Robert McCammon
Robert McCammon News: Updated September 15, 2009
Pre-order Mister Slaughter from Subterranean Press!

2009-09-15 — An excerpt from Mister Slaughter


2009-09-09 — Video and audio from The Big J Read now available

  • Thanks to the recording efforts of Stephen Ellison, Mat Grau, and Jason Giaccone, we now have video and audio of Robert McCammon's visit to Jesuit High School in August for the culmination of The Big J Read community reading project.

    Robert McCammon @ The Big J Read


2009-09-01 — An Update from Robert McCammon

Hi everyone,

I wanted to give you an update of what's going on, and tell you a little bit about my recent trip to Jesuit High School in New Orleans.

First off, I'm about a hundred and twenty to a hundred and forty pages away from finishing the new book. Still looking to finish it up in (late) September, because as I near the end of a project I start writing faster. I'm doing my ten p.m. to six a.m. schedule right now.

I've gotten a few questions I'd like to answer. One was about why I don't do a book about The Lady from Boy's Life. I actually did start on a book about her before I wrote Boy's Life, but for one reason or another I wasn't satisfied with it. I got about two hundred pages in. It just wasn't coming to life for me, though, so I put it aside. It did have some pretty interesting bits: a swamp snake that travelled with her as her companion and hated all other humans due to the murders of her "children," a town of half-submerged antebellum mansions, a shadowy New Orleans maskmaker who created masks for criminals and murderers that actually became the person's new face...but I couldn't make it go. I think I was conflicted about whether to portray "voodoo" as fantasy or reality.

Another question is why I didn't—or wouldn't—do a sequel to The Wolf's Hour. I actually had planned on doing a sequel, or more than one sequel, but Irwyn Appelbaum, who was the honcho at Pocket Books at the time, shot the idea down. I usually don't listen to honchos, but he said he thought my primary audience was women, and he didn't think women liked "war books."

Hmmm. I wonder now if he ever read the book?

But anyway, I was off on the next book at the time, so I didn't worry about it. As for doing a sequel now, it might be interesting, but my plate is pretty full. If I was to do that, it would be a long way down the road, and for the present, the Matthew series suits my need to do action/adventure.

Speaking of New Orleans, it was a great trip. I spoke to a gathering of parents on Monday night, and then on Tuesday spoke to the students in two sessions. Everybody there was fantastic, I think I was able to connect with the guys (you can make up your own mind on that if and when you see the videos) and it was just really fun.

One thing: if you see the video of the first session, you will see terror leap into my eyes at the beginning of the question-and-answer session when I realize I can't hear the questions being asked. Yow. So I was able to take the microphone down to the floor and both hear the questions and answer them more "face-to-face." You always think what hideous thing might happen when you're in front of an audience like that, and 8th to 12th grade young men are a tough audience. I had the mental image of tumbling down the steps leading from the stage to the floor, either to land on my face or on my backside, which would've made a memorable trip and a great YouTube vid.

The gentleman who serves Jesuit High School as the Director of Alumni, Mat Grau, posed two questions to me a couple of weeks before I left Birmingham for New Orleans. They were "Who is Cory today?" and "What is he becoming aware of?"

So, as you'll see and hear in the videos, I wrote Cory a letter and asked him, and he was kind enough to write me back.

He wrote:

Hello Rick,

I hope everything's good with you. The family's doing well. My daughter is really getting up there now. Twenty years old! Can you believe it?

Well, I'm glad you haven't forgotten your old bud. We do go back a ways, don't we? I haven't been to Zephyr for a long time. The interstate has a way of speeding you right past the turnoff, but that's okay because I always know that when I'm ready to go back to Zephyr, Zephyr is always ready to welcome me.

I've given some thought to the questions you asked.

I am both the same as I was and different too. Aren't we all? It seems to me that this is part of the challenge of life—to try very hard to keep some inner part of yourself flowing pure and clear and strong, while the world throws everything it can at you to muddy your river.

I have to admit—my river has known some turbulence. It has been tested over rough rocks and daunting falls. It has at some places in its journey been darkened by silt and sullied by garbage. But I have tried—and still try—my best to keep it flowing strong toward the sea of its ultimate destination.

Wherever that may be.

