Yesterday was, in almost all ways, a fine day. I did the interview that I very almost backed out of, and it went quite well. It was the first interview I'd given in years. The answers were written out (and came to 1,432 words, so I also had a good writing day), as I virtually never give live interviews and because this is actually for a book, Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears, two volumes edited by Matt Cardin for ABC-Clio-Greenwood. It will also include an entry on The Drowning Girl and a general entry on me. Of course, I spent about a quarter of the interview explaining how I'm not a "horror writer," why I don't like that label. And there was a great deal of email to attend to yesterday, and I got the go ahead to show everyone Tran Nguyen's cover for Dear Sweet Filthy World, which I will do now:
I love that this collection sort of has a theme song by Elvis Costello, even if the theme song came before any of the stories were written and even if Elvis Costello has no idea. I may conspire to have a copy of the book delivered to him. Perhaps he won't be annoyed. If you've not yet preordered the collection, please do.
A comment to yesterday's entry, from Michael Kuhn, who asks, "One question crosses my mind: What would you have done, when the Quinn Novels (or the Dancy-Comics) would have been a great success? I imagine your Editors telling you, that you have to write till the end of your career every year a Quinn novel, because, there is the money, there is the fanbase, there is the success..."
I try hard not to think about this, especially as regards the Quinn books. I knew as soon as I began trying to write the second Quinn book, Fay Grimmer, that I'd made a horrible mistake. And I actually tried to terminate the contract with Penguin at that point, but my agent had worked hard to get the contract and she was very displeased at the prospect of my quitting. I still should have pulled out of the deal, but I didn't. I wrongheadedly persevered. But, even if the books would have been a success, I'd never have managed to cough up more than three of dratted things. Maybe I would have hired a ghost writer. Probably, that's exactly what I would have done. It's not like I could have afforded to turn down the money. But I couldn't have written them myself. One problem I encountered is that I cannot be reliably funny on command, and the humor in Blood Oranges is what makes it work. It was a joke, and halfway through the first book I grew bored with the joke. By Book 3 (which is, in reality, of course, Book 4, as Fay Grimmer was withdrawn from publication and never published, because it was extra wretched and I said so) the humor was all but gone. The joke was a dead horse that had been beaten to a maggoty pulp. Indeed, by the time I was writing Cherry Bomb, it had become painfully obvious that I was perpetrating and perpetuating the very thing I'd set out to parody and tear down. People read the Quinn books and tell me that they enjoy them, and I suppose that's a good thing. But I hate them, and I can't unhate them. Maybe a few years from now, when I've recovered from the mess they made, maybe then I can be kinder to them. We shall see. Now, as regards the Dancy comics, the situation is much more complex, and maybe I'll address that some other time.
Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. You might also have a look at Spooky's Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries.
I have this dream of playing William S. Burroughs in a one-woman show. I've almost got the voice down.
And now, it's time to make the doughnuts.