Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Happy 4th of July to Everyone, and an Update.

Welcome cool kids to my humble, and underused blog here at Stormgate Press. I've been hitting social media pretty hard promoting my new book Absolution: A Novel in the Serena Darkwood Adventures and in doing so I have let this blog go by the wayside. As a self-published, Indie Author there are only so many hours in the day. If I spent every waking hour doing posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube promoting, plus going to conventions and book expos I wouldn't have time to write. As a one man show it's a jumbling act and sometimes something has to suffer. But I promise to do better here and over all my accounts.

It's Fourth of July here in the United States. Time for grilling, bonfires, fireworks and a time to get together with friends and family. As we enter the holiday, let's remember those who have served and are currently serving so we might be free to over eat hotdogs and apple pie. Take time to reflect and be grateful for all that you have, and remember those who may not.
So, take time to reflect, spend time with those you love and remember this time will never come around again. Make the best of it, and just have fun.


WHAT I'M WORKING ON

I'm currently writing the second book of the Origin Trilogy, entitled Origin Equation. I'm just about half way through the writing process and hope to release the book sometime next year. If you haven't checked out the first novel in the series you can learn all about it here.

APPEARANCE UPDATE

I will be appearing at the Buckeye Comic Con on July 14 from 10-4 it is located at the Courtyard Columbus Westbelt Dr. Columbus, Ohio. I'll have copies of my books include the Captain Hawklin Adventures and the New Kingdom Trilogy. You can find about all my books here.


                                                                                                                   

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Influences: What inspired me to write Absolution: A Novel in the Serena Darkwood Adventures

Every writer has something that influences them when they start a new project. Absolution is no exception. I’ve always had great love for heroes, who don’t want to be the hero. The protagonist that is out for themselves yet when the chips are down they do the right thing. Serena Darkwood is no exception.

In a lot of ways, Serena is Han Solo, a smuggler, and scoundrel. But if there is anyone that Serena Darkwood reflects the most, it’s Malcom Reynolds of “Firefly”. That series is a huge influence on Absolution. Like Mal, Serena wants to be free, with space under her feet and coin in her pocket.

If you enjoy a fast paced sci-fi story, with intrigue and a dash of humor, then Absolution is the novel you’ve been waiting for. I enjoyed putting Serena through her paces playing with her emotions and building her character into something I believe you’ll want to read.

Pre-order your ebook copy of Absolution: A Novel in the Serena Darkwood Adventures for $3.99. The paperback version will be available on release day June, 18.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Grounded: Ideas Behind the Writing of “Absolution” A Novel in the Serena Darkwood Adventures.



I wrote a five book series a few years ago, called Talon’s Epic, about an 18th century British navy officer abducted by aliens. When I wrote that series I was bent on making it totally alien, changing phrases, terms and giving each alien a parasite that infected their bodies and helped them communicate with one another.

With “Absolution” A Novel in the Serena Darkwood Adventures, I grounded the story, time is calculated in Earth terms (even though our little planet has nothing to do with the story, and is not even mentioned) money is used a lot like we use it, paid in old galactic coin, and…. I think you see where I’m going with this. I didn’t want the reader to be bogged down in unfamiliar terms that would confuse them and take away from the enjoyment of the story, which I think is outstanding, by the way.

I like to think Absolution is a popcorn story, something you can settle in with and enjoy from each sentence, to each page and to each chapter. And when you’re finished with it, you’ll want more of smuggler Serena Darkwood, because there is a lot more story to tell.

Absolution is a self-contained story, with a beginning, middle and end without a cliffhanger wanting you to wait for the next book. Of course there are mysteries unresolved, because like I said its an ongoing story, that will leave you wanting more. If you like action, plot twists, and pure space adventure stories, then I know you’ll enjoy this book.

“Absolution” A Novel in the Serena Darkwood Adventures will be released June, 18 and  is on ebook pre-order on amazon.com for $3.99 and the paperback version will arrive on release day for $14.99.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

An Insight into “Absolution” A Novel in the Serena Darkwood Adventures

I’ve always wanted to create and write a TV series. Fill it with incredible characters, interesting locations and wild story plots. Most people will never get the chance to be the producer of a series, but writing a novel series, you can let your imagination go wild. And that’s what I’ve set out to do.

