A helpful guide, although slightly less helpful than ’50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.’
I happen to love my family, which places me in a rather small minority of Americans, so I don’t dread the holiday season, but I do find it stressful and expensive.
There is a strong neurotic strain in the American mind that always wants to put on a show of how much fun is being had, even if the show of fun detracts from the experience of it. Discovering new enjoyable things isn’t any help, because after a while they will end up part of the show.
It is no secret that I am fond of one particular holiday: I wrote the book on it. And so, I say let’s take a stand on Hallowe’en and scale it back. Let’s keep it fun. Let’s half-ass our costumes. Let’s throw the party on the cheap. It is a day of masks so why be competitive and exhibitionistic?
Everything in life cannot be one crazed rush to show off. Anyone worthy of being impressed won’t be, and you, Gentle Reader, will chase the enjoyment of life off into the dark October night.
The first run of my book, Priceless Treasures and Ghastly, had a few noticeable errors, particularly in ‘Snakes and Cigarettes,’ and ‘Being for the Benefit of Mister Essex-Bathwater.’ They are all things that I did notice before it went to press, but somehow didn’t fixed. I blame it on my nerves.
The plates have been broken and reset (or whatever it is that they do these days), and the corrected copies are available in plenty of time for the ghoul-tide revels.
My new book of Hallowe’en stories is back from the printer earlier than expected. If you want to get a jump on the horrific and the fantastic before the holiday, this is your chance.
It is a short lavishly illustrated collection of tales of horror, the uncanny, and Putin.
My book, Priceless Treasures and Ghastly, is almost ready to print. On three occasions I have assured my editor that I was ready to go to press, and then rewritten something. It probably isn’t something that I should do — the more changes that I make the more likely it is that I will introduce typos that will be uncaught, or delete things by accident. But I owe you, my public, the best that I can manage and I will deliver it.
As a child I remember being appalled that Tolkien made so many changes to The Hobbit while it was being printed that the printers had to break the plates and do it all over again. This, by the way, was the first edition of 1937, not the revised 1951 version that we read.
I do think that what I have now is as good as it can be, but I think that I put off pressing ‘send’ a few more hours and look it over one last time.
Next month The Oldstyle Tales Press will be issuing Priceless Treasures and Ghastly: a Slight Collection of Hallowe’en Tales and Miscellanea, a collection of five of my short stories, lavishly illustrated by author, scholar, and artist M. Grant Kellermeyer.
It won’t be a book for everyone — those with mid-century mindsets will object to fantastika, and there is too much sex, alcohol, and Putin for it to be suitable for children. But it will be suitable for people waiting by the door giving out candy to their snot-nosed neighbors. And, because it’s only a chapbook, they will be able to read it before their own kids get back in.
This is my first book to be published, and I can’t imagine a better place to publish it than the OSTP, a place where imagination, scholarship, and an unwholsome attraction to the uncanny sit quietly and beautifully in thoughtfully illustrated books. Even a cursory look at the website shows the care and attention given to the titles, and it is an honor to keep such company.
Details such as price and release date, will be posted soon.