Just received word the interview with me went live on Darkfuse. It was a lot of fun. Here’s a snippet:
What was your inspiration for writing DOWN HERE IN THE DARK?
Well, it’s a small part of a large story, and I knew that Frank Gunn was as close as you can get to shattered by the end of IRON BUTTERFLIES RUST, so I explored that and the trip, the adventure really, as scary as it can be at times, that brings him to the crazy little town of Division. I see things very clearly when it comes to my character and how his story ties into others, the big picture and the small beats, which made it easy to write about him in this book. I enjoy subtext too and there is a lot of that, and a lot of links to other Division books, and I like the forward propulsion of the narrative, the searching Frank does inside himself and trying to relate to all the odd things going on around him, which really is out of his reach like it is anybody’s.
What themes do you enjoy exploring?
Oh, a lot of themes. Lol. Recurring ones are about betrayal and how we deal with it; the necessity of returning violence when somebody will be nothing but violent to you or those you love; growing up on the inside instead of faking it simply for the sake of others; how weak and strong and reliable and unreliable we can all be, how human that makes us; that if anything in the world is a monster, it’s man; if anything in the world is a hero, it’s man; connections that may not appear to be connections at first until we dig deeper and figure out people’s motives; how frail love makes us, and how incredibly driven; how hate doesn’t eat us alive, our allowing it to rule over us for an extended period of time does, because hate is as necessary as love; how there’s magic in childhood and adults train it out of us; how desperate some people are to find an identity and others will sacrifice everything just to fit in, which I and most of my characters feel is very, very sad; I like to explore the results of tragedy, and show how different people cope or accept it; I deal in self-loathing because I’ve done it most of my life, and the work it takes to break those negative thought processes; bad habits and good habits, regrets and pride, extremes and everywhere between; the mystery of life and our fear of death; our egotism one moment and self-doubt the next; most of my characters feel like Holden Caulfield, that they’re surrounded by phonies, that they themselves might be phonies, and it whittles at their souls because if nothing is true or fair or genuine then what’s the fucking point when you don’t want to play the game to begin with?
For those interested in the Division Mythos, here is a rundown of the novels (in their groups) plus tie-in novellas and short stories. You can read them in any order, but once they’re all completed, they will create a massive story (about 800,000 words) and are best read as follows…
1. Before Leonora Wakes (Big novella. Red Piccirilli Book #1. Self-published)
2. Within This Garden Weeping (Big novella. Red Piccirilli Book #2. Under consideration with Chizine right now)
3. Collected Songs of Sonnelion (Novel. Red Piccirilli Book #3. Current Project)
4. Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children (Division Novel #1, Delirium Books, May 2011)
5. Iron Butterflies Rust (Frank Gunn novella #1, Delirium Books, August 2011)
6. As I Embrace My Jagged Edges (Sideshow Press, Digital 2011/ Hardcover 2012)
7. The Dampness of Mourning (Division novel #2, DarkFuse, February 2012)
8. Down Here in the Dark (Frank Gunn novella #2, Delirium Books, April 2012)
9. The Patron Saint of Infinite Sorrow (Division novel #3)
10. She Collects Grave Nectar (Michael Johnston novella)
11. Proserpine’s Story (Ravaged Gods novel #1)
12. Lord of the Damaged (Ravaged Gods novel #2)
13. Violent Races (Ravaged Gods novel #3)
Tie-in Short stories:
1. Crooked Stick Figures (Delirium Books, 2011)
2. Beneath the Weeping Willow (Shock Totem #4, 2011)
3. The Weight of All These Years (Literary Mayhem, 2011)
4. Fiddler on the Green (only in As I Embrace My Jagged Edges deluxe hardcover)
5. Daddy Screamed With Us (Darkside Digital, 2011)
6. The River
7. Now I Play Happy Songs and Children Dance
8. The Cries of the Hungry
For anyone with an e-reader, here’s your chance to grab my beefy novella. I’m proud of this book and will be turning the second novella in within the next week or so. Neat. Big thanks to all who lay down the cash, write a review, spread the word, etc. Rock on.
What a great weekend. I hope everyone else is having as much fun!
I see there are two new reviews of Shock Totem #4 and my story (which I love the hell out of) is mentioned as a favorite in both. Wow. Pretty wild. I didn’t think reviews would be that important to me, but they are. Connecting with others is so rare, I guess that’s it.
I also submitted the second Division novel THE DAMPNESS OF MOURNING to Delirium and hope they pick it up! It’s a tense and heartfelt ride. And it brings John McDonnell and Michael Johnston a few steps closer to the end of who they were and hints at who they’re becoming.
The second Frank Gunn novella will be ready for submission soon as well. I’m so excited. This story is really weird though and I don’t know how people will take it. But it’s grounded in solid emotions and experience, and it’s integral to these character’s journeys.
I’m in that weird limbo between books since recently finishing those two. I might write a few short stories (I have a couple ideas: one for Borderlands 6, and one for Dark Faith 2), or just recharge and relax. I don’t know. I’m waiting for my instincts to lead me. Maybe I’ll just play guitar for a few days and annoy my neighbors. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Annoying people is fun.
This fat novella just came out and I love it. I’m giving away a digital copy (which will be out on Tuesday the 30th. All you have to do to enter is spread the word (and post a link in the comments here showing where you spread the word) and I’ll use a random generator to pick the winner in two weeks. Then we’ll send you the file in whatever format you need! Easy as hell, yeah? Good luck! Run and spread the disease. Thanks!