Everything I’ve written over the last twenty years has led me to Serena Darkwood. Absolution is the culmination of many years hard work, honing my skills not only as a writer, but as a story teller, the creator of worlds and magnificent characters.

Serena Darkwood is a strong, complex, determined woman who is feared and desired for her many talents. She is a loner, a smuggler and known not to be trifled with. She lives by a simple code, take the job, don’t ask questions and get paid. But remaining neutral isn’t one of Serena’s best attributes. One of her greatest flaws, and strengths is that she cares. She’s not a hired gun, but she’s handy with her old galactic equalizer – a weapon that means a great deal to her, and she is not afraid to kill if it’s for the right reason.

Absolution: A Novel in the Serena Darkwood Adventures is now on ebook pre-sale for $3.99 on amazon.com and is set to release on June 18, 2018. A paperback version will be released the same day for $14.99

Monday, February 4, 2019

A Bookstore for Independent Writers


It’s located inside the Monroe Mercantile which is a large antique shop. Even though they rent a small space, they treat their small area like a big box book store, with special events catering to the world of independent writers and publishers. Currently they have over thirty writers they cater to. Their system is simple. The writer pays a one-year fee, buying shelf space, plus a small additional few for every other title. When a copy of your book sells, you get 80% of the sell.


If you’re like me, an independent author, you know how hard it can be to get your books on the shelf in a book store. Oh, sure you can find a local place or two to put them on the shelf on consignment and if you’re lucky you can get a book signing or something to help promote your book. But not all authors have that luxury. Some have to be content selling their books on line or sitting up at shows.
But what if I told you about this place in Monroe, Georgia called The Southern Pen Bookshop. It’s not a bookstore in the traditional sense, but it caters to ALL INDEPENDENTLY written books. Would you be interested?


For one year, your book(s) are on the shelf for all to see. It’s the same process that the major publishing houses do, renting space for their writers in larger booksellers. The Southern Pen also have author spotlights, focusing on a different writer a month. They have signings, and even a writer’s conference. I have not been to the bookstore, but since I have a brother that lives in Georgia, I think I will be paying a visit soon. I’m providing a link to their website so you can have a look and decide if this might be something, you’re interested in. I know I am.















Friday, February 1, 2019

Guest Blogger: Paula Millhouse

Most of you know that I've been a indie author since 1999, that I make guest appearances all over the Midwest, and that I have been publishing science fiction/new pulp adventures with some degree of success. But what some of you might not have known is there is another Millhouse who is an author in her own right, in the realm of Fantasy Romance. I'm happy to call Paula Millhouse my sister-in-law. Over the last several years she has made her mark, writing several well-received novels and short stories.

UPDATE... THIS JUST IN... CONGRATULATIONS PAULA! 

I'm happy she's guest blogging this week here on stormgatepress.com giving us some insight on her self and her writing process... Take it away Paula...


Hi everyone, and thanks for inviting me to join the blog at StormGate Press, Charles!

I think what you’re doing for the writing community by interviewing writers on your site is awesome.

I’m Paula Millhouse (and yes, Charles and I are related – I married his big brother Carl). It’s been fun to discover we both have a penchant for writing. Makes for some great conversation at family reunions.


I’ll be talking about my work in this post. My tag-line is Writing stories where fantasy, romance, and suspense collide. I know, I know, everyone says “pick a lane” or “write in one genre”, but that doesn’t work for me. And the great thing about being an Indie, or a cross-breed, is I don’t have to. I’m both published with traditional publishers, and self-published. I like having options.

I started writing when I was thirteen. My writing buddies and I used to exchange folders with our stories at class change, and guess what I did while class was going on – yep, I read their updates and left glowing critiques. (That might explain those bad grades in Algebra…)

My first series, THE KINGDOM OF CHALVAREN ROMANCES, was picked up by a small press in 2013. I love dragons. Don’t you?



It’s a two-book series starting with DRAGONSTONE, which leads to CHALVAREN RISING. The have the best elements of fantasy, and romance woven together. Dragons, elves, and an alternate universe? Add in a hot romance between the main characters and what could be better? Fun fact: Charles helped me name the kingdom.



