May 242014

Hello, all. I finished The Border about a month ago, but I wanted to wait to announce that until the book was out on the marketplace. I think it’s pretty good, and it’s certainly different from anything I’ve ever written. Hunter has read it and says he thinks it will appeal to fans of Swan Song and Stinger, so that sounds good to me.

I was asked recently about how long it takes to write a book and how long it takes for the book to be published. I replied that it takes me about nine months to write the book, but it can take another year for the publisher to put it into print. They have to do the cover, the marketing plan and all that, and “fit it” into the schedule. Then something unforeseen might happen and the book might be pushed back into a later pub slot, so it can appear that “I” am not working, but believe me, I am.

I have recently been involved in a legal situation with a past publisher (not TOR, who published The Five, nor Subterranean Press). This has gone on for nine months. It’s amazing how much time something like this takes, and how much of a drain on a person’s resources—financial, time, and mental. Just when I think the situation has been resolved, something else crops up and there you go again, back in the murky soup.

Someday further down the line I may write about my experiences in the publishing business. Most of you would not believe what has happened these past twenty years. Every writer I’ve told my situation to has the same response: “That is the worst story I’ve ever heard.” Honestly, every writer says that to me. But I keep soldiering on, even though it’s been sometimes (often) very difficult. Two things actually keep me going: your readership, and the fact that I have many more books I want to read, and the only way I can read them is to write them.

The publishing business is in a strange place right now. Dealing with the people there, you get the sense that some are in shock and sleepwalking due to abrupt changes in the business, yet their egos are swollen to the extent that they can’t see the forest due to the little bitty bugs on all the leaves. I keep up pretty much with the business, and it always fascinates me to see a book promoted and touted before it’s published…and yet as soon as it hits the shelves, it disappears with no fanfare. I have gone out looking for books that received great attention before its pub date, only to find that the book is gone or that the book was never even delivered to my local Barnes & Noble. I spent a whole summer two years ago looking for a book that was supposed to be published in June and part of a “Lord Of The Rings”-type trilogy, and I found one copy of it on a remainder table in October. There were no further additions to the “series”.

More true than ever is the experience of Vernon Thaxter from Boy’s Life. If you don’t know what I mean, read that section where Vernon is explaining to Cory about writing his book Moon Town. ‘Nuff said about that.

Some other writer has said that writing is one of the most brutal professions. Well…think of it. You are on your own. Everything comes from your mind. All the experiences that you’d had through your life color your work. There is no one to help you get through a scene, or make sense of a situation, or guide the work to a successful conclusion. You are on your own, kid. Think about the day-to-day pressure of that, because not only does the work have to be “good”, it has to be “extra-special” good, yet it can’t be too off-the-wall or too “daring”. In my experience, some publishers look for your work to follow a model of success that some other writer has created. I grew up with the idea that you should push yourself to create something that hasn’t existed before, to take chances, and in that way grow as a writer.

Well, I was wrong.

Wrong not in my belief, which I still think is right, but wrong in my idea that the publishing world would rush to embrace a new and different idea. That may have been so in the 1940s and 1950s, when there were primarily literary people in charge of the publishing world…less so in the 1960s and 1970s, when more business people began to come in…less so again the following two decades, and now I find that the business people are fully in charge, the stockholders are breathing down their necks, and any decision to take a chance on a book has to go through a committee, with the punishment of losing your job if you have backed an “under-performing” book. Yet book publishers still struggle to figure out how to promote a book, and most are thrown against the wall to see what sticks. In that kind of climate, very few are successful.

(And maybe I’m talking about the first two books of the Matthew Corbett series, and maybe not.)

Of course it all comes down to individual preference and what experiences have colored the life of any individual editor. The first Harry Potter book was turned down by a ridiculously large number of publishers…and I always thought it was funny, that if you went looking for the actual people who turned down books that later became extremely popular and successful, you would wind up with a handful of air.

Generally speaking, in my experience I have found that some professional people run from responsibility, would die—or kill—rather than admit a fault, and build stone walls to keep there from being any honest or constructive conversation. A publisher can scorn you and treat you like dirt, but any attempt on your part to fix a problem, or at least come to some deeper understanding, is rejected. Truly, you are supposed to become a mute slave, keep on working, and keep on taking any indignity that is pushed upon you. Any “backtalk” resigns you to the gutter.

Why do I stay in this kitchen, if it’s so hot and miasmic?

Because, as I say, I have your readership, your appreciation, and my desire to read books that only I can write. And this is not strictly an oversized ego speaking, but the awareness that to keep going in this business, you have to believe first and foremost in yourself, that you think only you can write this, that no one else can do it better, and by writing this you will be delivering what will hopefully mean something positive to someone and maybe cool off the particularly hot kitchen they might find themselves in. So…it’s for you, and it’s for me, and who else is there?

Moving ahead.

