Monday, October 31, 2005

On the Road, Ghosts of Albion, and Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween. My favorite holiday, of course. This year, unfortunately, I haven't had time to do nearly as much of the usual Halloween stuff as I'd like. Bought pumpkins, but didn't carve them. Probably won't have time to watch Carpenter's Halloween tonight, which is an annual event. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll watch some Kolchak with the kids. Even so, I love the whole trick or treat thing, the neighborhood swarming with kids in costumes. Brings me back, that's for sure. So to all of you, Happy Halloween.

And then, tomorrow, November 1st, begins one of the busiest months I've had in a very, very long time. I'll be at World Fantasy Convention this weekend, then doing signings with my c0-author Amber Benson the following week in NYC and New England, and the following week, we travel from San Diego to L.A. to San Francisco, all in support of the GHOSTS OF ALBION: ACCURSED. If you live in any of those areas, be sure to come see us.

We're working on the second draft of the second GoA novel, WITCHERY, and so far it's going really well. It's gratifying to see the reviews on ACCURSED. Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Romantic Times, and Kirkus have all given it excellent reviews so far. Now we can exhale. :) Our Suggest-a-Ghost contest has had hundreds of entries, which we have to start reviewing this week. Should be very interesting. I only wish I had more time in a day. But how often do we all say that?

Some interesting announcements coming soon, regarding limited editions, upcoming comics, and assorted other items..

Meanwhile, I'm working away on THE BORDERKIND, which really is writing itself at this point as I draw all the skeins together for the climax of this second book of THE VEIL. The only bad thing is that I haven't had time to go to the movies in forever. There are so many things out there I haven't seen and I can't even keep track of them anymore! Ah, well, there's always DVD.

If you read GHOSTS OF ALBION: ACCURSED, please shoot me an e-mail or post on my message board and let me know what you think.

WRITING: The Borderkind
READING: Spirits in the Wires by Charles de Lint. Just finished Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
WATCHING: The New England Patriots pull their fat out of the fire against Buffalo last night! Welcome back, Bruschi, you were missed!
LISTENING: Maia Sharp: Fine Upstanding Citizen
RECOMMENDING: The Best of Gahan Wilson (the man's a mad cartooning genius, folks, a national treasure)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Real Kolchak, Fall TV, and Love From Russia

*Hangs head in shame* Every few days, that's what I figured. And here it's been a couple of weeks since blog number two. Things do tend to get away from me, especially when I'm neck-deep in another world. I've been, as noted last time, on the Road to Perinthia, and it's both rough terrain and a wondrous, distracting place. So I haven't managed to get back here in a bit . . . yet somehow I've managed to watch some of the new television shows. Just a few, mind you.

I've latched on to two shows that made their debuts last year but that I somehow did not really discover the quality of until now. House, and Veronica Mars. Excellent stuff. The jury's still out on Invasion, though I like the way it's building. HBO's Rome and Extras are entertaining as hell in entirely different ways.

Then there's Night Stalker. It's based, as some of you may know, on a 1970s tv series called Kolchak: The Night Stalker, which was in turn based on two television movies featuring the character, written by the immortal Richard Matheson. (And the first of those based on an unpublished manuscript by Jeff Rice.) Anyway, enough history. Point is this: the original Kolchak lasted twenty episodes and changed my life. Without that wonderfully creepy show and the performance by Darren McGavin as Kolchak, I would probably have ended up in a very different line of work. I was very young then, but I remember my father waking me up so I could watch the show. "Chopper," an episode featuring a headless, vengeful biker, is a bit silly upon rewatching, but back then it scared the crap out of me. There are other episodes that even to this day are genuinely terrifying, but even those that haven't held up over time still have the charm and wit and atmosphere that made it so enjoyable then.

The original twenty episode run of Kolchak: The Night Stalker has finally come out on DVD. Around my house, there is much rejoicing. It's also very inexpensive, and I urge you to go out and pick it up, sit down and enjoy. In fact, pick up the double feature DVD of the original two tv movies, The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler. Worth every penny.

As for the new one . . . I watched the pilot. That was enough. I went in with an open mind, but sadly, the plotting is weak, the monsters are pitiful, and the lead actor and actress are entirely without the gruff, warm, earnest charm of the original.

Stick with the real Kolchak.


Anyway, the other thing making me smile this week is some love from Russia. Nothing to do with James Bond movies, I'm afraid. In the past year, Bantam has sold Russian publication rights to two of my novels--WILDWOOD ROAD and THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN--to Russia. With that interest, I recently was able to secure an agent in Russia. In a matter of weeks, he's sold the Russian rights to four of my books; OF SAINTS AND SHADOWS, ANGEL SOULS AND DEVIL HEARTS, STRANGEWOOD and THE NIMBLE MAN (with Thomas E. Sniegoski). Aside from the obvious business element, there's something about this that really intrigues me. Russia may not be as beautiful and mysterious as it is in my mind, but that's how I think of it. It's my hope that the books will do well and that the Russian publisher will invite me for a visit. What a pleasure that would be.

Thanks for listening. Hopefully I'll be back soon.


READING: The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
WATCHING: The Upside of Anger with Joan Allen and Kevin Costner, Kolchak the Night Stalker
LISTENING: Bonnie Raitt's Souls Alike and Liz Phair's Somebody's Miracle
WRITING: Ghosts of Albion: Witchery
RECOMMENDING: Berserk, by Tim Lebbon