Then I wrote SAVANNAH GIRL’S THREE WISHES, a stand-alone fantasy romance set in my hometown at Saint Patrick’s Day – our national holiday. This book comes equipped with a Leprechaun hero, fairy royalty, and a heroine who owns an Irish bar down on River Street.



Then I wrote MARMALADE’S FIRST CHRISTMAS. It’s my one contemporary work featuring a hero who rescues a kitten, a heroine who’s a veterinarian, and everything I love most about Christmas.




I ventured out into a paranormal romance series when I wrote The Hunters’ Watch Brigade Series. Both INITITATION and THE GAME were sold by my agent to a traditional publisher. That was a wonderful experience because I got to see inside what happens to a manuscript when it sells. I received an advance and had the opportunity to work with a thirty-year veteran editor, which was an incredible experience.

It’s funny with categories. All along my writing journey I’ve been

studying story structure, and while I wrote that series based on the romance story structure, it sold as an Urban Fantasy series. Well, it does have a modern day setting in New York City, fantasy creatures (demi-gods, vampires, shifters, witches and wizards, oh, and did I mention my heroine is the daughter of Poseidon?).



INITIATION was nominated in January for their Reviewer’s Choice Award of 2018 by the Paranormal Romance Guild. Now that was pretty exciting! I hope the book wins its category, but man, was it an honor to be nominated.



Now I’m rapid releasing my three-book Savage Justice Romantic Suspense Series.



When I attended the 20Booksto50K Indie writer’s conference in Vegas last November, they inspired me. I learned SO much about marketing, and publishing. So, I made a decision. I’m putting them out myself, with confidence, into the hands of readers where they belong.






Blind dates don’t always end well.



Sometimes they end in murder.

When Evie Longfellow accepts the blind date from hell everything sane about her life changes. Singled out and kidnapped by a mafia kingpin, she escapes only to run a mysterious stranger off the road. But she’s not safe yet—her stalker’s determined to take Evie as his sixteenth victim.

Former FBI hostage negotiator Nick Franklin is still connected enough to his law enforcement colleagues to help Evie deal with her serial killer. When she runs him off the road, the last thing Nick wants is another case to deal with, but there’s something about her that turns him into full-on protector. And the closer they get, the hotter the sparks between them ignite.

With their worst enemy closing in on their small-town hideaway, their greatest fears about savage justice may be realized. Nick must pull out all the stops to help them capture one of the FBI’s most wanted and stop Evie from becoming the girl who got away.



Book II: THE COPYCAT KILLERS – Releases February 7th, 2019



Book III: MANHATTAN AFTER DARK – Releases February 18th



Why write action-filled page-turning romance, you ask? I’m a sucker for happy endings, books where justice wins the day, and great storytelling.

Thank you for reading my post. If you do pick up a few of my titles, I hope you enjoy them.
You can find all my books over at my Amazon page.  https://www.amazon.com/Paula-Millhouse/e/B006991RF8

Follow me there to get notices about my new releases.

Happy reading!

Paula Millhouse


About the Author
Paula Millhouse writes stories for her fans where love is worth fighting for, justice does exist, and happy ever afters are expected.

What’s in it for you?

A reward. Treat yourself to a diversion from your daily routine when you buy and read her stories.

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, where Spanish moss whispers tales in breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, as a child she was inspired by the sunshine and heritage of cobblestones, pirate lore, and rich historical traditions steeped with savory mysteries of the south.

She lives in the mountains now with her husband, but honors her Southern heritage as a storyteller by sharing her fiction with readers.


Follow us on social media:


Amazon Author Page:   amazon.com/author/paulamillhouse

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/diOj8j




Instagram: @paulamillhouse.   https://www.instagram.com/paulamillhouse/



Friday, January 4, 2019

Guest Blogger: Stephen Jared


My first guest blogger of 2019 is Stephen Jared. Stephen is an awesome, New Pulp writer and storyteller. I urge you to treat yourself to his writings, you won't be disappointed. 
Thanks Stephen, for joining us here at Stormgatepress.com.

