My Writer Self
As some of you know I also write. Most of you know me as a publisher, editor and all-time Lovecraft afficionado — but, yeah, I also write stories. And I need to promote that a bit. So here you go:
I write stories in English and Danish, the latter being my primary language. And yeah — don’t worry, my English stories are better proofread and edited than some of these blogs; the blogs are written very much as spur-of-the-moment, whereas the stories are looked over again and again, by myself and others. That goes for my Danish stories as well, come to think of it.
In general I write in the weird fiction vein. I can’t help but be inspired by the marvelous, the strange and the horrible. And I want to explore that. Very often my stories have a philosophical bend, not surprisingly, I suppose, since I have a degree in Philosophy, and philosophical reflections are as natural to me as breathing. Hopefully this fact doesn’t interfere with a given story and its ability to pull in the reader.
I consider “weird fiction” a large playground. I know that to many, any given genre imposes limitations, and that’s true — and is a subject worthy of another, separate blog post — but I think of “weird fiction” as an overarching characterization, encompassing several genres, e.g. horror, paranormal, fantasy and, from time to time, science fiction. That said, one of my primary inspirations has been, and remains, H. P. Lovecraft. Please notice that I say inspiration.
I have several projects that I work on.
In Danish my main project these days is writing my first novel, Mørkets troubadour (eng. Troubadour of the Dark), the first in the tetralogy with the title Zombie Zane tetralogien (eng. The Zombie Zane Tetralogy, in case you were wondering, hehe). The Series title is still subject to change. This tetralogy is an oddball, and truth be told I am uncertain if people will enjoy it, but it is a tale I need to tell, at any cost. Whether I am good enough a writer to pull it off is for others to decide. It is a post-apocalyptic story of sorts, and I weave sci-fi, fantasy and horror in a huge tapestry where, hopefully, a coherent storyline will emerge. If not before, it should become clear in the fourth book, Tågernes fyrste (eng. The Lord of the Mists).
In the first book we catch a scene happening on a hot Summer night right up to the apocalypse, where a strange girl meets a desillusioned writer and… well, things happen;-) Cut — and we’re somewhere in the future, and the surviving humans are living mainly underground. A guard is sent off to a secret mission by a Magister, one of the dark leaders, and on that mission he encounters a character dreaded by everyone, a character whose very presence means that doom for all mankind is imminent: The Troubadour of the Dark.
That’s a very short outline, even for a summary, of course;-)
I am also revising a short story, “Hr. Clegors blodbank” (eng. “Mr. Clegor’s Blood Bank”). A strange story about a man who starts to live a bizarre, bohemian, yet very artistic and fulfilling, life after a visit to a mysterious “blood bank” one night. A tale about yearning for autenthic, creative life in a world where everything is grey and dull, I suppose you could say. Of course, with a dark twist or two;-) This story owes a lot to the Danish weird tale writer Jonas Wilmann, who supplied me with the story’s opening line. (A little side note: Jonas won the Danish horror reward 2012 for his gritty collection of dark tales, Frygt-filerne (eng. The Fear-Files). If you want to read a Danish horror collection I urge you to buy that one. Also, earlier this week he published Udkantshistorier (eng. Outskirts Stories), which looks very promising, although I haven’t read it yet. Support a cool indie writer in Denmark:-))
In English I recently submitted the wee tale “The Strange Franco Santanarium de Marco” to an anthology. Here’s hoping it will be accepted. It’s one of my shorter stories but I quite like it. If you want comparison I suppose it’s a Ligottian kind of story. It takes place in a city that is crumbling, I like that:-)
I am also working on a heavy re-write of a story called “Of Such Terrible Beauty.” It is a story I originately wrote with a specific anthology in mind (no, I won’t tell you which one;-)) but I discovered that my knack for writing theme-oriented stories is next to non-existing. Apparently, my creative juices just do not like to be forced into a framework by others. I have the highest respect for writers who manages that and I see great stories written like this, but it seems that it’s just not my way of doing things as a writer. As a result, the original story was an ugly behemoth — but with gems here and there in the shivering corpse. And that’s where “Of Such Terrible Beauty” showed itself. I think it will become quite a nice tale taking place in some strange future.
Oh, and then there’s my novella, “Night Time” (title subject to change), which haunts me. I started working on it, what, 5 years ago or something, and it’s still not completed. It’s a Meat Loaf-meets-Nick Cave-and-Marilyn Mansion kind of story;-) A man is unravelling in the big city and as that happens he encounters modern witches and discovers that the city has a life — and, if you will, a mind — of its own. (Yes, I can say that without giving away too much. Besides, it will be a couple of years before it will see publication somewhere anyway, and then this blog post will be forgotten;-))
My problem with that one is not the storyline; that’s pretty much settled a long time ago. The problem is getting the right imagery, which is so vital for it to work. But I’m getting there.
So, that about wraps it up for now. Back to Zombie Zane.
Artwork by Allen Koszowski
Things are starting to happen again. This is the cover for the next publication, Those Dreadful Eltdown Shards, with an introduction by Franklyn Searight telling you the story of the Eltdown Shards – a Cthulhu Mythos invention by his father, Richard F. Searight, which received much praise from Searight’s correspondent, H. P. Lovecraft himself. In fact, Lovecraft was so taken by the concept that he included the Shards in his magnificent “The Shadow Out of Time.” (One of my personal favorites.) Yes, that story too will be found in this collection.
This is the first time the original, classic weird stories that include the Eltdown Shards are collected in one place. They are joined by letters from Lovecraft to Richard F. Searight, as well as not-before-published stories by Richard F. Searight and Franklyn Searight.
And let’s not forget the marvelous, creepy artwork by Allen Koszowski, who also illustrated Searight’s Lovecraftian Covens.
I look forward to publish this collection, which will be interesting for people who enjoy classic weird tales. A true collector’s item.
It is scheduled for publication by the end of July 2013. So we’re close;-)
Like I said, much is happening. Be ready for more updates the next couple of days, incl. on meeting none other than S. T. Joshi himself in Copenhagen (with pictures to prove it, hehe), the ups and downs of working as a small press, the need to change a few book formats in the near future, the first e-book publication (!) and more.
Oh, before I forget: A few writers are awaiting an e-mail from me. If you are read this blog: I haven’t forgotten you. The e-mails be in your mailbox either today or tomorrow. Whether you think that good news or dire… Oh well, that’s for you to decide;-)