pleasure of hanging out with Matthew Warren Ritchie, Matthew Bartlett, Phil Gelatt, Jack Haringa, Barry Lee Dejasu and Cat Grant at a number of fine eating establishments; I also met and signed books for a host of lovely people.Thanks so much to everyone involved in making the weekend happen, especially Niels and Carmen at the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences, and Mr. S.J. Bagley, who proved himself a fine host and MC.

HPLFF 2016 Poster

Upcoming Reading at HPLFF

(That’s the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, in case you didn’t know.  It’s being held the weekend of August 19-21 in Providence, RI.  You can check out the festival website here.)

So on Sunday, August 21, the Honey Badger and I will be reading along with the very tall Paul Tremblay at the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Store in Providence, RI.  The three of us are part of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, which will be going on all weekend.  I have a tentative schedule for Sunday:

10:00 AM vendor setup in the Arcade
11am-4pm vendors in the Arcade (Hippocampus, Necronomicon Press, HPLHS, Arkham Bazaar, and a few local artists, etc).
11:00 AM Child of Cthulhu – Lovecraftian “Children’s” tales read by Christina Rodriguez
12:00 PM Andrew Leman reading
1:00 PM author readings featuring Laird Barron, Paul Tremblay, and John Langan.
2:00 PM Adapting Weird fiction to the screen panel – Phil Gelatt, Andrew Leman, Sean Branney, and hopefully Izzy Lee.
3:30 PM (at Athenaeum) Call of Cthulhu, with live directors’ commentary and wine and cheese reception

If you can make it, that would be great; please say hello.

The Fisherman: Publication Day!

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.

TheFishermanCover

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?”)

A Quick Boskone Recap

I had a tooth pulled the day before I drove out to Boston for this year’s Boskone (the 53rd), and I feel like I spent most of the convention telling everyone I met about it.  This may have been due to the pain med I was taking, which, when combined with a beer or two, gave me vivid nightmares in which Billy Bob Thornton’s character from the first season of Fargo was on a murder spree on my side of the Hudson River, and also in which I had to avoid a pair of frighteningly large alligators while trying to swim to my mother’s house.

But I also had the pleasure of staying with Paul Tremblay and his long-suffering family, of meeting up with Brett Cox and JoAnn Cox (who are not related), of hanging out with J.T. Petty and Sarah Langan (who says we’re not related, but come on, really?) and their irrepressible girls, and of seeing Jack Haringa, on the road to recovery from his recent heart surgery and already up to 98% snarkiness.  The lovely Barry Lee Dejasu and Catherine Grant had a bunch of us up to their hotel room for a small party featuring some wonderful beer; Chris Irvin and Errick Nunnally hosted a Noir at the Bar reading on Friday night that I took part in and that went very well; and Erin Underwood launched The Grimm Future, a book of stories inspired by the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, in which I have a steampunkish story inspired by “The Brave Little Tailor.”

GrimmFuture

 

This convention felt a bit more subdued than past Boskones.  In part, I’m sure this was due to the absence of the recently-deceased David Hartwell.  I wonder, too, if it wasn’t due to memories of last year’s blizzard.  But I had a fine time, got to make the acquaintance of some splendid new folks (Chris Irvin, Errick Nunnally, E.J. Stevens), and managed my annual meals at the L Street Diner, the No-Name Seafood Restaurant, and Maxie’s Diner.  Thanks to Erin Underwood and the other fine folks who made the convention happen.  I’m already looking forward to next year.