Last updated November 11, 2011
This FAQ contains questions frequently asked about Robert McCammon and
his work. If you have any questions you want to see answered in
this FAQ or if you have any additional information, please
Please check this FAQ page first before asking questions by e-mail.
The Top 8 questions I'm asked via e-mail (click on the question to jump to the answer):
Where does Robert McCammon live?
Robert McCammon lives in Birmingham, AL. He was born July 17, 1952, and has lived in Alabama all his life.
Does McCammon go by the name "Robert" or "Bob"?
Neither. Professionally, he uses the name "Robert McCammon", but his friends call him Rick, which is his middle name.
Who is Hunter Goatley?
I am. ;-) I run the RobertMcCammon.com web site. I first became friends with Rick back in 1989, when I started publishing Lights Out!—The Robert R. McCammon Newsletter. The newsletter ran from 1989 to 1991 for a total of six issues. Lights Out! was reborn as a web site back in 1994 or so, until 1999, when Rick announced his retirement from writing. When Speaks the Nightbird was published, we re-launched RobertMcCammon.com.
What was Lights Out!?
Lights Out! was a Robert R. McCammon newsletter I wrote and published. Six issues were distributed from July 1989 to February 1991. Unfortunately, all the printed copies of the newsletter were sold, and I no longer have any available. You can sometimes find people selling them on eBay, though they often ask too much money for them. The first 5 issues of Lights Out! are available for download as PDF files.
The Present & Future
Why (and when) did McCammon retire?
In December 1998, McCammon wrote a letter for the old web site to let people know what he'd been doing for the previous six years. Click here to read the letter in a new window.
For the next year, both books were shown to various publishers, but McCammon found he rather enjoyed living life without worrying about deadlines, publisher demands, and other negative aspects of the publishing business. In November 1999, McCammon announced his decision to retire from publishing, and he spent the next few years just enjoying life, spending time with his family, and catching up on all the things he never had time to do while he was writing.
Does the new book mean that McCammon ended his retirement?
Yes. McCammon is actively writing new novels, both contemporary novels and more books in the Matthew Corbett historical series. He has plans for a total of ten Matthew Corbett novels. The fourth novel, The Providence Rider, will be published in 2012.
In addition to the Matthew Corbett books, McCammon is also writing contemporary novels. The first of these, The Five, was published in May 2011 by Subterranean Press.
Does McCammon have any other unpublished novels?
After writing Speaks the Nightbird, McCammon wrote a novel called The Village. It's set in Europe during World War II and is about a Russian theatrical troupe (think American USO) that gets caught behind enemy lines. Unfortunately, at this time, it appears The Village will never be published.
Will McCammon be doing book signings when the new novel is published?
Yes, McCammon plans to do a few book signings. Click here to view his scheduled appearances.
Why can't I find certain McCammon novels in stores?
Unfortunately, most of McCammon's backlist is currently out-of-print. McCammon himself chose to pull his first four novels from print. Pocket Books had been McCammon's publisher since 1987, but he chose to leave Pocket Books in 2008, and most of the books they released are now out-of-print.
You might also check the Buy McCammon Books link here to find places on the Internet from which all of McCammon's books can be ordered.
Are there McCammon audiobooks available?
A few audio dramatizations and readings of McCammon stories were released in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but these have been out-of-print for years. A complete list of commercial releases and recordings for the blind can be found on the Dramatizations Bibliography page.
In October 2011, Simon & Schuster re-released their abridged adaptations of Boy's Life and Gone South as MP3 downloads. These are the same versions originally released on audiocassette in 1991 and 1992.
In November 2011, Audible will release an unabridged audiobook of Swan Song.
Are there McCammon eBooks available?
Yes! Most of Robert McCammon's backlist is now available in ebook format. Click here for handy ordering links for the ebooks.
In October 2011, Open Road released ebook versions of Mystery Walk, Usher's Passing, Swan Song, Stinger, The Wolf's Hour, Mine, Blue World, Boy's Life, and Gone South.
Mister Slaughter and The Five are available as ebooks published by Subterranean Press.
The Queen of Bedlam is available as an ebook published by Simon & Schuster.
McCammon's first four novels, Baal, Bethany's Sin, The Night Boat, and They Thirst, will be released in ebook formats by Subterranean Press in the coming months, with Baal scheduled for November 2011. Subterranean Press is also releasing signed limited editions of each book.
How can I get the media rights to a McCammon novel or short story?
Anyone interested in pursuing the media rights to adapt a Robert McCammon novel should contact Hunter Goatley.
