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News and Updates Archive -- 2010
2010-12-30 — An update from Robert McCammon
Ring The Bells
Back from my Christmas trip to Cozumel, Mexico. Guys, I can't say enough
about this place. It was fantastic. I stayed at a resort called the
Fiestamericana...yes, I know it ought to be the "Fiesta Americana", but
it's the way it is. Anyway, it's a great resort with fabulous people. I
told the manager that I thought the biggest plus about the resort was
that the employees had the gift of making guests feel like family...and
it was so true. So if you have a vacation coming up or you just need to
get to a place that's sunny, where the sea is beautifully blue and clear
and the atmosphere just as sparkling, then the Fiestamericana at
Cozumel is your place. Believe it!
I wanted to check in with the arrival of the New Year. But first...I
can't resist talking about Cozumel just a little bit more. You know, I
want to thank everyone for the greetings and well-wishes. I was by no
means "fishing" for sympathy in my tale of the unkilled cat. I was
simply stating in a straightforward manner the trials and tribulations
I've been facing if not in the past several weeks then in the last few
months. But I do appreciate the comments and well-wishes.
Having said that, I'm here to say that I do feel great after my trip. I
got along fine on my "wounded" ankle. It got a little stronger every
day. As a matter of fact, one day I took a cab from the resort to
downtown in search of some Cuban cigars and decided to walk back (after
I got a small tattoo on my chest...henna, not permanent, but thinking
along those lines). Well, I walked away from midtown through
neighborhoods and local shopping areas, and all of it along the
oceanfront. It was warm, the sun was high, a soft breeze was blowing,
the sky and sea were awesome shades of blue...ahhhhh! I went into a
local department store and scoped the place out. I investigated an area
of nice houses going up that evidently had been abandoned for lack of
money, but it was an interesting excursion anyway. I went into the
terminal at the dock where the cruise ships come in. I walked and
walked. Until at last I had walked seven miles, and I was standing in a
pasture scratching behind the ears of a solitary horse. It showed its
pleasure by thumping its hoof on the ground...whichever ear was being
scratched, that was the hoof that beat out a little counting rhythm that
I found very charming.
I went snorkeling, I went on a sunset cruise, I swam and swam, I had a
fabulous seafood feast, I did karaoke for the first time in my life
(and did better than I thought I would because I sang with a guy named
Joe Bargo from Kansas City who actually is in a jazz band and can carry
a good tune), I drank liters of Coke Zero and smoked Cuban cigars by the
pool, I partook of a fantastic tequila bar where there were about
thirty different bottles of variously-flavored tequila, I drank my
favorite Johnny Walker Red, I met all sorts of people from everywhere, I
laid out on the beach, I watched the moon set and the sun rise and then
the sun set and the moon rise, I went on a submarine a hundred and ten
feet down to the edge of The Shelf, I rode on horseback through the
jungle, I heard a GREAT band do their Steppenwolf set, I ate cactus and
enjoyed it, and I have vowed to return to that place in April after I
finish The Providence Rider.
So, yes...I did have a good time.
And the New Year approaches, and may be here before what I'm writing is
on my website. I am looking forward with great anticipation to 2011.
Aren't you? I mean, really... 2010 was a tough year. A year of change,
not all of it wanted and not all of it good. A year of bracing
yourself. A year of taking it on the chin. Or sometimes getting kicked
in a lower area, and having to grin and bear it so nobody knows the pain
Yeah, that kind of year.
But that kind of year, it seems to me, has its value. It teaches you
discipline and toughness. It teaches you to depend on yourself. To know
you can handle whatever happens... because you have to. And to handle
with grace and style the difficult things, the things that a few years
ago might have put you down for the count.
Nossir. I ain't goin' nowhere now. I'm here to stay, so go ring the
bells and tell 'em, the best is yet to be.
And it is, guys. I have some tremendous projects ahead. Much more
Matthew to come, and many more surprises. Some things, I think, that
will even surprise me. And one project in particular I wish I could tell
you about, but it will happen when it happens...and when it
does happen...and it will...wow.
So hang in with me. Enjoy this ride into the future we all are on. Trust
me to guide you. I will take you to some wonderful places, and introduce
you to some amazing characters. There's a lot ahead for all of us, and I
can't wait to get started on that journey from here to there.
Ring the bells, my friends. Ring the bells and tell 'em.
I'm here to stay, and the best is...
Yeah. It's comin'.
Happy New Year to all, and thank you for believing in me.
2010-12-22 — Timo Heikkinen's song "Boy's Life"
Some of you may recall the video we posted of Timo "The Doc"
Heikkinen's song "Boy's Life," which put music to Robert McCammon's
poem found at the beginning of Boy's Life. You can see a video of a
live performance of the song on the Video page.
Timo's band, newly-christened The Doc, has released their first studio CD,
The First Cut, which includes the song "Boy's Life." The
song and/or album can be purchased in MP3 format from
For more information about The Doc's album or to purchase the song, visit the
The Doc's The First Cut on CDBaby.
2010-12-18 — An update from Robert McCammon
The Curse Of The Unkilled Cat (A Christmas Story?)
I have come to relate a strange tale, as is my wont and my talent in
this life. Many things around us are not to be understood. We just can't
grasp them. Maybe on the other side of the dark glass we will, but in
My tale involves the night I was driving at fifty miles an hour, the
legal speed limit, along a major highway here in Birmingham. Everything
was just peachy! Driving along, listening to The Clash on my CD player,
looking forward to dinner...peachy. Suddenly I see a police car sitting
in the median ahead. No problem, I'm going the speed limit. So I don't
even take my foot off the accelerator or touch the brake. No problem?
Ah, the problem.
Suddenly from my left a black cat squirts out of nowhere and directly in
front of my car. There's a lot of other traffic on the highway, and I
realize that if I swerve suddenly the police officer in that car is
likely to light 'em up for me, or I might bash into another vehicle. So
before I could slow down a single mph, I have hit a black cat. I hear
and feel the thump on my right tire. I glance back in my
rearview mirror and see the cat stumbling off the highway, so I know
I've not killed it—let's just say it's not yet
dead—but it seems to be badly injured.
Okay. Life goes on, right?
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. In the last couple of months I
have had a virus winnow through my anti-virus program, destroy my hard
drive and nearly destroy part of The Providence Rider, as well as
mangling other important programs I need to keep. I was able to transfer
some work to a second computer. Within several days of working on that
rig, the hard drive crashed. I luckily have a third computer tucked away
in a closet. When I plugged that in, the power pack instantly blew up.
I'm not talking a quiet pop, folks. I'm talking fire and smoke shooting
out of the vents in the metal box.
On a more personal front, there are things going on I can't even begin
to relate. One thing I will say is that I very much enjoy running. I run
every day if I can. Well, someone advised me that I'd been running wrong
for years and I should be running "heel to toe" instead of
"toe to heel". Good enough. I go out and buy two pairs of
very expensive running shoes. I'm ready to go. I decide to run on an
indoor track to get used to my new running style. Yeah, let's go!
Four strides in, I take a curve, my right foot crinks to the side on the
new tread of my exprensive running shoe, and suddenly all my weight is
on my ankle and my foot is turned beneath me at a right-angle. I flew
toward the railing and nearly brained myself. The upshot of this is that
I wound up limping into my neighborhood pharmacy at about eight that
night to ask if I could rent crutches. No, I was told, but I could buy
crutches if they had them...but they did not, and I might try another
pharmacy several miles away.
Bear in mind, I am walking now by dragging my right foot and my speed is
somewhere between snail and death. I never knew pharmacy parking lots
were so huge. Okay, I should have gone to the doctor but I didn't. I've
had sprains before and gotten through them, but this was Pretty Ugly. I
recall breaking out in a cold sweat when it happened. Anyway, major
damage has been done and...guess what...I am supposed to go for a trip
to Cozumel, Mexico over the holidays...and I'm leaving Tuesday the
21st, and I'm writing this on Saturday the 18th and my foot is still
mucho swollen. So the time is ticking.
Anyway, I get my crutches and I go on from there. My situation does get
a little better. I'm able to get off the crutches, though now the pain
is so severe I can't drive. Do I hear a black cat laughing? What would
that sound like? I think I know.
Okay...I have run out of food. Did I tell you I am separated from my
wife and I live alone in an apartment now? Another tale...but I have to
make myself drive and get some food. So I force my foot into an old
beatup running shoe and I head to the grocery store, where while I'm
tottering around trying to choose a jar of grape jam for my
peanut-butter-and-jam sandwiches an elderly lady asks if she can hold my
Well, I relate all this in a late night conversation to a friend of mine
in Vancouver, the excellent writer KC Dyer. She says, "Rick, this
is the curse of the unkilled cat. You have to appease the Cat God to
have this curse removed."
"Okay," I say. "And how is that going to happen?"
"You go to the grocery store..."