I have a road I walk. I call it "my road." I particularly enjoy it in late August, in the fading blue light of summer, betwixt and between the sun and the moon. I think of many things on this road. I remember, I dream, I imagine. I give thanks for what I have, and what I have to look forward to.

Often on this road the cicadas of late summer sing in the trees. I never fail to hear them say, from either side of that long and twisting road—

Zephyr...Zephyr...Zephyr.

I know where I've been. I don't know exactly where I'm going. But I do believe that when I get there, it will be a wonderful place.

Thank you for your letter. Take care.

Your friend,
Cory.

P.S. You'll never believe what I found the other day on eBay. I bought it. It's not in style anymore, but it sure is a pretty bike.

I wonder if it might be the very same one. And if it would remember me, and wake up like a lamp turning on in the dark.

Now that would really be magic, wouldn't it?

As always, thank you for your readership, your comments, and your interest in my work. Like I said, I hope to be finished with the new book soon, and in this household that will be a very happy day.

Best Wishes,
Robert McCammon

Webmaster's note: We hope to have audio and video of the Big J Read events posted here within the next week or so.


2009-08-28 — Mister Slaughter ARC giveaway!

  • We're giving away five (5) Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) of Robert McCammon's Mister Slaughter! Visit Matthew Corbett's World for details!


2009-08-18 — Reports from McCammon's presentations at Jesuit High School

  • Robert McCammon visited Jesuit High School in New Orleans, LA, on Monday and Tuesday, August 17 and 18, 2009. His visit was the culmination of the Big J Read, a summer community reading project centered around McCammon's award-winning 1991 novel Boy's Life. The following was taken from the Jesuit High School website.


    Blue Jays Meet the Big J Read Author:
    Boy's Life Robert McCammon


Author Encourages Blue Jays to Read, to Think, and to Learn from Life's Challenges


In his talk with the school community, Boy's Life author Robert McCammon shares his experiences as a writer to teach the value of overcoming challenges and disappointments. Above, Mr. McCammon answers a question
from senior Paul Mickan (right).

Big J Read: Tuesday's Author Visit Photo Gallery


Jesuit Parents, Alumni & Friends Prove an Enthusiastic Audience as Boy's Life Author Robert McCammon Describes the Intricacies of Writing Novels


An audience of almost a hundred parents, alumni, faculty, and friends pay rapt attention Monday evening (August 17) to Boy's Life author Robert McCammon,
who is 
visiting Jesuit High School in connection with the Big J Read project.
Mr. McCammon shared the pleasures and difficulties of the writing process,
including conceiving ideas and bringing them to fruition, character and plot
development, and even the delicate art of negotiating with the publisher
the inclusion of profanity in books such as
Boy's Life.

Following his address, Mr. McCammon graciously answered questions, 
signed his books, and chatted with several Blue Jay bibliophiles.  

 Big J Read Monday Night Photo Gallery

Best-selling author Robert McCammon is giving Jesuit High School's inaugural Big J Read a huge shot in the arm. His appearance Monday evening at Jesuit was the opening of a double-header that attracted an enthusiastic audience.

The second half of the double-header takes place on Tuesday (August 18) when Mr. McCammon talks about writing Boy's Life and his numerous other  novels with several hundred Blue Jays.


Author Robert McCammon on
the stage of Jesuits Auditorium
on Monday evening.

Boy's Life, the winner of the 1991 Bram Stoker Award and the 1992 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, was selected by a faculty committee as Jesuits first Big J Read project in which the entire Blue Jay Community reads a single novel over the summer for the sheer pleasure of reading. Boy's Life is a coming-of-age novel, a whirlwind voyage into the realm where innocence and evil are on a collision course a tour de force of magic and wonder, a journey that is at once joyful, unrelentingly mysterious, and hauntingly poignant, according to the book's dust jacket.

            Mr. McCammon says he is greatly honored by the selection of Boy's Life as the first Jesuit Big J Read and recalls fond memories of addressing Blue Jays back in 1994 when he was the featured speaker at the school's bi-annual Visiting Authors program. Fifteen years ago, he still remembers the perceptiveness of Blue Jays in their questions and comments about his book.

