Tuesday, November 14, 2023

A Bit of Memoir - C. Dean Andersson, John Steakley and Self-Promotion

I've mentioned not loving self-promotion, but I'm also aware repetition is necessary on a project so I share where I can. It's in marketing textbooks, but I got got a personalized lesson once upon a time.

I guess that makes this a story with foreshadowing and everything.  

The late great and wonderful C. Dean Andersson (the 𝘏𝘦𝘭 trilogy, 𝘐 𝘈𝘮 𝘋𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢 and much more) and his wife Nina Romberg aka author Jane Archer, once told me of doing a mall signing with the late John Steakley of 𝘈𝘳𝘮𝘰𝘳 and 𝘝𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘦$--the one made into a movie by John Carpenter--fame. 

Steakley's father was a car salesman, so when someone was dismissive of the work on the signing table, he rose and followed the guy all the way down the mall loudly hawking the work with a continuing spiel about the virtues.

So flash forward a while later, Steakley was master of ceremonies or toastmaster at a con I was attending, okay it was a Coast Con in Biloxi, Miss. Early '90s or so. There were these big gatherings of con attendees and guests on opening night in those days. 

A comic I wrote, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬, was the new thing I had out in the moment so when Steakley introduced me, I mentioned that. 

"What was that title again?" he asked, tipping a microphone to his lips then pointing it back at me.

 "Er, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬." 

"𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬 you say. Interesting. So everyone should know about 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬?" 

"Sure, it'd be nice." 

"Excellent, so what was that title again?" 

I said it a little louder and with more assurance: "𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬." 

"𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬. Well great. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬!" 

He kept the riff going a while, proving everything Dean had described, repeating 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬 often and loudly until he finally clapped me on the shoulder: "That's what you have to do. Keep saying it, my friend." 

I smiled and sat back down.

Wish he and Dean were still with us.

Friday, November 10, 2023

GNELFS are back and a Secret Revealed

GNELFS Vintage Paperback Cover Art

The team at Crossroad Press actually broached the notion of bringing some of my backlist out in new print editions for the first time at Scares That Care Authorcon in the spring of this year (2023). They've had ebook and audiobook editions out for some time but had plans to do more with their print catalog.

I said sure, and in the fall, they touched base about getting the original over art for a trade paper edition of GNELFS

Since there was no art credit on the original mass market edition, I had to reach out to the last editor I had at Kensington Books. He reached out to the art department, but he wasn't optimistic.

They turned up a name, Richard Newton, and Crossroad reached out to him and worked out some sort of deal for the cover, partly as a flag to the fact they published broad backlist of vintage horror titles.

I was kind of amazed to see the crispness of the digital art they obtained. The size of the original mass market had resulted in the original painting being cropped, and other losses in reproduction had affected the color mix and more.

Happily on the new mass market, much is restored. 

GNELFS vintage paperback and trade paperback Sidney Williams and Richard Newton

The re-release prompted me to search for GNELFS online a little more, and I discovered more love for the book than I'd ever realized. Some of it's cropped up in the past few years in a wave of interest in vintage horror titles following the release of Paperbacks From Hell even though the art didn't appear in the volume. None of my titles did.

I actually became aware of some of that love because British author Mark Morris revealed on socials he desired a copy of GNELFS. He pointed me to a YouTube channel where his novel Stitch and GNELFS were reviewed.

So, it's exciting to have the book back in new paper editions with new people discovering it. 

It's also fun to find people like Danube, the peripheral protagonist who joins Gabriella Harris in her struggle against dark magic.

I originally thought I might do more with Danube, gradually revealing more of his history. Clues are in place for his identity, but they are not overtly stated. 

Mantus battles monsters

That was not to be, but I considered using Danube when I was invited to do something for Malibu Graphics back in the day. 

He seemed like a natural for some comics adventures, but I was worried about tangling up the rights to a character I might use again in print. 

I developed Peter Mantus from there. Mantus, like Danube, was essentially a psychic investigator. 

He also had a complicated history with his father, a dark sorcerer. Mantus, not Mantis as some people mistake it at times, took his surname--and pseudonym since he wrote books about his investigations--from a demon or god depending on who you talk to, sort of as a reminder of his father's bad acts and what he was standing against.

I've probably mentioned that before in interviews or somewhere, but it's nice to get it all in one place here. 

It's been kind of fun to learn in some cases GNELFS was a favorite book for many readers when they were younger, even though it wasn't written as a YA. 

The concept and art are iconic, so GNELFS stands out, I guess. As Stephen King said not long ago, long after he's gone, "that fucking clown" will be remembered.

Probably so too for me and these little minions. So it goes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Long Waltz Bookmail

Sidney Williams author Long Waltz trade paper

 Here's a picture of the Long Waltz trade paper edition. There's been a flurry of activity so I'm a little late in posting here. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Long Waltz Cover Reveal Coming Soon - Get An Early Peak

 The sequel to Fool's Run is called Long Waltz, and it's coming soon. Final touches are being put on the cover, so the full reveal will be in the near future.

Meanwhile, here's a bit of a look. This book's going to find Si Reardon in Florida and wrangling with a fresh group of powerful men. This time they're from Hollywood. While stars and producers are busy shooting a sequel to a film lensed in Florida years ago, Si is called on to find out what he can about a girl who disappeared after working briefly on the first movie.

Of course he'll find himself plunged into a maelstrom of drama and corruption that will call on all his wits and resourcefulness. Friends Jael and the McCluskey brothers will be on hand too.

Long Waltz Cover Teaser - Si Reardon Novel 2

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