Subterranean Press news and a new interview with Robert McCammon

 Interviews, Robert McCammon, The River of Souls  Comments Off on Subterranean Press news and a new interview with Robert McCammon
Jul 072014
 

Subterranean Press posted this on their website this morning:

We’re shipping the Signed Limited Edition of Robert McCammon’s The River of Souls, which includes the novel proper, illustrations not in the trade hardcover, and an 11,000 word bonus story that won’t be available anywhere else for at least two years. The limited is 97% sold out, so don’t hold back if you’re interested in a copy.

In the meantime, here’s an interview with Rick we’ve been holding back until the Limited Edition shipping started:

Kealan Patrick Burke: In The River of Souls, the fifth book in your Matthew Corbett series, when we meet Matthew, he is somewhat unmoored, lonely, lamenting the loss of love, an intentional sacrifice to keep those he cares about out of harm’s way. And by the end of the novel, this caution is revealed not to be unfounded. Do you ever see him finding a way back to love despite the inherent and obvious danger?

Robert McCammon:  Well, first of all there are five books yet to go in the series. I will say that I know what the series is about, I know how it will end and I know what the last line will be…but I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to get there and I don’t want to be sure. I want the series to be a surprise to me. I have faith in my ability to guide it to a good conclusion, but I don’t want to have every step mapped out. If you’re asking if Matthew will have more romantic encounters, that is certainly true. And if Berry will come back into the series…certainly true again.

KPB: We are introduced in the novel to the memorable character, Magnus Muldoon, who though initially an antagonist, becomes for Matthew an invaluable ally. Given your penchant for revisiting some of the more memorable characters in Corbett’s world, is it safe to say that we should expect to see more of this wonderful character in the future?

RM: As I stated above, I don’t know. I have no idea who will show up in future books or who will die…this series just happens. Will Magnus return? Not sure, but you can be sure that there will be more characters equally as interesting as Magnus.

KPB: Given the period in which these books are set, it is no surprise that superstition plays a large role in the proceedings, perhaps never more so than in Speaks the Nightbird. How much of the swamp-lore and the vicious tribe who dwell there is based on real superstition, or did you develop it all yourself for the purposes of the book?

RM: Part of The River of Souls is based on the lore of the Bell Witch, from Tennessee, and also from local Alabama lore. The “creature” is based on stories told in a small town very near to my hometown. And a lot of it comes from my imagination, too. It just seems “right”.

KPB: Speaking of superstition, and in particular the horrific incident midway through the book in which you employ a rather macabre sporting event, have you considered writing an outright horror novel featuring Matthew Corbett, or is the supernatural something you prefer to keep to your non-series novels?

RM: I think “creepy”, “spooky” and “horrific” can be applied to the Corbett series but I’m not sure I want to go deeper into what we call the supernatural. I will say, though, that clues were planted in both The Queen of Bedlam and The Providence Rider that lead to a situation that might be called “supernatural”. It involves a book. A book that shows up in both Bedlam and Providence Rider. There’s a lot going on in this series that won’t be fully clear until we get into the final phase.

KPB: The River of Souls is fairly different in structure to the other books, in that, rather than have the plot involve the decoding of an intricate and elaborate mystery, the villain is revealed rather early and the book focuses more on the hunt, the swamp as a character, and all the evils it hides. The book is also the shortest in the series thus far. Can you talk a little bit about the inspiration for The River of Souls, and whether it was a conscious choice to move away from the idea of the mystery being the propelling force behind the story?

RM: Actually I was going through a rough time in my personal life and I wanted to live some of that out through Matthew. He was my “sin-eater”. Also my role-model. He can take whatever is thrown at him and keep going. Of course he’s going to be changed in some way and that’s what life is about, but Matthew is an ultimate survivor. So The River of Souls was more about endurance than mystery.

KPB: How much research do you typically do when preparing a Corbett novel to ensure that you authentically represent both the period and detail?

RM: I did reams of research for both Speaks the Nightbird and The Queen of Bedlam, so unless I have a specialized situation I can coast for a little while on my research. If something comes up that I need to find out about, I know where to look. I also have to say that I’ve embellished the times a little bit…cleaned them up some, because there was so much disease, pestilence and plague in that era there would be no time for handling anything else. My research on that era tells me there was no word for “joy” but many words for “sorrow”. It was truly a very rough, heartbreaking and soul-wrenching time. I am in awe that this country and the cities in it exist, to be perfectly honest. How humans overcame the swamps, the primeval forest, the diseases and all the other hardships of that time…it’s amazing and really incredible.

KPB: Much like the miasmic swamp, the pall of series antagonist Professor Fell looms large over The River of Souls, and by the book’s end you set the stage for a reckoning. As the next book is a ways off yet, and without giving too much away, how much of that coming story do you already know, and can you tease us with an idea of what to expect?

RM: Again, clues have been already delivered that will come to fruition in the next book. I do know what the story will be and a lot of what will happen, but certainly not all of it. I do know we go to England in the next book, and the rest of the series will probably take place in Europe. And of course Professor Fell will be a large character in the next book…we may even find out who he really is and what he looks like. If indeed “he” is not really a woman who’s been hiding behind the image of a man.

KPB: As with the other books in the series that Subterranean has published, The River of Souls features typically evocative cover art and illustrations by the wonderful Vincent Chong. Obviously, it’s critical that the representations of your characters are accurate. How closely do you work with Mr. Chong to achieve the desired result?

RM: I don’t really work with Vincent that closely but he always does a great job. I love the idea of using a “weapon” of some kind on the covers. I’m always pleased to see Vincent’s work, it’s excellent.