In his recent letter to the Jesuit Community, Mr. McCammon admits that Boy's Life remains somewhat of a mystery even to him. "I put down the words, I arranged the sentences, I guided the plot along until I reached The End and there were no more words to be written," Mr. McCammon writes in his letter.

"Yet...Boy's Life continues to amaze me, because it seems to be more than words and sentences and line of plot. For some readers, it has no End, for they read it over and over again. They draw comfort from it, and they see it as a window into the world of wonder. Sometimes I think that even though I wrote Boy's Life, I was just along for the ride, for I had no idea how the book would touch so many people in so many countries, and across so many generations."

Once again, Jesuit High School welcomes Robert McCammon to New Orleans and Carrollton and Banks!

Read the entire Letter from Robert McCammon



2009-08-05 — Mister Slaughter ARCs have arrived!

  • The Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) of Robert McCammon's Mister Slaughter have arrived. The ARCs are sent out to reviewers and booksellers ahead of publication. Thanks to Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press, we'll be giving away copies of the Mister Slaughter ARCs in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on Matthew Corbett's World for details!


2009-07-28 — An Update from Robert McCammon

Hi everyone,

I wanted to check in and again say thank you for your comments and observations. I believe I mentioned to you guys last time about how much I value your presence, so I thought this time I would talk a little bit about the new book and some other things coming up.

First off, I'm on track to finish the new book in September, and I'm really looking forward to that because it's so intense. I'm into my late night work now, staying up until five or so in the morning most days. If you don't know, the book is about a rock band on their final tour across the Southwest who decide to end their "run" together by writing a communal last song. I can't say the name of the book because it's also the name of the band, and I don't want that getting around just yet.

It has a strong supernatural element, but I can't really say it's "horror," unless you consider the horrific things people can do to each other. I've been interested in music pretty much all my life, particularly in the retro keyboards and combo organs of the '60s, but this book is set in 2008 and hopefully does a good job of illuminating the day-to-day (or gig-to-gig) trials and tribulations of working bands. One thing, the language is very rough, really a lot rougher than I'm used to writing, but I think it's true to life.

I'm actually writing some "songs" for this, which is also something I've never done. Well...lyrics for songs, that is. Writing in the voices of people in their mid-twenties instead of my real age has been a challenge, too. But, hey, a writer has to be something of an actor, too, so I put that down to necessary stagecraft.

Another interesting thing is that I've needed to come up with a lot of fictitious names for bands, though I do reference many real ones. I can't tell you how many times I've thought I had come up with a cool band name nobody else could've conjured, and then I go to Google to check it and...WHAM!...there's a real band with that name.

Anyway, a September finish for that one. Here's something I'll throw at you from the book: Stone Church. (Not the title nor the name of any band in the book.)

As I understand it, there's a January pub date for Mister Slaughter from Subterranean Press. The artwork that's going to be in there is awesome. Bill Schafer of SP gave me the opportunity to suggest one more piece of art than was initially slated to be in there, and I hope I picked out a good one. (At least it sure does look good to me!)

I'll have to spill the hotspur peas and tell you that Matthew does survive Mister Slaughter, though I can tell you it's a close-run item. In fact, he survives it to appear again in the following book (title can't be revealed yet) that begins in New York and goes to one of the Bermuda islands. I'm currently researching the fascinating subject of underwater diving suits, diving bells and such in the early 1700s. Did you know that somebody had already built a working submarine by 1620? It was powered by twelve oarsmen, the oars sealed up against the inrush of water by tight leather sleeves.

I'll be starting this book probably in February. After that, I'm planning on doing another more modern book (well, set in the 1930s) that takes place in New Orleans. Then back to Matthew again.

So, I just wanted you guys to know what's coming up. I appreciate so much the comments and well-wishes, they are very much needed sometimes around four in the morning.

Thanks for checking in with the website!

Best,
Robert McCammon
July 27, 2009


2009-07-16 — New fan artwork

  • New fan artwork based on Robert McCammon's novels has been added to the Fan Artwork page.


    "Drowned Skull"
    by Olivier Frot
    The Night Boat

    "Drink with Me"
    by Candra
    They Thirst

    "Change"
    by Jordan Blake
    The Wolf's Hour

  • A technical issue with the Guestbook has been corrected. Apologies to anyone who couldn't post over the past few weeks....


