A Letter from Robert McCammon


McCammon's update letter from May 31, 2010

On May 31, 2010, Robert McCammon wrote this update for the website.


Where I'm "At"

Hi everyone, and as always thank you for taking the time to check in, see what's going on and make comments on my work. Your input is always appreciated.

I'd like to talk about a few subjects near and dear to me this time out. First up: work-in-progress. I'm very excited about what's coming up in the future, namely the really beautiful edition of The Wolf's Hour and of course The Five, which I believe (or would like to believe) is the best book I've ever written. So I personally am "stoked" about what's ahead.

I guess you know by now about the new Michael Gallatin novelette, The Room at the Bottom of the Stairs. Well, I had a lot of fun writing that and I started thinking...you know, Michael's story is far from being told.

So...while The Wolf's Hour is fresh on my mind, I'm doing a new book of short stories about Michael Gallatin. The reason (well, one reason) I never went back to do a Wolf's Hour sequel is that I figured I'd said everything that needed to be said. I mean, really, The Wolf's Hour is packed with just about every World War II situation I could think of. What else could I write that wouldn't be repeating myself?

I started thinking...maybe short stories would be the way to go. And I'm not usually into writing short stories because I prefer the longer form, but in this case I was thinking I could do some different things in different (and experimental) ways and see what happens. So right now I'm doing this book of Gallatin short stories and including probably another novelette. I hope also in this book to answer some of the questions that have been posed about...well...about a lot of Michael Gallatin's past and future.

Okay. That said, I'm working hard also on the next Matthew book. So don't worry, The Providence Rider is trotting along.

Now...another thing near and dear to me. The podcasts.

Oh, the humanity! Also...listen to all that silence in the room.

Guys, the podcasts are really mostly for me because I enjoy doing them. If I hadn't become a writer (and I didn't have much of a choice on that one), I probably would have gone into sound production and become a recording engineer. I really, really do enjoy working with music and sound. Also, for me it's a bigtime stress reliever and I do need that.

So...I'm going to do two more Psycho 60s podcasts (the last one being our time machine trip to the Northern Soul dance club in July) and then shift the format to what I call Radio 678. I'll be broadening the focus of the show to include songs from the 70s and 80s. I plan to do one of these a month.

Guys...I'm not taking any time away from my writing. I know you don't necessarily want to hear music or hear me talking about music on the website, but this is all for the good, believe me. So I hope you give them a listen and I hope you enjoy them and...you know what?...you might glean from them some better understanding of me and why I write what I do.

Now, I have to address a comment that was made by an Irish gentleman on Facebook. The comment being that I am arrogant because I don't want the first four (actually, I believe it's the first three) books I wrote to be re-published. The idea is that I'm arrogant because I say they're not good enough to be published again and I supposedly should let the readers decide that.

Well, the books are available. They're on eBay and other places, I'm sure. They're in used book stores, yes they are. I'm not trying to destroy all the old copies of those books. They're out there. I just think my writing has progressed over time and I don't think those books need to be published in large quantities with my name on them saying I'm the writer of the Matthew Corbett series or The Five or some future novel. Those books are starter novels. They got me going, but I'd like to think I've come a long way since. In essence, they've done their job.

Am I arrogant for this? For deciding that readers should not buy those early books expecting the quality of the new work? I'm trying to save people some money! Is that arrogant?

Gee, I kinda got my feelings hurt over this one.

If deciding that I require excellence in my work now, and that if someone sees my name on a book they know they will hopefully get as close to an excellent experience as I can give them...yeah, I'm as arrogant as I can be.

And I guess I'm proud to be arrogant.

See, I made the decision that these books are not up to my current standards so you guys wouldn't have to.

Sir, when I come visit Ireland you owe me a brew.

Onward.

Summer's here! Have fun and keep reading!

Best Wishes,
Robert McCammon

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