OMG! Not again, I think.
"Go to the grocery store," she says, "and buy the most
succulent seafoody catfood you can find. Then you take that catfood to
the nearest animal shelter and donate it. I think it will work, and I
think something will happen to show you it's worked."
Well, that day becomes one of the most stormy and rain-filled days in
Birmingham history. I have a small car—a Pontiac Solstice, long
live Pontiac (sob)—and I'm fishtailing around in the rain like
crazy. No way I can get way across town to the nearest animal shelter!
Another call to KC. She says, "Take the food to the nearest vet,
and make sure it goes to the cats or kittens that need homes."
Okay. The nearest vet is right down the street. I take the catfood and I
tell my story to the people at the front desk, and thank God I know them
because my story is weird. But they listen and they understand
because they, too, have some black cat stories. Anyway, the time comes
to feed one of the needy cats and see what happens.
This particular cat has run into the bathroom, where it drinks water
from the faucet yet they tell me it doesn't like to have water dripping
on its head. So I cup water in my hand and lo and behold the cat drinks
from my hand. And...and...after all the water is gone it
continues to lick my hand. A sign? I don't know. But I do know that cat
enjoyed its seafoody lunch. It almost ate the plastic dish. So I left
feeling lighter, and feeling that a unkilled black cat's curse might be
loosened from my shoulders. A little bit, maybe. But in this case a
little bit is a lot.
Now...you may be asking how in the world this is a Christmas story?
I have had a very difficult and tough last few months. Well...last few
years, really. Okay...ever since I wrote Boy's Life things have
been tough, because I walked away from genre horror work and I wasn't
supposed to do that, according to the corporates. They were investing in
a horror writer. That's what I was supposed to be for the rest of my
life, no matter what else I wanted to write. And guys, the corporates
can make life Hell for you, in ways that an unkilled black cat could
But I'm here. In a different place now. I've been in my apartment since
August. I'm pretty much on my own.
A Christmas story? Well, listen to this.
One night I was sitting on my balcony and I had a thrill of happiness.
It just came on me. It was a thrill of happiness that I haven't felt for
a very long time. I recall feeling that kind of thrill on Christmas
morning when I was a little boy, with the tree and the presents waiting
under it to be unwrapped. I felt that thrill, and I knew...the world is
my present, waiting to be unwrapped.
I have determined to travel more, to get out in the world and enjoy life
more than simply being a solitary hermit creating fantasies. I will
certainly continue to work because I love to work and I love the family
of my characters...but nothing beats real life, guys. Nothing beats
getting out in the world, meeting people, going places and having new
experiences. That's why on Christmas Day I'm going to be swimming in the
clear blue water off Cozumel. It will be my baptism into a new life.
I have experienced that thrill of happiness several times since. It is
the kind of happiness that can not be bought. It can not be
manufactured. It can not be written about. It must be experienced to be
known. I intend to find more and more of it, as time goes by. I think at
long last I have earned it.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I wish
you happy times with loved ones. Never take them for granted. Never.
I wish you peace and kindness, and I wish you freedom from black cats of
Gauntlet Press will be publishing J.N. Williamson's Illustrated
Masques in 2011. The book collects the two-volume 1992 graphic novel
J.N. Williamson's Masques and adds some new material. One of the
stories adapted to comic form for this book is Robert McCammon's "Nightcrawlers".
The script was written by James Kisner, and the art is by Ted Naifeh.
"Nightcrawlers" was originally published in the anthology
Masques and was also included in Robert McCammon's short story collection,
2010-11-27 — Student film adaptation of "Pin"
Film student Chris Frahme has posted
a great film adaptation of one of Robert McCammon's most disturbing short
stories, "Pin." The trailer for the film is below. The entire
18-minute film can be viewed on Blip.tv.
Our mammoth (nearly 700 pages) edition of Robert McCammon's
werewolf classic, The
Wolf's Hour, is in our warehouse and shipping.
The Signed Limited Edition which features a brand new 36,000 word Michael
Gallatin adventure is over 90% sold out. We should add that we will not be
filling any orders for our wholesale or large online retail accounts. The
classic novel and new novella are joined by the movie poster-inspired dust
jacket by Vincent Chong, as well as three full color interior
illustrations, including a pull-out of the novel's centerpiece "death
2010-11-09 — Robert McCammon's thoughts on The Wolf's Hour
Some Thoughts On The Wolf's Hour
Hi, all. November is upon us. Also upon us, and something I've been
very excited about for a number of months, is the beautiful edition of
The Wolf's Hour from Subterranean Press, which I consider to be
the Ultimate Edition of that work. I'd like to take a few minutes to
talk about that book, if I may.
Where did the idea come from? I've thought about that and I can't
really answer it. I do know I'm very interested in World War II
history, and also the "lore" and "allure" of secret agents. You may
not know that I tried to put myself in the running several years ago
to pick up the James Bond series when the publisher was casting about
for a writer. I didn't get the spot, and I guess I'm glad I didn't
because my work has evolved in another direction, but I always thought
I could do a "bang-up job"—British lingo there—putting
across an action-oriented secret agent novel.
So I decided to think about doing a different kind of secret agent,
and using of course my interest in World War II and general weirdness.
What could possibly make my hero different? I wondered.
Then I had the Ah, ha moment. Eureka, as they say.
But if he's going to be that, I decided, it has to be believeable all
the way. It has to be made real. It can't just be dropped in like a
gimmick. There has to be a backstory and a wealth of personal
history—and tragedy—and if this unreal hero is to become
real he must first and foremost be made human.
Now, the fun part about putting this hero together is that I knew
there would be a lot of action. If you know what I mean?
Usually I don't get to write scenes like that. If you read the new
novelette "The Room At The Bottom of The Stairs," you will
see that I decided to go for the gold in terms of the bedroom scenes.
Someone mentioned to me after reading those scenes that they were
Well, yeah. I don't get a lot of opportunities to write "very
earthy," so in this case I thought...go for it, all the way.
They actually may have said "very dirty," but I heard
"very earthy." Same difference. I guess?
I realized when I was writing The Wolf's Hour that it was going to
be a long book, but I didn't realize until looking back and re-reading
this Ultimate Edition how fully-packed the thing is. I mean, it is
intense. I think every possible situation one could throw at a hero,
whether he is merely human or more than human, is in this book.
The action scenes were great fun to write. I do mean, here, the
physical action. You know. The fighting scenes. Okay? Well, they were
fun to write. But I never wanted my hero's life-condition to be a
gimmick, something that is used when the pace falters or the story
runs out of steam or you just need a good jolt to throw at the reader.
No, his situation had to be honest, as much as I could make it.
It had to be depicted as a life lived in both great joy and deep
sadness, because for all my hero's abundant strength and speed and
animal passion, he also walks alone. He must pay the price for what he
is, and though the decision to be what he has become was not his to
make...there is still the price to be paid, and so this becomes more
than a story about a secret agent in World War II who is a
lycanthrope. It is also the story of an innocent boy who set out to
catch a kite and became a solitary traveller through a dangerous
I am very proud of The Wolf's Hour. It appears that this is another
of my books that, thankfully, is growing in stature with the passage
of time. I have been asked many times if I would ever consider doing a
sequel. Again, there are so many events packed into this book that I
might have a hard time writing a book-length sequel. But after writing
the shorter piece "The Room At The Bottom of The Stairs," I started
thinking... hmmmm, well, maybe I could do a sequel of sorts that was
not really a sequel but that did continue my hero's story.
So...I sat down this summer and wrote what has become The Hunter From
The Woods, a collection of short stories and novelettes starring
Michael Gallatin. He gets to move around quite a bit, from a ragtag
circus in Russia to fighter planes clashing over North Africa to a
freighter in the fog of the North Atlantic and beyond. It was great
fun for me to rouse Michael Gallatin to new adventures and...who knows
what the future holds for him?
Thank you for your readership, as always, and I hope you enjoy the
Ultimate Edition of The Wolf's Hour. I suppose you know the
title is a takeoff on "The wolf is ours" and the idea of the
eleventh hour, which was indeed "the wolf's hour" in the
lore of several mythologies.
Happy November to you all, and good reading to you as well.
2010-11-02 — Subterranean Press update: Low Stock Alert on The Wolf's Hour
We've just received the shipping notification from our printer that the first
two advance copies of Robert McCammon's werewolf classic, The
Wolf's Hour, are en route to our offices.
We have orders for more than 1100 copies of the limited edition—the
print run is only 750— so we will not be able to fill orders for any
of our large online retail accounts.
To guarantee yourself a copy, your best bet is to place a direct order at
this point. As a reminder, our edition includes not only the novel proper and a
number of full-color plates by Vincent Chong, it also features
a brand new 36,000 word novella, "The Room at the Bottom of the Stairs."