I grew up when Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were releasing their early films. In interviews, especially while promoting Indiana Jones, they kept referencing classic movies. I soon wanted to know everything there was to know about classic movies. Thanks to VHS tapes, which were new at the time, I watched a lot of old movies when I was still very young.

The Jack Hunter adventures are a series of stories set in the 1930s and 1940s. Whether Shanghai, Cairo, or wherever, a lot of research goes into the settings. There are three stories so far (a fourth is completed), and my intention is to show some flexibility with the tone. In other words, some will be comedic, some may be more romantic, others may have elements of espionage, etc. 

Solstice Publishing has made them available. If you purchase The Elephants of Shanghai you get the first two stories in one book. The latest is The Chameleon Thief of Cairo. I’ve been extremely fortunate with cover artists. Paul Shipper illustrated the first two, and Elizabeth Yoo illustrated the recent one.

Here are samples from The Elephants of Shanghai and The Chameleon Thief of Cairo.

—Stephen  Jared


@stephen_jared



Shanghai 1942

Wang’s eyes swung to the side, while every other inch of him remained motionless. “A map of supply routes will be delivered to your room tonight,” he continued. “I have secured a boat to take you to Hong Kong. It can be ready whenever you like—”

“Tomorrow morning,” Jack eagerly stated.

Soaring to a feverish intensity, the crowd shouted and whistled as a strikingly beautiful Chinese woman stepped across the stage to a microphone that looked to be pleading for her touch. She wore a tight silk dress with a high-rising slit, scandalously exposing a thigh. A stiff upturned collar wrapped snugly around her neck. When she began to sing, the room was hers, as if she had cast a spell.

Noticing the overexcited look on Johnny’s face, Wang said, “They call her Summer Sometimes. She has a weakness for underworld figures.”

Thunderstruck by good fortune, Johnny caught Jack’s eye. He winked. He fidgeted and twitched. He pulled on his ears and nose, tugged on his ill-fitted suit, and mimed rowing a boat toward the stage.

Explaining to Wang, Jack said, “It’s his favorite song.”

Melting at the sight of the singer, Johnny chewed on his hands. The singer’s movements were sensual, teasing, and deliberate. It wasn’t until the second chorus that she slowly lifted her thigh out in the open, parting her silk dress like a curtain and electrifying the crowd with a touch of eroticism.

Soon the tune closed. Summer Sometimes bowed to rapturous applause. Demurely, she crossed the stage, taking her leave. Diamonds glistened with graceful movements. She raised a slender hand, acknowledging the demand for more, but left without hesitation, offering a glimpse of selfishness when it came to her seductive charms.

Johnny continued with his wild gyrations, slapping his hands ferociously. “Oh, boy! Oh, boy! Get a load’a that doll!” He whistled sharply, as loudly as he could.

The band continued playing. Stardust enchanted the crowd even absent its lyrics.

All eyes remained on the stunning vocalist as—

She walked to Jack’s table.

Wang was the first to rise and greet her. Extending a hand, he offered his compliments. “A delightful performance, Miss Sometimes.”

Even as she presented her hand to Wang, her eyes were solely on Jack. Her exquisite perfection, all the more so up close, was panic-inducing. She smiled a small smile. Her cheeks were bright wonders of unblemished softness.

Feeling a rush to his head, Jack said, “I’m Jack.”

Summer shook his hand. “I know.”



 

Cairo 1948



Chetan Livrés & Café sat on a large avenue, flanked by Moorish arcades. Outside, an elderly merchant sold postcard-size paintings of ancient Egyptian life. The bookstore’s neighbors sold wristwatches, pocket-watches, and modern European clothes. A man wearing a linen suit flicked a cigarette to the feet of the merchant before entering. Jack and Clancy followed, finding a charming mess of books overwhelming shelves, climbing walls, and sitting scattered in stacks all over the floor like buildings in a miniature city. They moved carefully through the disorderly maze toward the back where a courtyard allowed patrons to socialize. Coffee and food items were served.

“See anything interesting?” Clancy asked.

“Was he a collector of books or just a reader?”

“Both.”

“Then he was here. How about we sample the coffee and get to know the staff?”

