Oct 192020
 

Robert McCammon’s college friend Carl Carter posted this story on his now-defunct blog back on October 21, 2013. It is presented here as he wrote it.

Raw Day 21: Chasing the ghost

Published | By Carl

It was 1 a.m., 1974, and three of us were huddled somewhere in Smith Hall on the University of Alabama campus, waiting for Dr. Smith.

He was long since dead, of course. It was his ghost we were there to see. The stories about him have multiplied and continued over the years about thumps in the night, books flying across empty rooms and various other manifestations. Rick McCammon, Bill Sikes and I were there to get proof. I was features editor of the Crimson-White. Bill was our photographer.

Rick, as a lot of people know, was my friend from high school, Rick McCammon, better known these days as the prolific horror novelist, Robert R. McCammon. But fame would come much later. On this night, he was just editor of the C-W. He’d always been fixated on the weird stuff. As mentioned earlier in this series, we had been ushers at the Plaza Theater in Birmingham’s Roebuck Shopping Center, with Catch-22 showing on our one screen. During the film, the ushers alternated between standing guard at the exits and sweeping popcorn off the carpet. Rick always managed to be in the theater for the gory scene where a guy gets shot up in an airplane and his guts go spilling out. Rick was always far too interested in that scene.

So it didn’t strike me as surprising that he’d drag us down to Smith Hall one night. It’s a big, old, spooky building that, among other things, houses the university’s Museum of Natural History. If I were a ghost, it’s where I’d go at any rate. The main purpose of the legend, I eventually figured out, is to give student journalists something to write about every October.

So there we were. Bill’s camera, loaded with Tri-X film, was on the tripod, aiming in no particular direction. (Just where DO you point a camera for a ghost who could show up anywhere? And for that matter, which of the scores of rooms do you set up in? We didn’t worry about such details. We felt sure Dr. Smith would accommodate us.)

We got there soon after dark and waited. And waited. And waited some more. About 1 a.m., I decided I’d had all the spooks I could stand for one night.”

“I’m done,” I said. “You guys can can tell me all about it and show me the pictures tomorrow.” And I went back to my apartment.

I heard about it all right. I was barely out the door when Dr. Smith appeared. To be more precise, a little blue light appeared, formed an arc and vanished. There were no pictures, of course, but Rick was beside himself. Over the years, I’ve seen several accounts from various interviews he did over the years.

Funny how the ghost didn’t show until I left, and how they didn’t get a picture.

Rick wrote a good story about it, and it served him well over the years. Any horror novelist worth his salt – and Robert R. McCammon is a very good one – needs a good ghost story to pull out now and then. And who am I to say it didn’t happen just the way he tells it?

When I asked Rick about it at the time, he replied, “It absolutely did happen that way! I have told that story over and over and always told it exactly the same way…because it did happen!”

Last year, the staff of Crimson-White posted an article about the former C-W editors, including Robert McCammon.

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The Splat Pack

 Robert McCammon  Comments Off on The Splat Pack
Aug 072020
 

Here’s a photo of the “Splat Pack” that appeared in the October 1988 issue of Twilight Zone magazine.

You can read more about the “Splatterpunks” in this article by Craig Spector, which was originally posted on the Stealth Press website.

Craig Spector, Joe Lansdale, Richard Christian Matheson, David J. Schow, Ray Garton, Robert McCammon, and John Skipp. Photo by Beth Gwinn, 1986/7.

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Robert McCammon to participate in 2021 Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp

 Conventions, Robert McCammon  Comments Off on Robert McCammon to participate in 2021 Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp
Apr 132020
 

Every year, Borderlands Press hosts a Writers Boot Camp for authors. Robert McCammon is scheduled to be the Special Guest Instructor for the 2021 Writers Boot Camp. The other instructors are Ginjer Buchanan, Thomas F. Monteleone, F. Paul Wilson, and Douglas E. Winter.

For full details about what the Writers Boot Camp is, please visit the Borderlands Press website.

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Flashbak: Attack of the B-Pictures: Bold, Brilliant and Bizarre Mexican Pulp Art

 Robert McCammon  Comments Off on Flashbak: Attack of the B-Pictures: Bold, Brilliant and Bizarre Mexican Pulp Art
Feb 122020
 

One of my favorite websites to frequent is Flashbak, which specializes in posting photos of all kinds of things from the past. Their slogan is “Everything Old Is New Again.” A recent post about Mexican pulp art looked like something Robert McCammon would enjoy, so I sent him the link. He wrote back and asked me to post the link. He said:

“I’ve always enjoyed Mexican horror films. In fact the first horror movie I ever saw (on TV) was a wickedly scary Mexican flick that I remember had something to do with a condemned criminal who found himself being reincarnated and going through the same hanging over and over again. Anyway, he had a beast-like makeup and to a little kid it was a real fright-fest. This art to me speaks to what has always been the bizarre and nightmarish (though oddly beautiful) nature of the Mexican horror film.”

Enjoy!