2009-07-11 — Short story reprint, more photos, iPhone app

  • Robert McCammon's zombie short story, "Eat Me," will be reprinted in the upcoming Zombies: Encounters with the Hungry Dead, an anthology edited by John Skipp. The book will be published as a trade paperback in October (according to Skipp) by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.

    Robert McCammon won the 1989 Bram Stoker Award for Best Short Story for "Eat Me." The story can be read for free here.

  • Thanks to Larry O. Gay, more photos from Alabama Bound 2009 are now available.

  • Robert McCammon's The Queen of Bedlam is now available as an iPhone application. The app uses Iceberg Reader to display the book. It's priced at $15.99. For more information, see this blog post. It can easily be found via an iPhone by simply searching the App Store for "McCammon."

  • Robert McCammon's Facebook page is easier to find now, using the following URI:

    http://www.facebook.com/author.robert.mccammon

  • Subterranean Press continues to work on getting Mister Slaughter ready for publication. Things are proceeding according to plan....


2009-06-14 — Boy's Life poem set to jazz music

  • Finnish jazz musician Timo "The Doc" Heikkinen has composed a song using the opening poem from Boy's Life as its lyrics. A video of a recent performance of the song can be found on YouTube.

    Song by Timo "The Doc" Heikkinen, lyrics from a poem by Robert R. McCammon. The "Professional Help" from Jouko Isokangas (kontra), Aleksi Ikonen (drums), Anna Itkonen (vocals), AP Sipilä (guitar), and Olli Tuomainen (soprano saxophone).


2009-06-10 — The Big J Read update and recent links

  • As noted below in the May 19 update, Jesuit High School in New Orleans is sponsoring a community read this summer, and the book they've selected is Robert McCammon's Boy's Life.

    The Jesuit High School website now has a Boy's Life Resource Page, with links to news articles about some of the real-life events depicted in Boy's Life and other related articles.

    Also, the Resource Page has these details regarding Robert McCammon's planned visit to the school:

    Let's Talk About Boy's Life

    The Jesuit High School community is invited to a program with the author on August 17, 2009, 7:00 p.m. in the Jesuit auditorium.

    A student program with the author during the school day on August 18, 2009, has been scheduled. Details about this event will follow at a later date.

  • A fantastic new review of Boy's Life has been posted on the blog Trish's Books.

  • The author of the blog Adventures in Fiction—A Writer's Journey has posted an article, Opening Salvos 3: The Queen of Bedlam, about the opening paragraphs of The Queen of Bedlam.

  • Lou Sytsma recently posted this review of The Queen of Bedlam.


2009-06-07 — Robert McCammon receives DeepSouthCon Phoenix Award

  • Robert McCammon was awarded the 2009 Phoenix Award by DeepSouthCon, held this year in conjunction with Nashville's Hypericon 5 on Saturday, June 6, 2009. The Phoenix Award is a lifetime achievement award presented to a science fiction or fantasy professional with connections to the South.

    Unfortunately, Mr. McCammon could not attend the awards ceremony. The award was accepted on his behalf by Hunter Goatley.


2009-05-31 — Mister Slaughter update from Subterranean Press

  • Subterranean Press has posted the following Mister Slaughter update on their site:

    Robert McCammon's latest historical thriller, Mister Slaughter, is proceeding very smoothly toward publication. Vincent Chong has turned in not only what may be the best cover of McCammon's career, he's also contributed six interior illustrations to the novel—a pair of which are posted to the book's page.

    Robert McCammon is currently giving Mister Slaughter his final proofing pass, and also has the two-color signature sheets for the limited edition on hand. Meanwhile, back at the [SubPress] ranch, we have a long new interview with McCammon about the Matthew Corbett novels, conducted by long-time McCammon enthusiast Hunter Goatley, and will be pairing it up with an exclusive excerpt from the novel, in a freebie chapbook that we'll begin including with orders in a month or so.

    Preorder Mister Slaughter from Subterranean Press


2009-05-19 — The Big J Read


Jesuit High School sophomore students with their copies of Boy's Life, May 8, 2009


2009-05-13 — Mister Slaughter cover art unveiled

  • Subterranean Press has posted the following Mister Slaughter update on their site:

    As you can tell from Vincent Chong's dust jacket, Robert McCammon's singular creation Mister Slaughter is a nasty fellow indeed, surrounded as he is with the implements of his chosen trade.