Before the next hour passed, Jack and Clancy came to realize that not a single member of the Chetan staff spoke English. The coffee, however, was wonderful. According to a menu at each table, the coffee beans were imported from southern Arabia, ground locally, and blended with cardamom. They also ate from a plate of delicious sweet dates filled with goat cheese. There weren’t many of them, and so they discussed what else they might try. They settled on sweet cakes covered with coconut syrup. A second round of coffee came too.

Jack’s attention was eventually drawn to a man, seated alone and holding a folded newspaper. The man kept darting eyes at them. The man’s suit was rumpled, as though not cleaned in weeks. His stubble was more than a day old. When he noticed Jack watching, he raised his coffee and smiled. Jack returned the stranger’s greeting with a smile of his own.

“You are Americans?” he asked in Arabic-accented English.

Jack nodded, offered their first names, and then invited the man to their table. “A great pleasure to meet you,” he added. “Your name is …?”

“I am Kalem. You search for something other than books?”

The silk tassel on his tarboosh swayed as he sat, and all his words smelled of decayed teeth. He had a peculiar way of speaking. He shoved words from his mouth without lip movement, and as he did so, his bulging eyes swept the room with unrestrained suspicion.

“What makes you ask?” Jack replied.

“I sorry. I speak foolishly. Do not mind me. You are businessmen?”

“We could be open to business. We’d need someone to make introductions.”

“I do not know anyone, not anyone with money.” Kalem flattened his palms on the table, leaned in, and spoke in a conspiratorial tone. “Please, do not mistake me. I am not one of the disgruntled who speaks of liberating us from the wealthy English infidels. I am just a simple one, a happy-to-get-along Egyptian.” He straightened his back again and nodded, pleased with the definition he offered of himself.


















Monday, November 19, 2018

Captain Hawklin & the Shadow Men Release Date

Hey, I have some great news. The date has been set for the sixth book in my Captain Hawklin Adventure series. “The Shadow Men” will be released on February 6th 2019 (which happens to be my birthday) Here is the back cover blurb and the cover by Damian Aviles.

July 1937
When Captain Steven Hawklin is attacked by a warplane over Southern California he is thrown into the secrecy and intrigue of the Shadow Men, an ultra-classified branch of the British government bent on keeping the Empire safe at all costs. It seems one of their agents has gone rogue and is out to kill Captain Hawklin.

Meanwhile at the behest of Professor Lucas Gray, Oscar “Oz” Lyman arrives in the mountains of Montana, to investigate the mysterious appearance of an Indian God who has invoked a local Blackfoot Tribe into committing acts of violence, preventing the construction of a new ski resort. Suspicious, Oz leads an expedition into the mountains to find the real reason behind the strange phenomenon.

Approached by agents of the Shadow Men, Steven learns the motive of the person out to kill him, understanding the past is never forgotten, he agrees to help track down the wayward agent, in a race against time to prevent the death of his trusted friend, Hardy Miller, who becomes entangled in the villainous plan. Traveling to Germany, Steven is given one chance to rescue his friend in a do-or-die aerial battle that will prove once and for all, the true master of the air.

Captain Hawklin and the Shadow Men, is a throwback of a bygone age of pulp adventure stories. Filled with spies and mythological gods. Nazis, cliffhangers and action in the tradition of Doc Savage and Commander Cody.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

My Thoughts of Stan Lee

Stan Lee left this universe on November 12, 2018 and as I write those words, I can’t wrap my mind around it.

I grew up with many influences, my parents, an older brother and even though they taught me right from wrong, Stan Lee taught me to believe. I found comics when I was about eight years old. I immediately fell in love with them. I was hooked on Spider-Man (what kid wasn’t?) and although it took be a few years to understand who these creators were, Stan Lee was always there. He didn’t talk down to kids, be treated us as equals and that’s what drew me to Marvel more than any other company. Stan Lee was larger than life. His ideas were something I’ve emulated once I decided that writing was something I wanted to do for a living. It was through those early Avenger stories that I learned how to pace a story, how to give the reader just enough to get them hooked. That’s what Marvel did back in the day, and Stan was a master of it. It was his tireless efforts and his unwilling to compromise that drove his stories in the directions they went. Though there have been others writers after Stan stepped away from the story telling, none of them was Mr. Lee. He took a fledgling company and by the mid 1970’s made it a household name.

