My dears, I am at that restless state, one that kinda drives me crazy. I am so ready to have one of my next books publish'd, & it is frustrating to have to wait until mid-summer for that to happen. I just got the proposed cover for my first book from Dark Regions Press, a magnificent and moody painting by Wayne Miller, which illustrates one of the book's new original tales, "Gathered Dust." That story has a bit of a history. I wrote the first version as an extension to my prose-poem/vignette sequence, "Uncommon Places," the first version of which was published in The Tangled Muse. I decided to make Uncommon Places the title for my next book from Hippocampus Press, and so I wanted to add another 10,000 words to the title piece, all segments of which are inspir'd by entries in H. P. Lovecraft's Commonplace Book. I found these evocative entries, among others:
entry 112--"Man lives near graveyard--how does he live? Eats no food"
entry 165--"Terrible trip to an ancient and forgotten tomb"
entry 176--"Man blindfolded and taken in closed cab or car to some very ancient and secret place"
These are other entries inspir'd me to write the thing as connected portions that form'd a sequel to J. Vernon Shea's "The Haunter of the Graveyard," whut is set in Arkham. One of the graves mention'd in Vernon's tale belong to a Carter, and thus I brought in the legend of Randolph Carter and his book of short stories, The Attic Window and Others. I told my connected tale in segments inspir'd by entries in HPL's book, and in-between the telling of that tale I added some surreal additional prose-poems, one of which begins thus:
"She climbed the winding wooden steps that led to the small door, pushed it open and coughed into the dry air that, issuing from the attic room, assailed her face. Her candle's feeble flame threw shadows into the room among the litter of antiques, the wooden crates, the shrouded figures. She was curious to see that their dark sartorial camouflage resembled her own, and she wondered if they, too, had hoped to conceal themselves from the world of men when roaming the streets at night. Pressing her hand against the breast of one still thing, she felt its torso of twisted wire; and then she lifted her face to its sad mask, the expression of which filled her with such remorse that she drifted from the thing, to the attic window. Bending before the small panes of glass, she gazed into their latticework at her peculiar wavering reflection, upon which shadows frolicked."
All of these additions brought another 10,000 words to the piece and I was happy. Then I began work on what was going to be my first book for Miskatonic River Press, and I decided I wanted to call the book Gathered Dust and Others, and ye title story would be a complete revision & expansion of my sequel to "The Haunter of the Graveyard." I rewrote the thing as single story, adding some few bits and leaving out the surreal prose-poem vignettes from the other version. It came to over 12,000 words.
Then things happen'd and my first book for MRP is nigh to be The Strange Dark One--Tales of Nyarlathotep, to be publish'd this October. Joe at Dark Regions Press express'd interest in publishing a book of my Lovecraftian tales, so I began to work on that and asked my MPR publisher, the sweet and adorable Tom Lynch, if I could steal "Gathered Dust" from them and use it in my DRP collection, which needed some new things to fill out wordage. So I began writing the other new tales for that book, and we were going to call it Depths of Dreams and Madness -- but then I saw Wayne's fabulous jacket illustration for the book, depicting one of the weirdest scenes from "Gathered Dust," and I ached to call this new book Gathered Dust and Others, kinda a nice Arkham House-ish book title, me thought. Joe agreed to ye title change, & thus that will be ye title of my first book from Dark Regions Press, publish'd sometime this year, I think. I love the title, as it is symbolic of my tales, whut are the gather'd debris of my sick imagination.
At the moment I am revising a rather nice Mythos tale by my buddy, Jeffrey J Taylor. He sent me the tale to critique, and I thought it good but needed just a bit work and elaboration, and asked him if I cou'd revise it. We are calling the story "Ushered on the Wind" -- 'tis a tale of ye Wind-Walker -- and I think it is going to be a rather effective Mythos tale. After we polish I plan on submitting it to Mike Davis for the Lovecraft eZine.
So much weird Lovecraftian fiction to write!