    The novel progresses well, as we've just sent the author page proofs to review, and will be printing ARCs for the book as soon as we have his corrections. In addition, Hunter Goatley has just conducted an interview with Rick, which will be included, along with an excerpt from the book, in an exclusive chapbook we'll be including with orders for various SubPress titles through the summer and fall.

    Preorder Mister Slaughter from Subterranean Press

  • Subterranean Press, Robert McCammon, and I have launched a new website devoted to the Matthew Corbett novels. Matthew Corbett's World contains information about the Matthew Corbett books, including excerpts from Speaks the Nightbird and The Queen of Bedlam. It's a work-in-progress, as there are still some additions planned for the site.

  • I've created a new banner image to promote the release of Mister Slaughter. If you'd like to help spread the word, please feel free to link to our banners! The relevant HTML code is below each image. (Thanks to Steven West for the top banner!)

    <A HREF="http://www.matthewcorbettsworld.com/"><IMG
    SRC="http://www.matthewcorbettsworld.com/images/slaughter-banner.gif"
    WIDTH="468" HEIGHT="60" TITLE="Robert McCammon's MISTER SLAUGHTER"></A>
    

    <A HREF="http://www.matthewcorbettsworld.com/"><IMG
    SRC="http://www.matthewcorbettsworld.com/images/slaughter-banner.jpg"
    WIDTH="468" HEIGHT="60" TITLE="Robert McCammon's MISTER SLAUGHTER"></A>
    


2009-05-08 — Swan Song to be released as an eBook

  • As noted a couple of months ago, Pocket Books will be releasing Robert McCammon's epic 1987 post-apocalyptic novel Swan Song in a trade paperback edition in November 2009.

    The book will also be released as an eBook in November 2009. The page doesn't list the formats yet, but will presumably be released in Adobe, Microsoft, and Palm formats. Those are the formats in which The Queen of Bedlam was released. No word yet on whether or not it'll be released in Kindle format.

    Simon & Schuster product page for Swan Song eBook


2009-05-01 — Rare McCammon novella added to site

  • The 1987 Dark Harvest anthology Night Visions IV contained stories written by Dean Koontz, Edward Bryant, and Robert McCammon. Aside from a paperback edition of the anthology, titled Night Visions: Hardshell, the McCammon stories in the book have never been reprinted.

    The first story, "The Deep End," which won the 1987 Bram Stoker award for Short Story, has been available on this site for a few years.

    The second story, "A Life in the Day of," was added a few weeks ago.

    The final Night Visions IV story is a novella entitled "Best Friends." The novella was nominated for the 1988 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella. It's not for the squeamish, as it's probably the most visceral short story McCammon has written.

  • Just when I thought I had all the Russian editions in the Book Cover Gallery, another cover from 1994 has popped up, this time for a Russian translation of Gone South.


2009-04-17 — Mister Slaughter now available for Preorders!

  • Subterranean Press has just posted the following:

    We've just posted preorder information for Mister Slaughter, Robert McCammon's third entry in his Matthew Corbett series of historical thrillers. We've kept the numbered and lettered limitations low for such an important book, and expect both to sell out fairly quickly. (We've also promised copies to our regular dealers, making a quick sell through even more likely.)

    Head over to the book's page, check out the details, and get your order in if you're of a mind.

    Trade: Fully cloth-bound hardcover edition: $24.95
    Limited: 274 signed numbered copies, in slipcase: $125
    Lettered: 26 deluxe bound copies housed in a custom traycase: $500

    More information about Mister Slaughter can be be found on the Subterranean Press site and here.


2009-04-08 — More exciting news from Subterranean Press!

  • As we announced a few days ago, Subterranean Press will be publishing Robert McCammon's new novel, Mister Slaughter. They've fast-tracked the book for a planned Fall 2009 release; the manuscript is being copy-edited now. Both signed limited and trade hardcover editions are planned. We'll have more details about pricing soon.

    Subterranean has also announced that they will be releasing signed limited editions of two of McCammon's older classics, Stinger and The Wolf's Hour. More details on these books will come in the future, as they're concentrating on Mister Slaughter right now.