I can’t imagine a world where there is no Stan Lee. Where there will be no more cameos in a Marvel Movie, where we won’t see him on the red carpet, or where we won’t meet him at a convention. I actually physically bumped into him once at a con as we passed through a door together. I tapped him on his shoulder and said “Excuse me Stan.” His reply was something mumbled because I think it took him off guard. But in my mind I can hear him say, “That’s alright True Believer.” No I can’t imagine a world without Stan Lee, or Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko. Sadly the greats are leaving us. But they left behind tons and tons of stories and art that will live on forever.


Thank you Stan... Excelsior!!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Guest Blogger: Jacob Rundle

It's always a joy to see first time writers publisher their first book. I remember how it felt the first time, it's a lot like every time after. It's a feeling you never grow tired of. Stormgate Press is proud to present Jacob Rundle.

How Self-Publishing Has Shaped Me:


As I sit at my writer’s desk, I ask myself which direction I want to take with this blog post. There are so many topics that I feel that are pertinent, but the one that I continue to replay is the topic, “why am I self-publishing instead of trying to get published traditionally?” There is a pivotal point in my article where I say, “I am in no way, shape or form saying anything negative about people who traditionally publish. We all want different things. Now, I have come to believe that the answer is very personal to me, yet I want to share how the experience can help anyone grow as a person and as a writer. So, I want share with you all what I have learned, and why I stand by my decision that self-publishing is an amazing adventure, and how self-publishing has shaped me into a better writer.  

Augur of Shadows: Book I of the 
Destined Series 
will be published in Feb. 2019 
A few years ago, in a period of time when I thought about writing a story, I learned of self-publishing and as many others believed, and some still do, that self-publishing wasn’t a viable option. My thoughts were that being traditionally published was the only way to “make it big” in the literary world. A few questions ran through my mind, “don’t you want to get a book deal? You do know that you won’t make any money as a self-publisher, don’t you?” The answer also depends on one’s definition of “making it big”. Now, I can proudly say that I was completely wrong with that way of thinking because I have completed a piece that is near and dear to my heart. . How many people can say that they enjoy being wrong?

Throughout my journey of writing Augur of Shadows: Book 1 of the Destined Series, I have been exposed to several aspects of the writing and publishing businesses, i.e. writing, editing, revising, formatting and marketing. Before I completed my story, I had no experience in either area. You as a writer should keep this vital question in mind, “what do you want to take away from the experience?”. I’m sure you all agree that learning something new is scary, but also, it is the most exhilarating feeling in the world. The reason that I say, “keep this question in mind” is because when you are deciding whether or not self-publishing is an option for you, individuals who self-publish have their hands in every aspect of the process. Individuals who traditionally publish may or may not have as much control over such areas as cover art, where to sell, etc. So, ask yourself, “how much influence and work you want to put forward?” and you will be closer to a more informed decision.


Also, I must take a leap of faith, and I must seek out individuals to critique what I have written. I do believe that it is vital to get outside options. These critiques can help your story grow into the rose it is meant to be. I was extremely nervous about letting other individuals read my material, and all of the self-doubting questions popped into my head, “what if they don’t like it?” I had to learn to accept that you will not please everyone, and everyone doesn’t have to like what you write. An amazing writer has good and bad reviews, and I was willing to learn from my beta readers’ ideas, suggestions and critiques. I was extremely elated, and I was proud of even the corrections because how many people muster up enough courage to write a novel and to send it off to others to read? I felt accomplished, and I knew that I made the right decision.


As a self-publisher, the entire process has forced me to find skills that I never knew that I have had. Making every executive decision forces one to focus their skill set and to make connections with their readers. I love the fact that I am the one who decides which road my novel takes. I truly believe that when an artist doesn’t have outside influences, pressuring him or her to do this or that, they will have an easier time to fully express them selves. The amount of information that I have learned from the whole process is outstanding, and the process has helped me become the writer that I want to be. So, please, every single beginner writer out there, follow your creative voice, and you won’t be let down.  


