Hi, everyone, and as always, thanks very much for all the comments.
Big news today!
I've been meaning to answer more of your questions but I've been very
busy for the last month. Subterranean Press is doing what I consider the
definitive edition of The Wolf's Hour in November or thereabouts,
and I was asked to do an introduction.
So I started thinking about what I could say in this introduction. It
would most likely be something boring, like talking about my interest in
the werewolf legend and in World War II history and how I decided to do
But, I didn't think that would be good enough, so I thought...okay, I'll
write a new Michael Gallatin short story.
What started out as a short story ended up as 123 pages of new Michael
Gallatin material. I guess this would be called a "novella".
Anyway, the story takes place after the events depicted in The Wolf's
Hour. It's also made me start thinking about writing some more
Gallatin material in the short form (say, a book of two novellas and
three short stories) because my problem with writing a Wolf's
Hour sequel is that I don't want to repeat myself. In the shorter
form, it might be possible to do some different things that I couldn't
do in novel length.
The new Michael Gallatin story is done and will appear in all editions
of The Wolf's Hour published by Subterranean Press.
So, for all who've been asking about a Wolf's Hour sequel, this
is probably the best I can do right now. More stories may come later.
We'll see what the response is and if it's strong enough there will
definitely be more Michael Gallatin.
Working now on The Providence Rider. Moving pretty well there but
I did devote the last month, as I said, to the Gallatin story. The
Five is still making the rounds of publishers but no offers yet. The
question was asked if The Five is a "dark" novel, and
though it does have supernatural and "dark" elements it also
has "light" elements, so it's not strictly along the lines of
my earlier work.
You know, I've been puzzled as to why The Five hasn't been picked
up by someone, because I think it's the best book I've ever written. But
tonight I kind of came to this conclusion:
I was at a library benefit tonight and had the opportunity to speak with
a couple of other writers, and we were talking as writers do about the
business, and publishers, and genres and such.
Never in the history of publishing (at least never in my thirty years of
being in the business) has the role of "genre" been so tight.
I mean, everything has to fit a category.
That's just the way it is. People in publishing are very afraid of
losing their jobs these days, so what's going to be bought and pushed is
usually the "safe"—meaning "it's been successful
So I was thinking on the drive back how the one thing I've always wanted
to achieve and feel I have achieved is a double-edged sword.
The Five is unlike anything else being published today. There is
absolutely nothing else like it out there. Also, the same can be said of
the Matthew Corbett series.
What I've worked very hard to achieve is being unique. Being the kind of
writer who does work that no one else does. Of going my own way, on my
own road, and feeling I'm doing the right (or write) thing.
I think I've created my own genre that no one else shares. For instance,
a woman came up to me and asked me to describe Boy's Life. Is it
"horror", is it "fantasy", is it
"literary", or "mystery"...or what?
My answer to that was: you know, I think it's something altogether
My trials and tribulations in the publishing business began with Boy's
Life. I think I created something that no one else could do. Which kind
of astounds me when I think about it, but Boy's Life follows no
publisher's model of success. That's also true of the Matthew Corbett
series and certainly true of The Five.
So I think I've achieved my desire to be unique. Now...in this world
nothing is free, so if you walk to a different drummer you might find
yourself on the path that no one else wants to walk. But still...this is
something I should be very proud of, I think. I believe what I'm doing
is good and important, or obviously I wouldn't want to be doing it, and
because it has no previous "model" it stands on its own.
I think that's what I've always wanted to achieve. So here it is, but
again the world being what it is, a price must be paid for everything.
Now...don't worry about The Five. It's going to find a good home
and I think it'll have a strong future. You know, the plans you make
don't always work out but I'm here to tell you, guys, there is
So thanks again for your comments. I have to say, I'm writing this late
night near two o'clock and I'm pretty tired after the library benefit,
but I got one question from a gentleman who lives in Charleston (and I
tried to go back and look up his name on the Facebook page but I
couldn't find it, I guess my eyes are going too) concerning the fact
that there's mention of a "lightning rod" in Speaks the
Nightbird when that particular item wasn't invented until much
I wanted to address this because I don't want to "duck" a
research question. The answer is, this is one of those things that
invariably will bite you. And there will be more than one in each book.
Writing about history is fraught with research perils. You can take care
of a thousand things (and there really will be thousands of things to
take care of) but a few are going to get past you, no doubt about it.
I don't have a research assistant or staff. It's just me. And, I have to
say, I've gotten more careful about researching as the series has
progressed, because I'm aware of earlier mistakes I've made. I hate
making mistakes, but after they're made and in print all you can do is
grit your teeth and hope you won't make any more, which is kind of the
As I've said before, you're never going to write a perfectly accurate
historical novel. I think I threw in that "lightning rod"
comment just as an aside, and this is where you can get hammered because
I was probably too busy researching a dozen other things to think about
an aside. My bad, and I hope it won't happen again but I know it will. I
will never, ever tell you all the mistakes I've made in this series so
far because some of them are real screamers. At least, I screamed when I
realized they were in print, too late to be removed from the eyes of
experts who know everything under the sun about a single subject. I just
have to do the best I can do in any book, which will certainly fall
short of being perfect.
Did you guys like the podcast? I'm getting ready to do a second one. I
really enjoy doing them, and some of the songs and bands you'll be
hearing are mentioned in The Five by the character Terry
Spitzenham, who plays keyboards and is the band's retro freak and
encyclopedia of, as the drummer Berke Bonnevey puts it, "the moldy
Lots of good things ahead, guys. Very excited. Oh! Almost forgot! How
about Chuck Hartsell's video for Mister Slaughter? We're doing
videos also for Speaks the Nightbird and Queen of Bedlam.
Chuck also wants to do a video for The Wolf's Hour.
And...we're planning on doing a longer form music video for The
Five. I've written the words for some of the songs in The
Five, so what we might do is put music to one of them and fire that
up with a band doing the original song in the video.
How about it? Summertime is coming, guys!
Thanks for all your support and good wishes, and I'll check in with you
a little later on.