KPB: Included in the limited edition of The River of Souls is “The Scorpion’s Eye”, a fun novelette featuring another series character, the roguish master-thief, Minx Cutter. The story has an adventurous, almost pulp-fiction feel to it. Have you considered writing more of these standalone tales, perhaps featuring other characters from the series?

RM: I was planning on doing next a book of short stories and novelettes about other cases Hudson and Matthew have handled. I’ve dropped mention of other cases they’ve been on in the books, such as “The House At The End Of The World”, “Night Ride” and the complications of a romance between a colonist and an Indian maiden that would be titled “Love Is A Walk Through Fire”. I was going to do this as the sixth book in the series, but I don’t think I can let readers hang so long with Matthew in his current predicament. So…that has to be for later, if ever.

KPB: It also takes a dramatic and unexpected turn into horror, perhaps even science fiction territory midway through. Is there any chance that we might see more of the accursed “object”, or other treasures from Xavier Dreadson’s macabre collection?

RM: Ha! Good idea. Who knows what else Dreadson had in that house, and who’s got hold of those things now. I may play with that one. Other “objects” may show up in the possession of…well, we’ll see.

KPB: Now that she has been incorporated into the Herrald Agency, how big a role will Minx Cutter play in the next Matthew Corbett book?

RM: That I don’t know yet. For sure, Minx is a very interesting character. But be assured there will be plenty more, and a lot yet to come. And when we get to the end and people realize what Professor Fell is searching for, and why…I think the destination will definitely be worth the journey.

KPB: Thanks so much for your time, Mr. McCammon!

RM: You’re welcome, and thank you.

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Robert McCammon booksigning: May 29 at the Alabama Booksmith

 Robert McCammon, The River of Souls  Comments Off on Robert McCammon booksigning: May 29 at the Alabama Booksmith
May 162014
 

Robert McCammon will be signing books at the Alabama Booksmith on Thursday, May 29, 2014, at 4 PM. Copies of all of his in-print novels, including The River of Souls, will be available for purchase, and he’ll sign whatever other books you bring or purchase.

If you can’t make the signing but would like a signed copy of the book, visit the Alabama Booksmith website for details on how you can reserve a signed copy.

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The Five promotional video and a song by Robert McCammon!

 Robert McCammon, The Five  Comments Off on The Five promotional video and a song by Robert McCammon!
Nov 142013
 

Robert McCammon’s The Five will be released in paperback by Tor on November 26, 2013!

After finishing the novel, Mr. McCammon wrote the lyrics for a song called “Darkest Night” and collaborated with the band Dorean Lives to bring the song to life.

The video below features Robert McCammon discussing The Five, as well as the music video for “Darkest Night.” Please feel free to share the video far and wide! It can be found on YouTube: http://youtu.be/VowF6J6lGQc

Video directed by Chuck Hartsell.


Darkest Night

Lyrics by Robert McCammon
Copyright © 2013 Robert McCammon

I had a dream and I was wide awake
I sat there thinking of the choices you make
To rise or fall, that’s what it’s about,
To keep going, and I started to shout,
 
(chorus)
Every darkest night must give way to the dawn,
Every lost soul must keep searching on,
Every wrong love must fight to be right,
Everyone must live through their own darkest night
 
I’ve seen a lot since the day I woke up,
Been through the fire, drank from a poisoned cup,
But I’m still here and I plan to remain,
In the old world that can make you insane
 
I search for beauty, it’s hard to find,
Walking through shadows to leave darkness behind,
It’s a hard old world when nothing feels right,
Gonna find a reason to keep fighting the fight
 
Through the darkest night
The darkest night
Through the darkest night
The darkest night…


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Nov 112013
 
Robert McCammon with the Bulgarian edition of Boy's Life

Robert McCammon with the Bulgarian edition of Boy’s Life

Just discovered today: Robert McCammon was awarded the Japanese Adventure Fiction Association Prize two years in a row in the 1990s. The prize was awarded to Swan Song in 1994 and to Boy’s Life in 1995. The prizes were presented by the Japanese Adventure Fiction Association from 1982 to 2011 for the best adventure novel published the previous year.

Yet another international edition discovery: Robert McCammon’s short story “Black Boots” was included in a 1993 German anthology, Das große Horror-Lesebuch II (Big Book of Horror II). The cover for the book can be seen here. It has been added to the Book Cover Gallery.

And a roundup of various posts from around the ‘net in the past month:

Finally, the Robert McCammon Goodreads group is reading and discussing Usher’s Passing as their November Group Read.

 

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Bram Stoker Awards 2013 video is now available

 Robert McCammon, WHC 2013  Comments Off on Bram Stoker Awards 2013 video is now available
Jul 052013
 

The 2013 Bram Stoker Awards presentation was held on Saturday, June 15, 2013, at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, LA. Among the awards presented were the Lifetime Achievement Awards to Robert McCammon and Clive Barker. A video of the full awards ceremony has been uploaded to YouTube  and can be viewed below. For information about all of the winners, please visit the Stokers 2013 website. The presentation of McCammon’s award by Yvonne Navarro and Hunter Goatley begins at 1:06:20.

You can also view the video on YouTube.

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Video: Robert McCammon at the 2011 My Favorite Poem Literary Event

 Readings, Robert McCammon  Comments Off on Video: Robert McCammon at the 2011 My Favorite Poem Literary Event
Jun 302013
 

Robert McCammon was a guest reader at the My Favorite Poem Sixth Annual Literary Event held on September 23, 2011, at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, AL. Mr. McCammon read T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” A low-quality video of his reading is now available on the Robert McCammon YouTube channel:

Video of the entire event, with all 15 guest readers, can be found on Vimeo.

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