March 10, 2024

Back in the World of Revenants

Any turn I have toward the macabre, the grotesque, and the ghoulish would be credited to my dad, BTW, who raised us kids on Hammer Horror films, The Twilight Zone, The Night Gallery, Kolchak: the Night Stalker, The Sixth Sense, Ghost Stories, etc. back in the 1970s. Sense of humor also came from him as did the love of animals and all things artistic. Love you, Dad, you glorious enabler, you.

Preamble aside, I'm looking forward to the next book on my plate, which is Voices in the Briars. As noted in the previous blog post, the book's all but written down given all the notes I've written in my notebook as well as the main story (and chapter) outlines. It took me a while to settle on an angle with this retelling of the "Bluebeard" fairy tale since there are so many ways I can approach this as a gothic horror story and gay romance. 

So I decided to go back to one of my favorite folklore characters: the vampire. It was a convoluted and overly winding road I took to get to this point, but I made it, and it was the angle best suited for almost all of the notes I wrote down. Those items that won't work will be dropped or tweaked accordingly. Suffice it to say, the revenant angle will again hew closely to the original version of the vampire in folklore with only a slight nod to the more current and romantic versions of it. 

I'm dusting off my Nox Arcana playlist for this, and I'm easing myself into a whole new world even while I work through the second half of The Dubious Commode. And in reference to the previous blog post as well regarding calendar dates, I'm looking at a July release for this book. I haven't updated the Book News page with a new banner yet, but I will soon enough. And with that said, it really opens up the final quarter of the year for Voices in the Briars, which means should things go well with THAT book, I might be releasing it in December. So, yeah. Lots of juggling and rearranging here.

It feels great that I still have all these stories in me -- at least all the way to The Bells of St. Mark's Eve. Any more story ideas after that will be sorted out as they happen, but there's comfort to be had knowing that I'll continue to write and publish for at least another couple of years. 2028 will mark my twentieth year writing and publishing, and beyond that is still pretty nebulous to me. I'd love to continue, of course, as long as I have the inspiration, the time, and the energy for it. Things were a bit touch and go for a while in the previous years, but I'm getting over all that, and I'm glad I had writing to turn to when shit hit the fan back in 2020 because life was rough all around even after. 

So focus on positive stuff. Make all good things happen this year and the years after. Oh, and by the way, I also briefly said something about finding the original image I wanted to use for Compline. There are two that caught my attention, and I'm still on the fence on which one to use when the time comes, but here they are:

I'll be saving the image I posted before this for another book since I also love it, but it doesn't quite jive with the theme of the book, which is a hybrid of folklore, horror, and romance. Well -- no different from the stuff I've been writing and publishing, anyway. When I update the Book News page with the new 2024 calendar banner, I'll try to include the one for 2025 as well.

EDIT: Ah. Here's the winner:

I had to ask for help from the husband and sisters, and this was the choice across the board. I'm relieved, really. This image was the one I had chosen months ago before it vanished in my hard drive, so it was nice to have my initial preference validated. So, yay! We have a final cover design for the book!

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