  • Robert McCammon will be a guest at the Surrey International Writers' Conference in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, from October 23–25, 2009. While the conference is geared toward writers, there is a signing event that's open to the public. No details of when that event will be held have been announced yet.

  • For those of you who like to get website updates via RSS, a new RobertMcCammon.com RSS Feed is now available. RSS readers are built in many email and browser applications. There are also RSS reader apps available for the iPhone, allowing you to keep up-to-date wherever you are. You can subscribe by clicking on the RSS icon RSS feed at the top of each page, or by entering this URL in your RSS reader: http://www.robertmccammon.com/feed


2009-04-03 — Video and audio from Alabama Bound!

MISTER SLAUGHTER IS COMING!!!

  • Robert McCammon was a keynote speaker at Alabama Bound on March 28, 2009. He read a chapter from Mister Slaughter, his upcoming third novel in the Matthew Corbett series. We're pleased to present video and audio of the reading for your viewing and listening pleasure!

    Thanks to Stuart Hale and Craig Popplewell for recording the event.

    At the end of the presentation, Mr. McCammon revealed that the title of the next Matthew Corbett book is The Providence Rider. Work on that novel will not begin until he finishes the contemporary novel (the "rock band" novel) he's currently writing.

    We hope to have some news about Mister Slaughter soon!

  • Vintage cardboard stand-up advertising displays for Boy's Life and Gone South have been added to the Book Cover Gallery.

  • Last year, YouTube user Viorica8597 posted a video she made telling the story of Isaac Woodward, the magistrate from Speaks the Nightbird, using clips from the movie To Kill a King (click here to view the video). The same user recently posted another video, this time telling the story of Matthew and Rachel, using clips from The Scarlet Letter. You can watch her new video by clicking here.


2009-03-22 — Robert McCammon video interview for Alabama Bound

  • The Birmingham Public Library recently posted a video interview with Robert McCammon to promote this Saturday's Alabama Bound event. (I have corrected the audio/visual synchronization problem in the original BPonline post.)

    Robert McCammon will be reading from the upcoming third novel in the Matthew Corbett series, Mister Slaughter, at Alabama Bound. If all goes as planned, video of the event will be posted here soon.


2009-03-06 — Swan Song trade paperback in November 2009

  • Turns out there's going to be one last Pocket Books reprint: a trade paperback edition of Swan Song will be released in November 2009. The preliminary cover art is shown to the right and has been added to the Book Cover Gallery.


2009-03-01 — Rare McCammon short story added to site

  • The 1987 Dark Harvest anthology Night Visions IV contained stories written by Dean Koontz, Edward Bryant, and Robert McCammon. Aside from a paperback edition of the anthology, titled Night Visions: Hardshell, the McCammon stories in the book have never been reprinted.

    The first story, "The Deep End," which won the 1987 Bram Stoker award for Short Story, has been available on this site for a few years.

    The second story, "A Life in the Day of," has been added to the Short Stories page. You can read it by clicking here.

    The final Night Visions IV story, "Best Friends," will be published here soon.


2009-02-11 — Cover art for French Bethany's Sin


2009-01-24 — Alabama Bound

  • Robert McCammon will be a keynote speaker and will sign books at Alabama Bound on Saturday, March 28, 2009. The event will be held at the Birmingham Public Library in Birmingham, AL. The Alabama Bound website lists the participants (including our friend Charles Ghigna), but the actual schedule has not yet been posted.

  • Website All Poetry held a contest in October 2007 for fiction-inspired poems. The winning poem was inspired by Robert McCammon's post-apolyptic novel Swan Song. It is entitled "Nuclear Comedy" and was written by Anthony C. Ekman. Click on the title to read the poem on AllPoetry.com.


2009-01-08 — New agent, new interview, new Italian edition

USHER'S PASSING Italian cover


2008-12-15 — New Forewords Online

GONE SOUTH TPB cover


2008-10-30 — Another Update from Robert McCammon

Hi all. I wanted to report on what was happening with Mister Slaughter. Unfortunately we don't have a publisher yet, but never fear, we're still pushing ahead. The deal is that I just didn't think Pocket did a very good job with The Queen of Bedlam. There was no promotion at all (well, there was a small ad in the New York Times Review of Books, but that was because the publisher at Pocket liked the cover), and I just can't throw Mister Slaughter into the fire.