Finally, be on the lookout for an announcement concerning McCammon's epic
(over 180,000 words) thriller with a supernatural backbeat. We have some really
nifty promotional ideas for The Five that we think will make it an
even bigger treat for Ricks many fans.
2010-10-28 — Chinese edition of Boy's Life, lower Kindle price for Mister Slaughter
Chinese publisher Nautilus is releasing a Chinese translation of Boy's
Life on November 4, 2010. The book's cover is pictured at right and has
been added to the Book Cover Gallery. If you
understand Chinese, here's one link
to purchase the book.
The Kindle version of Mister Slaughter is currently only $2.99 on
Amazon. Click here
to order Mister Slaughter for the
Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle, there are also free Kindle apps for
Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android.
2010-10-15 — Metal band Denots posts song "Friend" inspired by Swan Song
The metal band Denots has posted
to their MySpace page three songs whose lyrics were inspired by Robert
McCammon's Swan Song. The songs form the trilogy "A Symphony of Frost and Fire."
Thanks to Jerimiah Peterson for the links!
Robert McCammon's mix of WWII and lycanthrophy, The
Wolf's Hour, done up in true epic fashion, will be out sold out on
publication. We just received a huge batch of retail and wholesale orders that
push our total copies ordered somewhere north of 900 copies, and there are only
750 copies in the print run!
We plan to fill direct orders first, then those of our regular small
specialty dealers. Finally, the large accounts will get copies, and some may
find their orders cut back, especially as we haven't received the rush of orders
we expect from the limited edition's strong Publishers Weekly
Remember, in addition to the novel proper, which features a number of
full-color plates by Vincent Chong, The Wolf's Hour
also contains a brand-new 36,000 word Michael Gallatin novella, "The Room at the
Bottom of the Stairs," bringing the book up to 680 pages.
2010-10-11 — New fan artwork and Subterranean news
Isao Hara sent in a piece of great artwork based on Robert McCammon's
Mister Slaughter. You can view the art here or click on the image to the right.
Subterrean Press reports that their limited edition of The Wolf's Hour has been
sent to their printer.
Robert McCammon's latest novel, The Five, is centered
around a rock'n'roll band named The Five. It's the culmination of his
lifelong interest in music, especially the rock'n'roll of the 1960s.
This month, Mr. McCammon launches Radio 678, a podcast featuring great
rock'n'roll from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The focus will be on the more
obscure songs from well-known bands, as well as songs from mostly-unknown
Radio 678 Show #1 features music from Elvis Costello, Marvin Gaye, Peter and
Gordon, The Farm, The Screaming Blue Messiahs, and more.
2010-09-18 — Publishers Weekly on The Wolf's Hour Limited, new interview
Subterranean Press has posted the following update on their
It's rare for Publishers Weekly to review $75 limited editions, but
they made an exception in the case of Robert McCammon's WWII
werewolf adventure, The
Wolf's Hour. We're glad they did, as the review fairly jumps off the page
with superlatives: "Originally published in 1989, this powerful novel fuses WWII
espionage thriller and dark fantasy. Richly detailed, intricately plotted,
fast-paced historical suspense is enhanced by McCammon's unique take on the
werewolf myth.... The limited edition hardcover reissue includes color
illustrations from renowned artist Vincent Chong as well as a
never-before-published companion novella, `The Room at the Bottom of the
Stairs,' which will raise interest in a planned collection of stories
featuring Gallatin. McCammon's fans will cherish this lovingly produced
reissue of a werewolf classic that deserves to be unearthed and
Italian website Carmilla has posted a new interview with Robert
McCammon about Mary Terror, the Italian translation of MINE.
You can read the Italian interview
here or an English
translation via Google Translate
2010-09-15 — A new update from Robert McCammon
Well, the time has come to say goodbye to summer and to prepare for
another autumn and, beyond that, another winter.
I always feel a little sad at the end of summer. Or wistful might be the
better word. There were so many plans for summer that never happened.
You know that drill. You meant to take this trip to the beach, and
something got in the way. You meant to stand in a woods and watch the
fireflies—we call them "lightning bugs" down
South— light up the night, but it never happened. You meant to go
to a baseball game and kick back with the taste of a hotdog and the
smear of mustard on your mouth, but somehow another thing seemed more
important. Maybe you meant to just lie on a hilltop and watch the clouds
move in their slow and stately progression, but somehow that didn't seem
important enough. I know all about this. It happened to me, too. I had
plans that didn't work out. Doesn't everyone? And the thing that gets in
the way? That's called "Life." Ah, well.
There's always next summer. And plenty of time to dream about what might
be, next time around.
Thank you for your comments and your readership. As always, if you
didn't read my work, I would cease to be. So thank you again for hanging
in with me, and travelling with me over the many roads.
For anyone close enough to Birmingham to make the drive, I'm going to be
speaking and reading at the Hoover Library on Tuesday, October the 5th
at 7:00. It's free, books are going to be sold there, and it's a nice
venue with a cool stage and very comfortable seats. The kicker is that
I'm going to not only talk about the Corbett series and The Five,
but I'm going to read the opening chapter of The Providence Rider
and of course talk about that book too. So if anyone can make the drive,
please drop by for the reading.
I'm going pretty well on The Providence Rider. Usually the
toughest part for me is getting everything going, and then when the
engine is started—so to speak—the machine sort of starts
running itself. Lots of characters in this one and it may be a long
book. Not sure yet. Well, okay...yes, it's going to be a long book! Let
me restate that: it will be as long as it needs to be to get the story
told. Aren't they all?
Speaking of long books, The "Ultimate" Wolf's Hour
comes in around six hundred and seventy pages, including the new
novelette. You know, I look back on some of those and wonder how I wrote
such long books. But then again, The "Ultimate" Wolf's
Hour is everything it needs to be. Story told. But story finished?
After I did The Hunter from the Woods this summer, I enjoyed it
so much that I immediately started thinking about doing more Gallatin
pieces. This really was a fun book to write, and probably the most "fun"
I've ever had doing a project. What was cool about it to me was that
instead of writing one book for nine months, here I could finish a short
story in a few days or a novelette in a week or so and then go to an
entirely different locale and plot-line. So I really did have a lot of
fun doing it, and maybe there's more Michael Gallatin in the future if
you guys like it.
Just wanted to check in briefly this time and give you an update.
Writing this in the middle of the night—of course—so I'll be
getting back to Matthew and The Providence Rider.
But before I get back to work I may walk outside to my balcony, sit down
and just listen for a few minutes.
You know, it's still warm and the crickets and the night sounds are
still out there. It's really still summer, so maybe that goodbye was a
little premature. The moon's up, the world feels calm, and in the peace
of solitude there's still plenty of time to dream.
So yes, I think I won't say goodbye to summer yet.
Not just yet.
2010-09-07 — Signed or Personalized Books Available from The Alabama Booksmith
Working with Robert McCammon, The Alabama
Booksmith is offering signed or personalized copies of all of Robert
McCammon's in-print books. Click here for more
information and ordering details!
2010-08-08 — New book finished, Bulgarian editions, new scans, around the 'net
If you didn't listen to the latest installment of Psycho 60s, then you missed the announcement that
Robert McCammon has completed The Hunter from the Woods, the collection
of stories and novellas featuring Michael Gallatin, the main character from
The Wolf's Hour. Mr. McCammon reads a few paragraphs from the opening of that
book at the end of podcast #4.
Just when I think I know about all of the international editions of Robert
McCammon's novels, I find new ones. I just discovered that MINE,
Stinger, and Mystery Walk were published in Bulgaria in the
1990s. Thanks to a Bulgarian reader who posted scans of the covers on a
Bulgarian message board, I've added these books to the Book Cover Gallery. The Mystery Walk cover is
most interesting, as they took the cover of the Pocket Books edition of They
Thirst and replaced the vampire....
A friend of mine in Russia recently sent me the new Russian editions of
Speaks the Nightbird and The Queen of Bedlam with their
matching-theme covers. The covers have appeared in the gallery before, but
larger scans showing more detail are now available.
Here are some recent blog reviews of Robert McCammon's work:
"I find McCammon's work to be literary works of art. His writing style
is the embodiment of an 'achievement' in modern literature and it is
beyond my understanding why his work doesn't get more widespread praise
"The author's superb skill
and craftsmanship is evident on every page, in snippets of description,
in dialogue, in clever turns of phrase. McCammon does with language what
every writer should aspire to do he enjoys it, he savors it, he has
FUN with it—and he tells a damn good story at the same time."
2010-07-30 — Psycho 60s Podcast #4 is now available
A new edition of Robert McCammon's Psycho 60s
podcast is now available. Join DJ Rick on the special "Unknowns"
edition—songs from '60s bands that are pretty much unknowns. DJ Rick
guarantees you'll like these songs, even if they're from bands you don't know.
There's also a special treat inside....