Next up is the second part of I Travel by Night, followed by the next Matthew book. After that will be a book I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, set in New Orleans during the Great Depression. It will be different, I promise that.

Thank you for your readership, your support, and your comments. Without those, where would I be? I shudder to think.

I hope you enjoy The River of Souls, which puts Matthew in quite a few dangerous situations and one at the end that is pretty much a cliff-hanger.

And as I say…moving ahead.

Robert McCammon

Mar 312014

A few deals have been signed recently for various audiobook and international editions of Robert McCammon’s work:

  • As we mentioned last week, Audible will be releasing an unabridged audiobook of The River of Souls on May 31, 2014. The book will be narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, who narrated the other Matthew Corbett books for Audible. The River of Souls will be published in limited, trade hardcover, and ebook editions on May 31, too.
  • GraphicAudio will be releasing their audio adaptation of I Travel by Night in late summer 2014. GraphicAudio productions have a narrator, a full cast, music, and sound effects.
  • As we mentioned in February, Audible will be releasing unabridged audiobooks of The Wolf’s Hour and The Hunter from the Woods later this year.
  • German publisher Festa will be publishing a two-volume German translation of Swan Song in early 2015. This edition will be unabridged. The previous German release in the early ’90s was abridged.
  • Festa will also be publishing a two-volume German translation of The Wolf’s Hour in late 2015 or early 2016. This will be the first German translation of the book.
  • It appears that Russian publisher AST will be publishing Russian translations of The Providence Rider in April June October and The Five in July 2015.
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.



Subterranean Press: I Travel by Night is sold out

 I Travel By Night, The Night Boat  Comments Off on Subterranean Press: I Travel by Night is sold out
Jun 272013

From Subterranean Press:

Just a quick note to let you know that the print editions of Robert McCammon’s I Travel by Night are now sold out. We don’t plan to reprint, so unless we see distributor returns—which is always a possibility—your best way to pick this historical vampire novella up are through your favorite store, or as the ebook.

In other McCammon news, the fall release of his classic Nazi zombie novel, The Night Boat, is right on schedule.

Limited: 1000 signed numbered hardcover copies: $75

Note: As of Thursday afternoon, copies of I Travel by Night were still in stock and available from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as Camelot Books and The Overlook Connection.


Subterranean: I Travel by Night hardcover is 90% sold out! Plus, more reviews….

 I Travel By Night  Comments Off on Subterranean: I Travel by Night hardcover is 90% sold out! Plus, more reviews….
May 132013

Subterranean Press included this in their morning newsletter:

First, thanks to everyone who’s been waiting patiently for the signed, limited edition of Robert McCammon’s I Travel by Night. The slipcases are due to ship to us this week. With luck, we’ll be shipping copies within the next several weeks.

Second, we’re pleased to let you know that the trade hardcover is now over 90% sold out, and we do NOT plan on reprinting. So if a hardcover is in your future, best to pick one up from us or your favorite bookstore.

We have heard from Rick that he plans several sequels to the initial novella. Now’s your chance to get in on the ground floor.

If reading electronically is your bag, don’t forget I Travel by Night is available as an ebook.

Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition: $35

Also, two great new reviews of I Travel by Night were posted over the weekend:



Still more reviews from around the ‘net

 Bethany's Sin, Boy's Life, I Travel By Night, Reviews  Comments Off on Still more reviews from around the ‘net
May 102013

More rave reviews have popped up around the ‘net in the past few weeks.

Reviews of I Travel by Night:

Here’s a great Polish review of Boy’s Life (Google Translate: English translation).

Bethany’s Sin was included in Horror’s 13 Greatest Villains in Novels.

May 032013

Paul Simpson at Sci-Fi Bulletin has posted an extensive new interview with Robert McCammon in which they discuss I Travel by Night, The Five, and why The Village isn’t likely to ever see print.

Sci-Fi Bulletin: Interview: Robert McCammon (part 1)

Sci-Fi Bulletin: Interview: Robert McCammon (part 2)

Also, Staffer’s Book Review posted a short but very enthusiastic review of I Travel by Night. You can read their review here.

Apr 172013

The reviews for I Travel by Night keep popping up, along with reviews of some of Robert McCammon’s older novels. Here are some of the more recent reviews:

Apr 092013

The ebook editions of Robert McCammon’s new novella I Travel by Night are now available for Kindle, NOOK, and Kobo!  You can purchase them using the links below.

The book will be available via iTunes soon.

The trade hardcover edition is in-stock and can be purchased from Subterranean Press.



Two new reviews of I Travel by Night

 I Travel By Night  Comments Off on Two new reviews of I Travel by Night
Apr 092013

Two more great reviews of Robert McCammon’s new historical vampire novella, I Travel by Night, popped up on the ‘net yesterday:

The trade edition of I Travel by Night is in-stock and shipping now from Subterranean Press. You can order it from them by clicking here.