Attack of the B-Pictures: Bold, Brilliant and Bizarre Mexican Pulp Art

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Robert McCammon will visit Alabama Booksmith on February 13, 2020

 Readings, Robert McCammon, The Hunter from the Woods  Comments Off on Robert McCammon will visit Alabama Booksmith on February 13, 2020
Jan 302020
 

Subterranean Press has just reprinted the trade edition of The Hunter from the Woods, and I just received word that Robert McCammon will be at Alabama Booksmith at 5 PM on Thursday, February 13, 2020, to chat about The Hunter from the Woods and to provide a sneak preview of the next Matthew Corbett book. He will, of course, sign copies of The Hunter from the Woods, which will be available for purchase that day, as well as any other books you purchase there or bring with you.

The Alabama Booksmith is located in Birmingham, AL. If you can’t make it to the signing, you can order signed copies from the Alabama Booksmith website.

Buy The Hunter from the Woods (signed) from Alabama Booksmith

All signed Robert McCammon books available from Alabama Booksmith

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Robert McCammon’s Chattacon Schedule

 Conventions, Robert McCammon  Comments Off on Robert McCammon’s Chattacon Schedule
Jan 152020
 

As we previously announced, Robert McCammon will be the Literary Guest of Honor at Chattacon 45 in Chattanooga, TN, the weekend of January 24–26, 2020. The schedule for the weekend has been posted, and the scheduled Robert McCammon events are listed below.

Friday, January 24:

  • 5–5:50 — Pros Reception: Come meet and greet our guests while enjoying a selection of hors d’oeuvres and beverages. McCammon, Hunter, Gay, BVD This event will conclude at 6:45.
  • 7–7:50 — Opening Ceremonies: An introduction to our guests and the official start of the convention! Sessoms, McCammon, Hunter, Gay, BDV

Saturday, January 25:

  • 11–11:50 — Author Signing: Robert McCammon
  • 12–12:50 — Remembering the 1980s Horror Boom: The Netflix cable series Stranger Things has romanticized horror in the 1980s, but what was it really like back then? Return with us to the glory days of printed paper fanzines and VHS “video nasties,” when Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone was resurrected as both a TV show and a newsstand magazine, and authors such as Robert McCammon, Whitley Strieber, Peter Straub, and Charlie Grant were hailed as “the next Stephen King.” Nicoll, McCammon, Webb, Antczak
  • 2–2:50 — A Reading from Guest of Honor: Robert McCammon. Award winning author Robert McCammon will read a sample of his work (author’s choice), followed by a short Q&A with the audience.
  • 5–5:50 — Historical Thriller: Matthew Corbett, Professional Problem Solver. With the latest release of Cardinal Black, there are now seven books in the popular Matthew Corbett series. Join GOH Robert McCammon as he discusses the world of Mattew Corbett and the future of the series.

Sunday, January 26:

  • 1–1:50 — Bullet or Boogeyman?: Has the current world, with mass shootings, nuclear tensions and climate disasters, become scarier than the horrors we imagine? Or does it provide fertile ground for new terrors? McCammon, Nicoll, Antczak, Mills

I presume there will be many opportunities to get books signed after each of these sessions.

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Brief Robert McCammon interview in The Crimson White

 Interviews, Robert McCammon  Comments Off on Brief Robert McCammon interview in The Crimson White
Dec 082019
 

The Crimson White is the student newspaper of the University of Alabama. Robert McCammon was the editor of The Crimson White in 1973–1974, and he is briefly interviewed in a recent article looking back at past editors of the paper.

You can read the article on The Crimson White website:

The Crimson White: Then and Now: CW editors through the years

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Robert McCammon reads a new story: “DST, INC.”

 Readings, Robert McCammon, Short stories  Comments Off on Robert McCammon reads a new story: “DST, INC.”
Nov 262019
 

Saturday, November 23, 2019, Robert McCammon participated in a Noir at the Bar event with a dozen other authors at The Wild Roast Café in Hoover, AL. Each author had a few minutes to read a short story or an excerpt from one of their works. McCammon chose to write a new story for the event called “DST, INC.”

David Walters of Authors on a Podcast Talking Books recorded audio of the event, including the full reading of “DST, INC.” He posted the podcast on Anchor.fm. It can also be heard on Spotify.

I extracted Robert McCammon’s reading and adjusted the audio some to make it easier to hear. You can listen to Robert McCammon reading “DST, INC.” below.

If you’d rather read “DST, INC.” you can find it here.

You can also download the story in these formats: AZW3 (Kindle)MOBIEPUB (NOOK)PDF

Here are a couple of photos from the event, courtesy of Andy Davidson via Twitter.

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Robert McCammon will be the Author Guest of Honor at LepreCon 46

 Conventions, Robert McCammon  Comments Off on Robert McCammon will be the Author Guest of Honor at LepreCon 46
Nov 122019
 

Robert McCammon will be the Author Guest of Honor at LepreCon 46, to be held in Chandler, AZ, the weekend of April 10–12, 2020! The other guests that weekend are Local Artist GoH David Ayres, Filk GoHs Margaret & Kristoph, and Science GoH Dr. David A. Williams.

For all the details currently available and to register for LepreCon 46, please visit leprecon.org.

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