"Again, Robert McCammon showcases his versatility and amazing talent
in crossing genres directly into a suspense novel. This page
turner is set in early Eighteenth century Manhattan. There is a serial
killer on the loose and Matthew must find him. Then, the book morphs
into a journey of... rich characters, hairpin turns, unexpected surprises,
and a bunch of 'wow, who would have thought that.'"
"Bottom line, McCammon is an incredible storyteller. There's a reason
this book is still in print twenty-five years later. I loved it!"
2010-06-23 — Robert McCammon to attend and lead workshops at SIWC 2010
Robert McCammon will be a guest at the Surrey
International Writers' Conference in Surrey, British Columbia,
Canada, from October 22–24, 2010. While the conference is geared toward
writers, there is a signing event that's open to the public on Saturday,
October 23, 2010, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM.
Speaker: Robert McCammon
Time: Friday 1:30pm
How to (really) get started. What do you need? How far along do you need to be
on an outline or plot? Time to stop wasting time and get started on your
writing project...but exactly how? And how important is Page One, anyway?
That's what we'll be covering. (Come prepared to write in class).
An Eye and an Ear For Dialogue
Speaker: Robert McCammon
Time: Sunday 9:30am
Dialogue can make or break any writing project. How do you know it's any good?
Learn to see good dialogue on the page as well as hear it in your head. Come
prepared to write in class.
A Sense of History
Moderator: Jeffery McGraw
Panel: Anne Perry, Jack Whyte, Robert McCammon, Diana Gabaldon
Time: Friday 3:30pm
Writing historical fiction poses unique challenges and offers unique rewards.
Our panel gives some insight into the process of crafting stories set in the
past that appeal to modern readers.
2010-06-18 — Blue World movie, French Boy's Life, revised artwork
PRODUCER MICHAEL NEHS of Frontsight Productions is slated to
shoot Blue World, his
long-in-development thriller, in Chicago next spring.
Director Charley Rivkin and Adam Witt adapted Robert McCammon's Bram
Stoker Award-winning short story, about a priest resisting his desire for a
porn star he's trying to protect from a serial killer.
Nehs says Rutger Hauer, Bryan Dennehy, Steven Weber, Seymour Cassel and
Kaitlin Doubleday are attached to star. Frontsight is a division of Nehs's
Templar Studios, which long has had plans to construct a post-production
facility in Old Town. See frontsightproductions.com.
A new mass-market paperback of Le Mystère du lac, the French
translation of Robert McCammon's Boy's Life, has been released in France
by Pocket. The new cover art for the book has been added to the Book Cover Gallery. Click on the image below to
see a larger version of the cover.
The book should be in French bookstores now. It can also be ordered from
online bookstores, including Amazon.fr.
2010-06-16 — Psycho 60s Podcast #3 is now available
A new edition of Robert McCammon's Psycho 60s
podcast is now available. Join DJ Rick as he spins some forgotten songs and
discusses the bands and their music. The featured music includes songs from
The Spiders, Gonn, Arthur Brown, The Avengers, Bread, Mountain, and more.
When that original cover was presented to me at Pocket Books, I hit the
roof. I begged and pleaded for them not to use what I considered to be a
"cartoon" depiction of evil. I offered all sorts of options. I
even drew my own picture of what I wanted the cover to be, which was a
nuclear cloud with a barely-defined "face" within it.
(Actually, that picture was used in a reprint edition).
Anyway, I went around and around with the publisher at Pocket over what
I thought was a "comic-book" cover. Basically, I was patted on
the head and told to go away, because the art director knew what sold
and he knew what the market wanted to see.
I asked to speak with the art director.
He walked into the office wearing, as I recall, a hot-pink tie with a
sickly-green coat. Looking at his mismatched and garish clothes made me
feel a little sick. But I realized, this is why the garish colors are on
the cover of the original Swan Song...art is in the eye of the
beholder, even if that eye is nearly half-blind or otherwise unable to
see anything but a blast of miasmic and frenetic hues.
So...that's why the incandescent red-and-orange clown face is on the
cover. They came to their (color) senses only years later at Pocket,
with the latest edition that I think looks very good. But that first
Again, thanks for the comments!
2010-06-03 — Artwork for The Wolf's Hour Limited Edition
Subterranean Press has posted the following update on their site:
Have a look at Robert McCammon'sThe
Wolf's Hour page, where we've just posted two of the full-color interior
illustrations, including the foldout death train scene. The book is progressing
nicely, on schedule for its fall release. We've designed the book and proofread
it once, and are going through it a final time. Now that all of the art is in,
we'll be ordering Advance Reading Copies in the next week.
Speaking of the art for The Wolf's Hour, Vincent
a bit about the influences behind his striking cover for the book.
2010-05-31 — A new Robert McCammon update
Where I'm "At"
Hi everyone, and as always thank you for taking the time to check in,
see what's going on and make comments on my work. Your input is always
I'd like to talk about a few subjects near and dear to me this time out.
First up: work-in-progress. I'm very excited about what's coming up in
the future, namely the really beautiful edition of The Wolf's
Hour and of course The Five, which I believe (or would like
to believe) is the best book I've ever written. So I personally am
"stoked" about what's ahead.
I guess you know by now about the new Michael Gallatin novelette, The
Room at the Bottom of the Stairs. Well, I had a lot of fun writing that
and I started thinking...you know, Michael's story is far from being
So...while The Wolf's Hour is fresh on my mind, I'm doing a new book of
short stories about Michael Gallatin. The reason (well, one reason) I
never went back to do a Wolf's Hour sequel is that I figured I'd said
everything that needed to be said. I mean, really, The Wolf's Hour is
packed with just about every World War II situation I could think of.
What else could I write that wouldn't be repeating myself?
I started thinking...maybe short stories would be the way to go. And I'm
not usually into writing short stories because I prefer the longer
form, but in this case I was thinking I could do some different things
in different (and experimental) ways and see what happens. So right now
I'm doing this book of Gallatin short stories and including probably
another novelette. I hope also in this book to answer some of the
questions that have been posed about...well...about a lot of Michael
Gallatin's past and future.
Okay. That said, I'm working hard also on the next Matthew book. So
don't worry, The Providence Rider is trotting along.
Now...another thing near and dear to me. The podcasts.
Oh, the humanity! Also...listen to all that silence in the room.
Guys, the podcasts are really mostly for me because I enjoy doing them.
If I hadn't become a writer (and I didn't have much of a choice on that
one), I probably would have gone into sound production and become a
recording engineer. I really, really do enjoy working with music and
sound. Also, for me it's a bigtime stress reliever and I do need that.
So...I'm going to do two more Psycho 60s podcasts (the last one being
our time machine trip to the Northern Soul dance club in July) and then
shift the format to what I call Radio 678. I'll be broadening the focus
of the show to include songs from the 70s and 80s. I plan to do one of
these a month.
Guys...I'm not taking any time away from my writing. I know you don't
necessarily want to hear music or hear me talking about music on the
website, but this is all for the good, believe me. So I hope you give
them a listen and I hope you enjoy them and...you know what?...you
might glean from them some better understanding of me and why I write
what I do.
Now, I have to address a comment that was made by an Irish gentleman on
Facebook. The comment being that I am arrogant because I don't want the
first four (actually, I believe it's the first three) books I wrote to
be re-published. The idea is that I'm arrogant because I say they're not
good enough to be published again and I supposedly should let the
readers decide that.
Well, the books are available. They're on eBay and other places, I'm
sure. They're in used book stores, yes they are. I'm not trying to
destroy all the old copies of those books. They're out there. I just
think my writing has progressed over time and I don't think those books
need to be published in large quantities with my name on them saying I'm
the writer of the Matthew Corbett series or The Five or some future
novel. Those books are starter novels. They got me going, but I'd like
to think I've come a long way since. In essence, they've done their
Am I arrogant for this? For deciding that readers should not buy those
early books expecting the quality of the new work? I'm trying to save
people some money! Is that arrogant?
Gee, I kinda got my feelings hurt over this one.
If deciding that I require excellence in my work now, and that if
someone sees my name on a book they know they will hopefully get as
close to an excellent experience as I can give them...yeah, I'm as
arrogant as I can be.
And I guess I'm proud to be arrogant.
See, I made the decision that these books are not up to my current
standards so you guys wouldn't have to.
Sir, when I come visit Ireland you owe me a brew.
Summer's here! Have fun and keep reading!
2010-05-29 — Professional and fan artwork updates
Artist Vincent Chong, who did the artwork for the Subterranean Press release of
Mister Slaughter, has posted a blog about the inspiration for his cover
art for the upcoming Subterranean limited edition of The Wolf's Hour.
Just off the phone with Robert McCammon's agent with
most welcome news. In early 2011, we'll be releasing The Five, one
of Robert McCammon's most ambitious
novels to date, a mammoth 180,000 word epic thriller with a very dark fantastic
backbeat. More news on the limited and trade editions soon.
2010-05-14 — Subterranean Press: The Wolf's Hour Approaches!
