Horror for Good, the terrific anthology published earlier this year by Cutting Block Press, is trying to put some more money into the pockets of amfAR, the AIDS charity. If you remember, all the proceeds from Horror for Good are donated to amfAR.
Monthly Archives: November 2012
Went and saw Spielberg’s Lincoln tonight.
I am a Civil War buff, and Lincoln is something of a personal hero of mine. Frankly, if he’s not a personal hero of yours, I have to wonder about you. Quite simply, he was about as close to the best human being ever born as we are likely to see. But he was not a saint, and it’s sometimes hard for us, 150 year later and living in the world that this man handed to us on a platter, to see him as anything other than an icon. One of those historical people that, as Mozart says in Amadeus, are so lofty that they shit marble. He was just a man. But in the end, what a man.
And this film portrays him as a man, the first depiction of Lincoln as a man, a real person, a genius politician. And yet, the soul of this man shines through all the more for it. Daniel Day Lewis inhabits this role as no other actor before him has. One of our friends said it best. Lewis’ performance is less acting and more downright channeling. It is uncanny and awe inspiring to watch Lewis in this role, because in seconds the actor disappears and you’re left with Abraham Lincoln.
This is an anti-Hollywood movie, all the more strange because it is made by the quintessential Hollywood director. It is quiet. It is talky…very, very talky. And it is stark and depressing and also affirming and uplifting. It makes you listen to every word uttered by every character. It makes you think. It makes you realize how lucky this country is and always has been to seemingly always have the right person in power just when we need him.
It is a tremendous film. It brought tears to my cynical eyes, and has left a lump in my throat that I think will last until I see it again. And I will.
If Spielberg doesn’t win an armful of Oscars, Hollywood has gone mad. If Daniel Day Lewis doesn’t win, Hollywood has gone mad. Sally Fields, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Joseph Gordon Levitt…they are all fantastic in this film.
Go see it and think about how lucky this country is that Lincoln was an American.
So, I’m participating in this round-robin horror author thing, where an author answers ten questions about his latest work, then tags some other authors to do the same. The path got lost on its way to me, so I’m just going to go ahead and post this and then tag my three authors. Hope the three of you who actually read this find it entertaining.
What is the working title of your next book?
The working title of my next book is Lost Pets. That is definitely not going to be the final title of the book, but I think the final title will retain those words.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’ve been trying to come up with the idea of something that will be a balls-out horror story. However, I want the story to have some depth and some poignancy. So, I’ve been thinking of something that will amp up the horror, an angle that will really play with people’s emotions and nerves. And nothing, I have found, gets people hepped up like threatening their pets…not children or old women or anything else. Screw with a person’s pet, and you’re in for a load of trouble. That’s what I’m after with this book.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I don’t have characters pinned down yet, but obviously there will be a viewpoint character. Curiously, I always think of Jeff Bridges when I think of most of my viewpoint characters. I dunno why.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
What happens to all those lost pets you see signs around town or on Craigslist for? And what happens when a man goes looking for his lost pet. That’s two, but I’m cheating. Deal with it.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It won’t be self-published, that’s for sure. I’m looking for an agent now, but who knows? I may be looking for a small publisher or an agent or…
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Right now I only have a skeleton for this, but it’s definitely the next work for me. I’ll probably be starting this in earnest after the holidays.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
None that I can think of. When I discussed the idea with my girlfriend, Deb, she said to make sure it doesn’t come off like Pet Semetary, but there’s no chance. The idea I have is nothing like that book (which is great!). The only thing the two will share is that there are animals in each.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What inspired me to go down this path is the reaction I’ve gotten to short stories where I’ve put animals in peril. People lose their shit when they read that, and I want that emotional core to center and focus the horror in this piece. I hope that I can achieve that. I think I can.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
That it’s written by me? I don’t know. I think this will really be a balls-to-the-wall horror story that will both move people and terrify them. That’s the plan anyway.
So, my three tagged authors are:
Go see them next Wednesday, Nov. 21!
Work, work, work…I am the busiest unemployed person ever.
Just sold a story to Postscripts to Darkness, and I’m thrilled with this particular story. A little background…
I wrote “The Night Moves” as an introduction to the collection that became Little Deaths. (Buy it. It’s good, and not because I said so, but because it’s been very well reviewed, and has made the HWA 2012 Bram Stoker Recommended Reading List.). Anyway, my intention was that this collection would take its name from this story. And I am proud of the story because it is…well…so different. It’s a very short (2,000 words) piece and very stylized. It felt great to write it, because it allowed me to open doors I hadn’t opened within me and let me stretch my wings in different ways. It’s an experiment in elliptical writing, a style that I have been honing for a while.
But as with many experiments, it was a hard sell. I got a lot of very nice, even complimentary rejection notes (which, to me, have always been the worst kind). And my publisher and editor both didn’t much like the story, so it ended up being cut from what became Little Deaths. That sting was eased somewhat because we replaced it with “Bolts,” a story that pretty much everyone loves.
So, “The Night Moves” sat in my “For Sale” folder for a long time, until I despaired of actually selling it. But the fine folks at Postscripts to Darkness bought it, and god bless ’em. The issue featuring this story should be out sometime next year.
So, what else is up? Hmmm…well, The Bell Witch is making the rounds of agents, trying to find a home. While that is out and about, I’m trying to replenish the well of short stories I drained to produce Little Deaths. I’m working on about eight right now. I’ve got one I’m particularly interested in. It’s called “A Despair of Birds,” and it’s…well…weird and depressing and macabre. I’ve got a few others that should see the light of day before the end of the year (and the end of the world, incidentally, on my birthday, Dec. 21. Go, Mayans!) One is a sort of follow-up to my short story called “Cold Calls,” about an unlikely vampire hunter. This one’s called “Cold Storage,” and should be a funny little revisit to the character of Buddy Burnett. I’ve got another that concerns fingernail biting, survey taking and a weird clock repair shop.
As far as what’s on the horizon, I’ve got a story in Horror Library V that should be out any day; another in Black Ink Horror, and another in a western horror anthology called Edge of Sundown. And the second part of my scifi ghost story “Visitation” should be up at Schrodinger’s Mouse tomorrow, with Part III following soon.
That’s my update. I’ll be posting a longer blog soon that’s part of a bigger blog “tag” thing that involves a lot of authors. More info on that coming.
Tomorrow, I see Skyfall. Looking forward to that. Then next week, Lincoln. I am such a Civil War geek, and so deeply moved by Lincoln, that I might actually cry, especially if John Williams’ score tugs at my rusty heart strings.