Friday, September 21, 2018

Guest Blogger: Jim Beard: LET THAT BE YOUR LAST NYARLATHOTEP

Hello everyone, here we go with week four of my guest blogger series. If you thought Brian K. Morris' post last week was weird. Well it's about to be topped by Jim Beard.

Jim Beard became a published writer when he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. Since that time he's written official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comic stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history. His prose work includes the novel SPIDER-MAN: ENEMIES CLOSER; co-editing and contributing to PLANET OF THE APES: TALES FROM THE FORBIDDEN ZONE; a story for X-FILES: SECRET AGENDAS; GOTHAM CITY 14 MILES, a book of essays on the 1966 Batman TV series; SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, a collection of pulp ghost stories featuring an Edwardian occult detective; MONSTER EARTH, a shared-world giant monster anthology; and CAPTAIN ACTION: RIDDLE OF THE GLOWING MEN, the first pulp prose novel based on the classic 1960s action figure. Jim also currently provides regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website.

So, without further delay, let's get into Jim's blog post, a post that in no way reflects the views of Stormgate Press and are of
the author's own point of view. You have been warned... read on... 


LET THAT BE YOUR LAST NYARLATHOTEP

By Jim “The R’lyeh Kid” Beard


I’ll try to keep this short because I know you have things to do, people to kill. Plus, I’m addressing this to the writing community, so I know their time is precious. I really just have one, important thing to say—no, suggest, actually:
 We have to, as a community, stop digging up H.P. Lovecraft’s grave and picking at his bones.
 There, I said it. Whew. You don’t know how good it felt, I assure you. That’s been festering inside of me for years, gnawing away at me like some nameless thing from the Stygian depths, like rats in the walls, or a sort of weird, otherworldly dread, or…
Damn, now I’m doing it.
Before I sat down to write this little manifesto, I plugged in “Cthulhu” in an Amazon search, and the results were staggering in their width, breadth, and depth. A million fiction anthologies with clever titles are only the tip of the iceberg; there are products of every conceivable type and topic, even toys, for God’s sake…and, and children’s books, and Cthulhu Monopoly!
Enough. Let us have an end to it. And it should start with the writers.
You know who you are. You’re sitting there reading this while taking a break from writing your Cthulhu-My Little Pony mashup, or your Old Ones cookbook, or worse still, your thirteenth Lovecraft-Sherlock Holmes short story for inclusion in the new anthology A Holmes in the Wall: Lovecraftian Tales Designed to Give You Colours Out of Space.
Stop it, I beg of you. You have the power to stop, if you would only choose to do so.
Listen, I get it, I really do. Lovecraft’s place in literary fiction is assured, rest easy, because yeah, he did something different and it was weird and it felt unfinished and you want to add to the Mythos and…but, listen; you and I know that stuff wasn’t very good to begin with.
There’s the rub. I think that’s what it is, what lies at the root of this Lovecraft obsession. The guy’s writing wasn’t that good and everybody knows it and everybody’s trying to make something good out of it, or at least better than ol’ H.P.’s stuff. Back in 2001 I picked up a Lovecraft collection called Black Seas of Infinity because, sure, I’d always wanted to read the stories and see what it was all about. By the third or forth tale I was reading the book right before bed every night because I knew it would put me to sleep, guaranteed. When it wasn’t making me want to kill myself, of course.
Okay, I’m going a little long with this and not making any friends by it, but I think if you really examined your feelings and thought it through, you’ll realize we don’t need another Cthulhu anthology, novel, collection of poems, jigsaw puzzle, or baby’s plushie. Enough’s enough. Too much. Way too much for things based on stuff of dubious value to begin with.
Think of the children, if nothing else. Think of them, if you won’t think of your fellow adults who cringe at every snappy twist on “Cthulho Fhtagn!” that appears on the shelves at that little independent bookstore down the street. If just one child can be saved from being buried underneath the avalanche of Lovecraftian pastiches, won’t it be worth it? Huh?
Think about it. That’s all I’m asking.
Oh, and stop acting like the Necronomicon is real. It isn’t. Dude invented that, too. Word.


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