Subterranean Press has unveiled
the cover art for their upcoming limited edition of Robert McCammon's classic
WWII thriller, The Wolf's Hour. This is from their site:
As you can see, SubPress favorite Vincent Chong has created
an utterly perfect cover for Robert McCammon's classic WWII adventure novel, The
Wolf's Hour. Now that the dust jacket is completed, Vinny has turned his
attention to the interior art, including a full-color pull-out illustration
of one of the novel's high points—the death-train scene.
If the illos and a sturdy signed edition of Hour aren't enough to
convince you to unlimber your wallet, don't forget "The Room at the Bottom of the
Stairs," a new 36,000 word Michael Gallatin mission, debuts in the limited
2010-05-04 — Photos from Oneonta Public Library fundraiser
On April 20, 2010, Robert McCammon attended a conference/fundraiser for the
Oneonta Public Library in Alabama. Photos from the event can be found here. Thanks to the Oneonta Public Library
for the photos.
2010-04-29 — Psycho 60s Podcast #2 is now available
A new edition of Robert McCammon's Psycho 60s
podcast is now available. Join DJ Rick as he spins some forgotten songs and
discusses the bands and their music. The featured music includes songs from
The Birds (not The Byrds), The Paniks, Ed Pauling, Shotgun Express, The
Hangmen, and others.
2010-04-23 — New Robert McCammon channel on YouTube
A new YouTube channel for videos related to Robert McCammon's work has been
created: Robert McCammon @
YouTube. This channel complements the videos found in the Video Gallery here, though the longer videos will only
be found here.
2010-04-21 — An update from Robert McCammon: A new Wolf's Hour story!
Here is a new update from Robert McCammon with some very exciting news!
Hi, everyone, and as always, thanks very much for all the comments.
Big news today!
I've been meaning to answer more of your questions but I've been very
busy for the last month. Subterranean Press is doing what I consider the
definitive edition of The Wolf's Hour in November or thereabouts,
and I was asked to do an introduction.
So I started thinking about what I could say in this introduction. It
would most likely be something boring, like talking about my interest in
the werewolf legend and in World War II history and how I decided to do
But, I didn't think that would be good enough, so I thought...okay, I'll
write a new Michael Gallatin short story.
What started out as a short story ended up as 123 pages of new Michael
Gallatin material. I guess this would be called a "novella".
Anyway, the story takes place after the events depicted in The Wolf's
Hour. It's also made me start thinking about writing some more
Gallatin material in the short form (say, a book of two novellas and
three short stories) because my problem with writing a Wolf's
Hour sequel is that I don't want to repeat myself. In the shorter
form, it might be possible to do some different things that I couldn't
do in novel length.
The new Michael Gallatin story is done and will appear in all editions
of The Wolf's Hour published by Subterranean Press.
So, for all who've been asking about a Wolf's Hour sequel, this
is probably the best I can do right now. More stories may come later.
We'll see what the response is and if it's strong enough there will
definitely be more Michael Gallatin.
Working now on The Providence Rider. Moving pretty well there but
I did devote the last month, as I said, to the Gallatin story. The
Five is still making the rounds of publishers but no offers yet. The
question was asked if The Five is a "dark" novel, and
though it does have supernatural and "dark" elements it also
has "light" elements, so it's not strictly along the lines of
my earlier work.
You know, I've been puzzled as to why The Five hasn't been picked
up by someone, because I think it's the best book I've ever written. But
tonight I kind of came to this conclusion:
I was at a library benefit tonight and had the opportunity to speak with
a couple of other writers, and we were talking as writers do about the
business, and publishers, and genres and such.
Never in the history of publishing (at least never in my thirty years of
being in the business) has the role of "genre" been so tight.
I mean, everything has to fit a category.
That's just the way it is. People in publishing are very afraid of
losing their jobs these days, so what's going to be bought and pushed is
usually the "safe"—meaning "it's been successful
So I was thinking on the drive back how the one thing I've always wanted
to achieve and feel I have achieved is a double-edged sword.
The Five is unlike anything else being published today. There is
absolutely nothing else like it out there. Also, the same can be said of
the Matthew Corbett series.
What I've worked very hard to achieve is being unique. Being the kind of
writer who does work that no one else does. Of going my own way, on my
own road, and feeling I'm doing the right (or write) thing.
I think I've created my own genre that no one else shares. For instance,
a woman came up to me and asked me to describe Boy's Life. Is it
"horror", is it "fantasy", is it
"literary", or "mystery"...or what?
My answer to that was: you know, I think it's something altogether
My trials and tribulations in the publishing business began with Boy's
Life. I think I created something that no one else could do. Which kind
of astounds me when I think about it, but Boy's Life follows no
publisher's model of success. That's also true of the Matthew Corbett
series and certainly true of The Five.
So I think I've achieved my desire to be unique. Now...in this world
nothing is free, so if you walk to a different drummer you might find
yourself on the path that no one else wants to walk. But still...this is
something I should be very proud of, I think. I believe what I'm doing
is good and important, or obviously I wouldn't want to be doing it, and
because it has no previous "model" it stands on its own.
I think that's what I've always wanted to achieve. So here it is, but
again the world being what it is, a price must be paid for everything.
Now...don't worry about The Five. It's going to find a good home
and I think it'll have a strong future. You know, the plans you make
don't always work out but I'm here to tell you, guys, there is
So thanks again for your comments. I have to say, I'm writing this late
night near two o'clock and I'm pretty tired after the library benefit,
but I got one question from a gentleman who lives in Charleston (and I
tried to go back and look up his name on the Facebook page but I
couldn't find it, I guess my eyes are going too) concerning the fact
that there's mention of a "lightning rod" in Speaks the
Nightbird when that particular item wasn't invented until much
I wanted to address this because I don't want to "duck" a
research question. The answer is, this is one of those things that
invariably will bite you. And there will be more than one in each book.
Writing about history is fraught with research perils. You can take care
of a thousand things (and there really will be thousands of things to
take care of) but a few are going to get past you, no doubt about it.
I don't have a research assistant or staff. It's just me. And, I have to
say, I've gotten more careful about researching as the series has
progressed, because I'm aware of earlier mistakes I've made. I hate
making mistakes, but after they're made and in print all you can do is
grit your teeth and hope you won't make any more, which is kind of the
As I've said before, you're never going to write a perfectly accurate
historical novel. I think I threw in that "lightning rod"
comment just as an aside, and this is where you can get hammered because
I was probably too busy researching a dozen other things to think about
an aside. My bad, and I hope it won't happen again but I know it will. I
will never, ever tell you all the mistakes I've made in this series so
far because some of them are real screamers. At least, I screamed when I
realized they were in print, too late to be removed from the eyes of
experts who know everything under the sun about a single subject. I just
have to do the best I can do in any book, which will certainly fall
short of being perfect.
Did you guys like the podcast? I'm getting ready to do a second one. I
really enjoy doing them, and some of the songs and bands you'll be
hearing are mentioned in The Five by the character Terry
Spitzenham, who plays keyboards and is the band's retro freak and
encyclopedia of, as the drummer Berke Bonnevey puts it, "the moldy
Lots of good things ahead, guys. Very excited. Oh! Almost forgot! How
about Chuck Hartsell's video for Mister Slaughter? We're doing
videos also for Speaks the Nightbird and Queen of Bedlam.
Chuck also wants to do a video for The Wolf's Hour.
And...we're planning on doing a longer form music video for The
Five. I've written the words for some of the songs in The
Five, so what we might do is put music to one of them and fire that
up with a band doing the original song in the video.
How about it? Summertime is coming, guys!
Thanks for all your support and good wishes, and I'll check in with you
a little later on.
Robert McCammon has
just turned in a brand-new 36,000 word novella, "The Room at the Bottom of the
Stairs," about a further WWII adventure of Michael Gallatin that will be
included in The
Wolf's Hour, pushing the book to just shy of 700 pages. We expect the
inclusion of this major piece of new fiction will drive sales of this limited
edition, making it a must have for every serious McCammon fan.
To accommodate the expected demand for The Wolf's Hour—this novella
was a last-minute addition, long after the book was announced—with
permission we've decided to increase the print run to 750 copies, to cover the
increased printing costs, to compensate the author for a significant new piece
of fiction, and to give his many fans a chance at this important collectible
2010-04-14 — Mary Terror released in Italy this month!
Italian publisher Gargoyle Books
will be publishing Mary Terror, an Italian translation of
MINE, in hardcover on April 29, 2010. The cover art is shown below. Click on the
image to view a larger version (it has also been added to the Book Cover Gallery, of course). Thanks to Gargoyle
Books for the cover image!
The text in the ad to the right essentially translates as:
Prepare to descend into the labyrinth of a mind haunted by nightmares....