Why did McCammon stop writing horror?
At the end of the '80s, McCammon turned from writing horror novels to writing novels that were not as easily categorized. McCammon wrote an article about his decision entitled "The State of Where" for issue 5 of Lights Out!.
In addition to that article, this subject is covered in an interview with McCammon from January 1997.
Will McCammon write a sequel to The Wolf's Hour?
The Hunter from the Woods is a collection of stories and novellas featuring Michael Gallatin, the lyncanthropic here of The Wolf's Hour. It will be published in November 2011 by Subterranean Press.
Why are some of McCammon's novels out-of-print?
In 1997, the publishing rights to McCammon's first four novels came up for renewal. Despite an offer from Pocket Books to keep publishing them, McCammon felt that it was time to retire those books. I believe this quote from the October 1988 I Cover the War interview pretty much sums up why McCammon declined the offer from Pocket Books:
"I always hear about writers who've written four books that end up in a drawer, and their fifth book is the one that gets published. The first book I ever wrote was published, flaws and all. For better or worse, I was allowed to learn to write in public. I think those books are simply early efforts. You have to take them as they are. I don't think they're very deep or anything; I think they're okay, but they simply represent where I was at that particular time."
Why won't McCammon let Hollywood make movies of his stories?
McCammon has never stopped anyone from making movies of his stories. In fact, the film rights for pretty much every McCammon novel and short story have been optioned many times over the years, but only two adaptations were actually made (see the Dramatizations Bibliography for details). In January 2005, Front Sight Productions announced that they were in preproduction of a film version of McCammon's novella "Blue World, " and in September 2005, Rainstorm Entertainment announced plans to film "Night Calls the Green Falcon," though this project is now dead. For current information on these projects, please see the Movies page.
How can I get the film rights to Boy's Life?
Boy's Life seems to be the story most people would like to adapt to the big screen. Unfortunately, the rights to Boy's Life were bought outright in perpetuity by Universal Studios before the book was even published. At one time, I was told that John McTiernan wanted to direct it. However, to my knowledge, nothing has ever happened with it (and by now, it isn't likely to happen). (For a little more information on this topic, see the McCammon interview from August 1991.)
Is it true that Frank Darabont will make a film version of MINE?
I received an update from Mr. Darabont on 16-FEB-2002. He had this to say about a possible film version of MINE:
Now that the last five years of intense directing crapola is behind me, I'm
Mr. Darabont completed his screenplay for MINE at the beginning of September 2002.
Unfortunately, to date, Mr. Darabont has never been able to find a studio to make a movie version of his screenplay.
Why was The Night Boat McCammon's second novel written, but third one published?
After Baal was published, McCammon wrote The Night Boat, and Avon accepted it for publication. But then an Avon executive heard about a movie that had something to do with Nazis living underwater. He assumed that the storyline of The Night Boat was too similar to the movie, so he decided Avon would not publish McCammon's novel. McCammon scrambled for something else to sell and managed to write Bethany's Sin in about 3 months. Meanwhile, someone else at Avon saw the Nazi movie (Shock Waves, 1977), decided that The Night Boat was nothing like the movie, and in the end, Avon bought both books. Bethany's Sin was released in January 1980 and The Night Boat followed in August 1980.
New!! What awards has McCammon received?
McCammon has won several Bram Stoker Awards and World Fantasy Awards. Click here to see the awards McCammon has received for his work.
How can I send a letter to McCammon?
If you'd like to write to Robert McCammon, I would be happy to forward your letters sent via U.S. Mail for you. I can't give out his address, but I can guarantee that sending the letters through me will be much faster than sending them to one of his publishers.
Note: I can only forward letters. DO NOT SEND BOOKS, as McCammon generally does not sign and return books.
Another note: I can't guarantee that you'll get a reply, but rest assured that it will be read.
If you'd like to write to McCammon through me, follow these steps:
Your letter will reach McCammon within a couple of days of my receiving it, and your privacy will be maintained—I will not open the inner, sealed envelope.
If you decide to do this, it would be helpful if you'd e-mail me so I'll know to watch for your letter.
How can I get McCammon to sign my copies of his books?
McCammon doesn't sign books sent through the mail, so the only ways to get signed books are to catch him at one of the planned book-signing appearances he'll be doing in 2011, or to purchase signed copies from book dealers. You can order signed copies of all of McCammon's in-print books from The Alabama Booksmith. You can often find signed editions of McCammon's books for sale on eBay. An even better place to look for signed editions is the Advanced Book Exchange, a network of independent booksellers around the world.