If you guys want to know where I am mentally, just read the commentaries in the new Pocket editions of Boy's Life and Gone South. I'm not saying you should buy them if you already have them, but take a look at those commentaries. They tell a harsh story, but it's where I am.

Due to the economy, publishers are buying fewer books and seem to be reluctant to put money in promotion or author's tours. If the book doesn't make X amount of profits, whoever championed that particular book gets his or her head cut off, because of the corporate structure of the publishing world. And in my particular case and the case of Pocket, I honestly think they have no idea how to promote the Matthew Corbett series. Really...I don't think they understand the books or see the potential in Matthew's story.

Wouldn't be the first time, guys. Recall that I had to fight to keep Boy's Life from being turned into a run-of-the-mill mystery piece, and that was only one of many fights I had with Pocket over the years.

So here I am again, similar to when I took Speaks the Nightbird home and thought I was done with publishing. This time, though, I have lots of options and I'm determined to continue Matthew's story to the finish. The problem is that sorting all this out is going to take some time, and I want to be careful that I find the right people in the business who'll help me continue on.

I had hoped that Mister Slaughter would be out in October of 2009, but it probably won't be. I'm cleaning house, and what I have to do may add several more months to the schedule.

One of the elements of Mister Slaughter is that Matthew is really beaten and bruised by Tyranthus Slaughter during the course of the book, but he never gives up. The book is about not quitting in the face of adversity, as a matter of fact. Matthew is not a quitter. He's a good example for me to follow, and that's what I intend to do.

Thank you for hanging in with me, and hopefully within a month or so, I'll have some better news.

Best Wishes,
Robert McCammon
October 30, 2008


2008-09-16 — An Update from Robert McCammon

Hi everybody,

I wanted to check in and tell you how much I appreciate your comments. I guess it would be a cliche to say that your positive response to my work is one of the major things that keep me going, but this doesn't make it any less true. A writer very often feels like he or she is working in the dark, so any candle of response is much appreciated. Again, thank you for taking the time to write in and let me know.

I finished Mister Slaughter in June, but I'm still waiting to see exactly when the book's going to be published. My agent and publisher are "in talks" (another cliche, I suppose, but again true) and I'm hoping to find out something within the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I wanted to tell you what the future holds. Knowing from experience that nothing can be written in stone, my plan is to write a contemporary novel next, before I do the next Matthew Corbett book. It's about a rock band and is set in the summer of 2008, but that's about all I can say right now.

The Matthew Corbett books are a real challenge to do, with putting together the story and the research, and I've decided it would be fun (?) to do this book set in the here-and-now before getting started on the next Matthew story.

As a matter of fact, I hope to do another contemporary book after I finish the next Matthew book as well. I'm planning on doing seven more Matthew books, so it looks like I'm not going to be sitting around in retirement like I thought I was going to be a few years ago, so in that instance my crystal ball was severely cracked. And I'm glad it was, because I really am enjoying writing the Matthew series.

So...that's basically where I'm going for the next few years. At one point I'd hoped to be able to do a Matthew book every year, but they're too complicated for that and I do need some downtime between them. This idea about the band has really reached out and grabbed me, so we'll see. This is kinda scary for me because I haven't written a contemporary book for a good long while (as in many years).

Again, thanks for your comments and your participation on the website. Thanks for all your well-wishes and your appreciation of my work, and I'll talk to you again further along the way.

Best Wishes,
Robert McCammon

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Introduction
Robert McCammon is the award-winning author of 14 novels and numerous short stories. In the 1980s, McCammon's horror novels were among the most popular published, including such bestsellers as Swan Song, They Thirst, and Stinger. In the 1990s, McCammon's work turned toward the mainstream, with such novels as the phenomenal Boy's Life, MINE, and Gone South.

Now, after a ten-year hiatus, a new Robert McCammon novel, Speaks the Nightbird, is available from River City Publishing!

This web site is the official Robert McCammon web site. In addition to information and news related to Speaks the Nightbird, you'll also find short fiction, a bibliography, interviews, and lots more.

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Robert McCammon