2010-03-30 — Photos of the Mister Slaughter Limited Edition
Subterranean Press shipped out all of the limited editions of Mister
Slaughter last week, and readers are reporting receipt of their books this
week. Photos of the limited have been added to the Mister Slaughter Book
2010-03-29 — Mister Slaughter eBook and Psycho 60s Subscriptions
Robert McCammon's Mister Slaughter is now available as an eBook from
Subterranean Press in conjunction with Baen Books. It should be available via
Amazon and SmashWords soon.
Robert McCammon's new music podcast, Psycho 60s,
is now available via iTunes.
You can also subscribe to it via RSS.
2010-03-26 — DJ Rick's Psycho 60s Podcast Debut
Robert McCammon's latest novel, The Five, is centered
around a rock'n'roll band named The Five. It's the culmination of his
lifelong interest in music, especially the rock'n'roll of the 1960s.
Mr. McCammon is a great fan of the obscure rock bands of the
1960s—the bands that may have released only one single or album
and then disappeared into the mists of time. We're launching what is
planned to be a monthly feature here: DJ Rick's Psycho 60s Podcast!
Join Robert McCammon as he spins some forgotten songs and discusses the
bands and their music.
The time's come to unleash Robert McCammon'sMister
Slaughter on the world again—this time, the limited edition. Our
driver is picking up copies today, and we're bringing in extra help to
start sending copies out later this week.
We just did a tally, and we're down to the last 25 copies. The book and
slipcase are both leatherbound, with the case sporting foil stamping on both
the spine and one side, making it a nifty, if bloody, addition to anyone's
collection of limited editions.
Posted on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 at 8:22 am.
2010-03-19 — Newspaper article about Robert McCammon's Jasper signing
On Tuesday, March 16, 2010, Robert McCammon spoke and signed books at Bevill
State Community College in Jasper, AL, as part of the Read Alabama!
program. Today's issue of the Jasper newspaper, Daily Mountain Eagle,
contains an article by David Lazenby about the signing.
Thanks to David Lazenby, you can read the article here. Additional photos
are also available.
Mister Slaughter was #3 on the Dark Delicacies bestseller list for
the week ending 2010-03-13. The book is also once again available via Amazon,
after they were restocked by Subterranean Press.
Much like its titular character, the juggernaut that
is Robert McCammon'sMister
Slaughter just keeps on going. One large online retailer recently ran
completely out of copies, as did several of our wholesalers. We went through
the entire third printing resupplying them, so have ordered a fourth printing
of McCammon's historical thriller.
If that's not enough good news, we received notice yesterday that the novel
is up for an American Library Association Reading Award in the Thriller
category. Why not pick up a copy and see what all the fuss is about?
Posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2010 at 9:44 am.
2010-03-08 — Mister Slaughter Signed Limited Editions shipping soon
Subterranean Press posted this update regarding the signed limited editions of
Slipcases for the Signed Limited Edition are due to ship to our offices on
3/12. We'll start shipping that version as soon as the cases arrive.
2010-03-07 — Mister Slaughter in EW and an update from Subterranean
Robert McCammon's Mister Slaughter is briefly mentioned in the March 12,
2010, issue of Entertainment Weekly. It appears at position 8 in
"The Chart" among the week's horror best-sellers at Dark Delicacies
bookstore. Click here to see
a scan of "The Chart."
We're about to start shipping the
third printing of Mister
Slaughter, Robert McCammon's historical thriller, out to our
large wholesale and retail accounts, so those should be able to advertise
"Ships within 24 hours" again shortly.
Please note that individual customers who order direct from SubPress will
still receive unsigned first printing copies.
In the meantime, in its "The Chart" section, Entertainment
Weekly has Mister Slaughter landing at number 8 among horror best sellers.
Finally, we haven't talked much about exactly what influenced the creation of
the characters Mister Slaughter and Matthew Corbett, so now's a fine time to
Here's a short video of British character actor Tod Slaughter in all his
You can read more about the real Slaughter over at his Wikipedia page, which
mentions his career making run as Sweeney Todd, appropriately enough.
Posted on Sunday, March 7th, 2010 at 10:50 am.
2010-02-22 — More from Robert McCammon, new audio recordings, and The Big Idea!
As always, thank you for your comments and questions and most of
all for your readership. I've said it before and I'll say it
again: a writer would be nothing without readers, and I
gratefully appreciate the time and effort you spend on my behalf.
I wanted to answer a couple more questions this time out, but
first I wanted to talk about some things I've seen remarked on:
the first being that the time between Matthew Corbett books seems
very long and the second being the idea that I get no "respect"
from the publishing industry.
The story behind Mister Slaughter (there's a story behind
everything, isn't there?) is that it was finished and turned
into my then-agent in April of 2008. I wasn't happy with the job
of promotion that Pocket had done with Queen of Bedlam. I was
balking at doing another book with Pocket, and I wanted an
"upgrade" in terms of what the publishing house (Simon and
Schuster) would do with Mister Slaughter. So my then-agent came
back to me with the revelation that Scribner (part of the Simon
and Schuster company) was going to publish Mister Slaughter in
hardback, everything was in place for that to happen, but we had
to wait for Susan Moldow, the head honcho (honchess?) at
Scribner, to sign off on the deal. That wouldn't happen, though,
until September because Ms. Moldow would be away during the
summer. But I was told not to worry about it, because the deal
was a "slam dunk".
Imagine what I felt like when I got a call from my then-agent in
October of 2008 saying he didn't know what had happened, but the
deal had blown up and Scribner would not be publishing Mister
Slaughter but I was welcome to go back to Pocket.
Still can't figure out if it was a setup to get me to go back or
if I was just plain lied to, but I fired my then-agent within a
couple of weeks after that and went on the search for a new
agent and, of course, a new publisher. That turned out in time to
be Subterranean Press, based in Michigan.
I was pretty down about things, but I started writing The Five in
February of 2009 and finished in October of 2009. That book is
making the rounds of New York publishers. I'm hopeful for a
quick result, but it might be months before the book is picked
up by anyone. So right there is an example of how you can finish
a book and it'll be a year or two before it comes out.
I'll begin The Providence Rider in March and intend to finish in
October. But what I'm trying to say is, the long lag between
books is not my doing. I want to get on a solid publication
track. So what might appear to you as an excessive time between
books is particularly frustrating to me. I'm trying to get the
corporate horses to pick up their speed, and the nags won't go.
Sometimes they refuse to move at all.
As for Pocket, my hope was that they'd see the potential in the
Matthew books and really go to work promoting them, but I think
my horror work still gets in the way there. One problem is: where
do they go on the shelves in a bookstore? My name is still in the
horror section, but the Matthew books are more Historical
Mystery. We all know Boy's Life was not
"horror", and neither was Gone South, yet those
two books are shelved in the horror section where booksellers
(particularly the big box stores) recognize my name from my
earlier works. That's one reason I caution beginning writers to
be very, very careful how they start out, because if you begin as
a genre writer you're going to find it a very hard, torturous
journey to be able to do what a writer ought to feel free and be
encouraged to do: write about any subject, in any timeframe, that
appeals to the creative nature. But I think Pocket just couldn't
get a handle on the Matthew books, and I probably stayed at that
particular party too long.
Now to the part about "respect". Again, we're talking about
corporations. They respect money. Can you ask for respect from a
building? From stones and bricks? You might, but you're not going
to get it.
I get the respect I need from you guys. I re-read something I
wrote awhile back, the introduction to my short story collection
Blue World. I was talking about fast cars, the idea of moving
forward, and in it I kept coming back to the phrase "Trust me",
in regards to letting me take the wheel and steer the ride.
That's what I feel you do, in allowing me freedom of the
creative nature. You do trust me, and right there is the best
respect anyone could ask for.
I will tell you that I think The Five is the best book I've ever
written. All-in-all the book is exactly what I hoped it would
be. The Five is something I have needed to say for a long
time, but it took me awhile to know how to say it.
I feel like there are great things ahead. I have ideas stacked up
and ready to go. There are things I could tell you now that would
make you jump with joy, if you've liked my work up to this point.
All I can say is...trust me.
I hear you when you say the wait between Matthew's stories is
long, and I wanted you to know it's a problem I'm actively
trying to solve. I think Subterranean Press has done a fantastic
job with Mister Slaughter, and I have no hesitation in saying I
hope they will publish the rest of the series.
Denise Quinn and Mike Wilkerson (among others) have both asked
about sequels to Swan Song and The Wolf's Hour.
I'm thinking of (maybe) a sequel to The Wolf's Hour, but I have
so much on my plate yet to do that I want to keep on my schedule.
Now, that's not to say that if The Wolf's Hour actually becomes a
movie and does well that I wouldn't really really give some
thought to continuing the story, but...
My take on sequels is that they're never going to be as good as
the original book. Yet my intention is for you to actually want
me to write a sequel. Does that make sense? If you want me to
write a sequel, it means you enjoyed the book and the characters
enough to want to keep going with them. That's a very high
compliment to a writer, but sometimes (I think particularly in
the case of Swan Song) the story is told and if there's any
continuing story it should be written in the reader's own
I don't consider Matthew's stories to be "sequels", but rather
one continuing book. His story is not finished yet, and won't be
until we get to the last book in the series. But everything else
I've done, I kinda figure those stories are finished. Having said
that, though, it's really a good thing that you want me to write
sequels because it's an indication of how much you enjoyed the
Hope that makes sense.
I know there've been some questions about the availability of
e-books. Believe me, this is an area of chaos and confusion for
the book industry. I find it very interesting that Amazon
promoted the Kindle as being able to download current bestsellers
within minutes of their pubdates, and then suddenly the
publishers are saying they want four or five months leeway
between the release of new books and the e-book version. So
that's why Amazon is plundering back-lists and the publishing
companies are trying to grab hold of as many older titles as
they can. It's a complicated issue. Amazon wants to be able to
set e-book prices and the publishing industry wants to be able to
set e-book prices. Chaos and confusion, added to by the huge
number of e-book readers on the market and soon to be on the
market. I have enough chaos in my day-to-day, so like you guys
all I can do is watch the circus parade go past and wonder
who'll be bringing up the rear with the brooms. No doubt it'll be
Again, thank you so very much for your comments and I
particularly appreciate that you're reading and re-reading the
older books. I hope you've enjoyed Mister Slaughter. I will say
about The Providence Rider that not only do we leave New York in
this book, we also leave the colonies. But—no fear!—we'll return
to the familiar trappings of Number Seven Stone Street 'ere the
tale is through.
See? I'm getting back into the colonial mode after the rock'n
Thanks for reading and for writing, and I'll talk to you again a
little further on.
Author John Scalzi often posts articles from other authors on his website.
One of this week's guests is Robert McCammon.
We also now have audio from Robert McCammon's reading and signing in Ann Arbor,
MI, on January 22, 2010, and from the ConFusion session the next day. The
recordings can be found below, as well as on the new Audio
Gallery page, which collects all of the audio available here. A Video Gallery has also been created.
Robert McCammon reads from Mister Slaughter
The Q & A Session
"An Interview with Robert McCammon," 2010 ConFusion
This interview took place at ConFusion 2010 in Troy, MI, on January 23, 2010.
Originally planned as a one-on-one interview, it ended up being a roundtable
discussion with Robert McCammon, Hunter Goatley, and about a dozen fans.
ConFusion 2010 interview
2010-02-22 — The Wolf's Hour Limited Edition available for pre-order, new reviews
As we reported a few months ago, Subterranean Press will be producing a limited
edition of Robert McCammon's 1989 novel, The Wolf's Hour. The book will be
published in lettered and signed limited editions in November 2010. Here are the details
the Subterranean Press pre-order page:
The Wolf's Hour
By Robert McCammon
(pre-order — to be published in November)
Illustrated by Vincent Chong
Limited: $75 ISBN: 978-1-59606-315-0
Lettered: $250 Length: 560 pages
First published in 1989, The Wolf's Hour remains one of Robert
McCammon's most indelible creations. Ranging freely and with great authority
through realms of history, folklore, and myth, it combines two seemingly
disparate genres—the World War II action thriller and the paranormal
romance—into a seamless, irresistible whole.
McCammon's hero is Michael Gallatin, embattled inhabitant of two different
worlds. Born into the Russian aristocracy, but "changed" and raised
by a pack of werewolves, Michael's journey takes him from the wild regions of
his native Russia to the battle-scarred landscapes of a world at war. Offering
his unique talents to the Allied cause, Michael becomes a sort of secret weapon
aimed at the destruction of Hitler and his "Thousand Year Reich." His
adventures take him from the deserts of North Africa to the German-occupied
countries of Western Europe. There, with the aid of a vivid assortment of
friends, comrades, and lovers, he uncovers a horrific conspiracy known as
"Iron Fist," which threatens to disrupt the Allies long-planned
invasion of Europe and to alter the very outcome of the war.
Both a scrupulously researched historical thriller and a brilliant
re-imagining of the traditional werewolf tale, The Wolf's Hour offers
pleasure, excitement, and illumination on virtually every page. Exotic,
enthralling, and endlessly inventive, it is the work of a master storyteller in
full command of his matchless narrative gifts.
The Subterranean Press edition of The Wolf's Hour will feature an
original introduction by Robert McCammon, as well as a full-color dust jacket
and a number of color plates by Vincent Chong, including a gatefold
illustration depicting the novel's famous "death train" scene.
Limited: 500 signed numbered hardcover copies Lettered: 26 signed leatherbound copies, housed in a custom trayase
To pre-order the book from Subterranean Press, click here.
The limited edition is also listed on
but the only way to guarantee receipt of a copy is to order it directly
from Subterranean Press.
A couple more recent reviews for Mister Slaughter have appeared:
"McCammon brings all of his creative talent to play in this grand
adventure. His characters and scenes are vividly drawn and come to life in ways
that profoundly touch the reader. This is writing at its absolute best, and few
can do it as well as McCammon."
"All of this is held together by McCammon's masterful writing skills,
which have evolved and adapted to his material, with undertones of James
Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving which give the novel an authentic
period feel that should make better known and well established
historical novelists jealous."
2010-02-15 — Print On Demand (POD) reprints, book reviews
Pocket Books has reissued/will be reissuing trade paperback editions of Robert
McCammon's 1980s novels Mystery Walk and Usher's Passing. Both books are Print On
Demand (POD) books, which supposedly explains their high list prices ($25.99
and $24.99, respectively). Both books have a listed publication date of April
1, 2010, but Mystery Walk is already available now from Amazon.com at a
discounted price of $18.71.
The cover of Mystery Walk is identical to the last mass-market paperback
(MMPB) cover. While the POD book is physically larger than the MMPB, it was
typeset from the same source, so the text inside is identical in size to that
in the MMPB.
"The reader will have great fun as McCammon masterfully weaves the many
threads of his mystery, creates a fictional world with great skill and
still manages to keep some of the playfulness you can find in some of
his earlier works."
We have a few updates on Robert McCammon'sMister
Slaughter to share, in no particular order:
1. We have ordered the slipcases for the limited edition,
but are still a good 4-6 weeks away from being able to ship that version. We'll
post more info (and send it out in our newsletter) as soon as we have it.
2. The first edition copies, only available direct from
SubPress at this point, continue to dwindle.
3. Some online retailers have gone through their inventory
on the book and are waiting for more copies. Second printings are en route to
those who've ordered, so shipping status at Amazon, etc. should be back to
“Ships in 24 hours” very shortly.
4. Over at Matthew Corbett's World, the
site that Hunter Goatley runs for the series, he's recently posted a list of
characters from the Corbett novels—with descriptions to follow—along with a
copy of the actual
map that McCammon works from when writing the novels.
Finally, here's another fine review of the book, this time from
Wonder: “Combining the best elements of detective, historical, horror and
conspiracy fiction, this is a book and a series that deserves a wide
Posted on Sunday, February 7th, 2010 at 11:38 am.
2010-02-02 — Robert McCammon to participate in Read Alabama! program
Robert McCammon will be participating in this year's Read Alabama!
program at Bevill State Community College in Jasper, AL, along with other
On Tuesday, March 16, 2010, at 4 PM, Robert McCammon will give a brief
talk and will sign copies of Mister Slaughter and his
previous novels. The event will take place at Bevill Auditorium on the
campus of Bevill State Community College. Admission is free to the
presentation and to the preceding reception at 3:30 PM.
Two days. That's how long the second printing of Robert
McCammon's historical thriller, Mister
Slaughter, lasted, so we've ordered a third printing to keep our wholesale
and large online retail accounts supplied.
We have held back a limited number of first edition copies for direct sale.
However, that quantity is dwindling. If you're interested in a first edition,
please order direct from us, and we'll see that a well packaged copy is send out
your way. And while we're at it, thanks to everyone involved for making this
project such a success for us here at SubPress. We really appreciate the
Michael Nehs of Frontsight Productions contacted me yesterday to report that
the Blue World movie is alive again. He wrote:
2009 was a difficult year in the film industry but we are back on track with
Blue World. The film is on its way to major packaging agents and
financiers as we speak and is officially scheduled for production fall of 2010.
We are very excited to produce this wonderful story this year. Thanks to you,
Robert and the fans for the patience on this project.
Here is the updated casting information. Mr. Nehs also stated,
"Father Lancaster has been difficult. Would love to hear ideas of
Blue World fans for this lead role." If you have suggestions, you
can mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and
I'll forward them to Mr. Nehs.
Original Music by Grammy-Nominated musician Carlos Villalobos
Music Supervisor/Composer — Pinar Toprak
Production Manager — Carrie Holt DeLama
Producer — Michael Nehs
Director — Charley Rivkin
If you missed out on Subterranean Press's signed copies of Mister
Slaughter that were briefly available last week, The Alabama Booksmith
still has signed first printings of Mister Slaughter available, as
well as signed copies of the hardcover
edition of Speaks the Nightbird and the trade paperback editions of
Swan Song, Boy's Life, Gone South, Speaks the
Nightbird, and The Queen of Bedlam. You can find them at AlabamaBooksmith.com.
2010-01-28 — Subterranean Press update: signed books, The Earwig, Limited Edition news
Subterranean Press posted this update on their website this morning:
We recently hosted Robert McCammon at a local convention
(see his website for photos). While
he was here, Rick was gracious enough to sign a number of trade hardcovers for
us. These are all first edition copies, and only available directly from
Slaughter is already in its second printing, which copies we're using to
fill a huge backlog of wholesale and large online retailer orders.
Quantities of the signed hardcover are quite limited, so please don't delay
if you're interested in picking up a copy.
As a little added bonus for McCammon fans, you can read the front page of The
Earwig, the newspaper mentioned in the novel. Our thanks to crack
researcher Gwenda Bond for unearthing this little tidbit for readers.
Finally, we approved the slipcase prototype for the limited edition earlier
this week, which means we should be shipping finished copies to customers in
eight weeks or so.
2010-01-25 — Photos from Robert McCammon's book signings
Photos from Robert McCammon's book signings last week are now available for
your viewing pleasure! Thanks to Dave King and Laura Thorpe for sending in
their photos, and thanks to everyone who said hello at the Ann Arbor signing.
Thanks to Subterranean Press for inviting us to ConFusion! We had a great
For those of you who can't make it to a signing but would like a signed copy of
Mister Slaughter, you can order one by mail from the Alabama Booksmith.
They also have hardback copies of Speaks the Nightbird and the trade
paperback editions of Boy's Life, Gone South, Speaks the
Nightbird, The Queen of Bedlam, and Swan Song. All signed
books will ship on Thursday, January 21. To order any of those, just use the
Booksmith page for Mister Slaughter and add the other titles under
If you attend the signings, we'd love to have photos for the site!
A few months ago, we posted a link to YouTube video of
Timo "The Doc" Heikkinen
performing an original jazz composition featuring the opening
poem from Boy's Life. A newer recording of the song has been posted
on YouTube. This clip was filmed in the #1 live music club Tavastia in
Helsinki, Finland, in November 2009. It's a great song!
Another uncollected Robert McCammon short story is now available for your
reading pleasure, and it's a real chiller!
"On a Beautiful Summer's Day, He
Was" was originally published in the anthology
The Further Adventures of the Joker in 1990. Junior will give you the
Robert McCammon was a guest of the Blog Talk Radio show The Funky Werepig on
Sunday, January 10, 2010. The show can be downloaded in MP3 format
2010-01-08 — Robert McCammon answers your questions!
As I'm waiting for the official pub date of Mister Slaughter,
I've been going back over comments and questions that some of you guys
have posed over the last few months, and I wanted to respond.
First off, I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to have loyal readers.
Telling a story and communicating with people is what it's all about,
and I have to say that looking back over all the comments I feel like a
very lucky person indeed. I've always said that I first write a book for
myself because it's a story I want to read, but knowing that other
people are enjoying the books, understanding the characters and what I'm
trying to express...it's really a great feeling, so I wanted to thank
all of you very, very much.
I really enjoy reading your comments. I'm so glad my work has given you
pleasure and, in a way, become a part of your life. What more is there
for a writer, than to reach out and be accepted? Again, I'm a very
To the comments and questions:
Jean-Frederic Chaleyat asks about movie rights to The Wolf's Hour, and what's going on there.
I can answer that the movie rights have been optioned and there's a very
good chance the movie will actually be made...but, as always, we'll have
to wait and see.
Paul Taylor asks if there's any way the "hardcore" can read
You know, I took The Village out of its box not long ago and
re-read it. I think I probably need to tighten it up some, but it
wouldn't be such a difficult task. The problem—and I think this is
also part of why it was never picked up by a publisher—is that it
concerns a part of World War II that most Americans know nothing about.
(And probably don't care much about, either!) Namely, the partisans
fighting in Yugoslavia against the Germans. There's really more to it
than that, but it's told from the viewpoint of the Russians and...well,
it's a pretty complicated plot. Plus it's very bloody and violent.
But...I might at some point clean it up and put it out there, so The
Village is certainly not dead. It's just that right now I have so
many other things going on.
Frederic Doss asks how he would find out about acquiring the film rights
to Gone South.
Years ago, I got a telephone call in the middle of the night from a
young man who'd just won a big lottery jackpot. He'd gotten my number
from the operator by saying it was an emergency call. But, anyway, he
wanted to use some of his newfound money to option one of my books and
make a movie.
I spent about an hour talking him down to earth. I told him to enjoy his
money and not throw it away, which is exactly what he would've been
doing if he'd tried to get into the movie-making business.
The film business will gladly eat any amount of money you wish to throw
at it, burp and ask for more. Without hugely deep pockets and a studio
behind you—and even with these things—you would likely have
nothing to show for the money you've spent.
I hope someday Gone South becomes a movie. I hope others of
my books become movies...if they turn out to be any good. Because,
really, even spending multiple million dollars on movies doesn't mean
they're going to be watchable. It's just feeding the beast.
So, Frederic, thank you for asking, but please keep your money, go out
to good dinners, enjoy some bottles of wine and nice trips and have fun
with your cash. Even if you had millions to throw away, I would say
don't go down that movie road. There's a reason most movies are put
together by conglomerates and financial companies using other peoples'
Wayne Rogers wants to know what happened to my hair.
Okay, here's the mathematical formula to explain it: Life as a writer +
dealing with the publishing business + fatherhood to a teenaged
daughter x the trials and tribulations of 2000 to 2009 = WYSIWYG!
Lisa Schneider asks if I might be coming to Southern Cal for a signing,
and Jodi asks if I might be coming to NYC for a signing.
Not anything planned right now, but I think we have to see how Mister
If I could work out some book signings in both places, that would be
Carmella Dillman asks if Speaks the Nightbird will be released as
Working to figure out if that's possible right now. Also working on
getting some other titles into ebook formats.
Kyle Bakke asks if I'm not proud of Swan Song, and why I never
talk about it.
Kyle, I'm very proud of Swan Song, but when it first came out it
was blasted by some critics who said I was trying to copy King's The
Stand, and much of the heat directed at me over that book was pretty
hot. Over time, Swan Song has stood on its own, but I guess it's
still a sore spot for me. One of the reasons I wanted to do historical
work was that for awhile some of these same critics were saying that
everything I was writing was ripping off King. I remember somebody
talking on a forum about MINE, saying that they'd heard it was an
idea King was going to do and that I must have ripped it off before he
could write it. Another person said I'd ripped the Wolf's Hour
character off from the werewolf in The Talisman.
But the deal is, the last King book I read was The Dead Zone. I
just stopped reading him, because of the very cutting criticism I was
getting. Somebody even said the monster in Stinger was like the
monster in IT, which I never read.
So if I don't talk about Swan Song, it's not that I'm not proud
of my work...it's just that it was not really recognized as my
work until enough time had passed to cool some fires.
Some news:The Five is making the rounds of publishers right now
and I'll be starting the next Matthew Corbett book, The Providence
Rider, pretty soon. I'm putting the plot together now, and tying
some things together with things that happened in Mister
Slaughter. Going to be interesting to get my head back in the flow
of 18th century language as opposed to modern.
Again, thank you very much for your comments. I'm so glad you all have
your favorite books.
This sounds like a cliche, I know, but my favorite book is always the
one I'm working on.
Thanks for sticking with me.
I wish you a great and happy beginning to 2010, and I look forward to
your continued comments and questions on the website.
2010-01-06 — Mister Slaughter update from Subterranean, new interview
So what happens when you make a deal with the devil? Things go wrong. We all
know that. McCammon strings it out, lets us meet people and like them and all
the time Slaughter is being malleable and friendly and you're just waiting for
it to go wrong. When it does, it's sudden and shocking. Brilliantly handled by
the author... Put simply, if it doesn't contain a copy of Mister
Slaughter, your book collection will be sadly lacking.
Finally, here are a few recent blog mentions of McCammon works:
Subterranean Press kicks off the new year with this exciting shipping update:
Mister Slaughter (Robert McCammon) — The trade hardcover of this much
lauded historical thriller should be in our offices on January 6. We'll
begin shipping all orders immediately. Please note: We've already
ordered a second printing of the trade hardcover, which means first
editions may be scarce on the ground before long. Also, the limited
edition will take roughly six to eight weeks longer to produce, as we
wait for the slipcases to be produced.
If you haven't ordered a copy yet, you can do so by clicking on the image to
the right or by clicking here.