I also have the last bit of critiques on the second Division novel The Dampness of Mourning and will work them in tonight. And sent the second Frank Gunn novella to my buddy Jassen for some feedback! Sweet!
2. Buy a copy for the Horror/Dark Fantasy/Crime/Suspense fan in your life. These stories make great Birthday/Christmas/4th of July/Easter/Hanukah/Just-Because-I-Love-You presents and they’re even better on a second read because they’ll pick up on things they missed the first time through!
3. If you enjoy one of my books, mention it on a forum and what you thought of it, compare it to something else you’ve read by another author.
4. If you have a blog: Interview me (I love questions even if they hurt my head!)
Grande love for all The Devoted.
In other news, I’ll have an interview on here soon with my writing buddy Kevin Wallis.
I’m polishing the second Frank Gunn novella DOWN HERE IN THE DARK to the best of my ability before I send it to my readers for their feedback. I’m proud of it. I like trying to write different things, stretch my boundaries, etc.
Will be running a contest for a digital copy of Iron Butterflies Rust very soon!
And I saw that Jack Ketchum has read Shock Totem #4 and was talking about it on Twitter. How cool. Shock Totem is running a giveaway on Goodreads right now. Go enter already!
My last guest blog went live on Shock Totem this past week. For anyone interested in reading all of them just click the 2011 Blog Tour tab on the top of my page.
My buddy Jassen Bailey’s mom passed away this last weekend so send good energy their way. He’s a great dude and from what he’s told me about his mom she was such a giver and enriched so many lives. I wish I could have met her.
He also sent me a book I’ve been trying to find for a very long time. Check it out. Tom Piccirilli’s first novel Dark Father! Neat!
Nearly finished with the second Frank Gunn novella and it has been a very tough journey. The writing is the easy part, it’s the reliving/dredging up so many emotions from earlier in my life that rattles me. But I think injecting those things in the book and letting the characters embrace their own light and darkness is so necessary. I think DOWN HERE IN THE DARK is going to be entertaining, but I think it’s also a quiet study on friendship, on faith, on finding identity.
Just have the climax to write now, which might take a couple of days, then I can go back and see where I need to strengthen the structure supporting the themes and improve the unsettling portions. It always makes me sad to end a story. I hate to say good bye to characters, even if it’s only for a short while.
I feel sorry for my readers. I’ve been swamping them with material this year. I’m already trying to decide which book I want to write next. It’ll either be the Michael Johnston novella (She Collects Grave Nectar) or the third Red Piccirilli novella (Songs of Sonnelion).
Been reading: an analysis of William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury, the Write Great Fiction book Plot & Structure, Clive Barker’s Cabal, and Tom Piccirilli’s Futile Efforts. And I read Shock Totem #4 which was a lot of fun. So happy to have a story in this. What a terrific magazine. I just sent them my last guest blog “Love of the End Product.” I’ll let everyone know when it goes live.
I figure another week and I’ll have the first draft of the second Frank Gunn novella DOWN HERE IN THE DARK completed! Yay! It’s such a joy to watch each character struggle and grow and move toward more defining moments. There have been so many surprises writing this story. Goddamn, I love that.
Besides a handful of short stories, in the next month I’ll have three novellas and one novel in publishers’ hands. May the Fates be gentle.
Also missed the UPS guy yesterday, but should have the copies of Shock Totem #4 today! Can’t wait to send these out to three lucky people! If you haven’t entered the giveaway, Go!
Two more guest blogs to go. The next one (on author Shane McKenzie’s blog) should be live soon, and then the last will be at Shock Totem. Thanks for all who allowed me on their websites, and those who’ve read, commented, and shared! I’m just a mute duck without you guys.
I’m working on this Division mythos and you know what is awesome, though maybe scary to some? How quickly things build and gain momentum on their own until you’re not dictating much of anything, only discovering deeper connections, and everything hits that tipping point where the universe booms into an existence fully realized, startling and endless.
Yeah, I’m not in control (maybe I never was) but I trust my subconscious and what it’s shown me. How exciting. I hope those decades from now, when my eyesight isn’t for shit and I spend most of my time staring at the wall, some people will do like I’ve done with favorite authors like Gary Braunbeck and John Connolly, and read one book, love it, and find out that it is only one tiny piece of a monstrously large puzzle. And to have the reader exhilarated, a part of them aching to continue the journey and search out those other stories.
Ah, one can dream. And I like to dream.
A few things I enjoyed recently:
Cate Gardner is my favorite female writer (others are Mercedes M. Yardley, Kelly Link, M. K. Hobson, Catherynne M. Valente, and that one lady in the short skirt). This chic has amazing talent and I hope she finds a massive readership. So I was pretty excited that my buddy Jassen got to read her Spectral Press story NOWERE HALL because she just earned another fan for life. He wrote a great review for The Crow’s Caw. I can’t wait to read her Delirium novella. For real, I’m sweating. Jassen has it planted firmly in his mind that one day her and I will co-write a novella. Funny enough, she’s one of the few people I would try to write with. So now I just have to get famous so she’ll say yes. Go buy my books. Speed the process.
Speaking of Sam W. Anderson, I just read a neat characters’ sketch he did for his Money Run series in the latest Sideshow Press email. Those stories are so damn fun. I’m not sure if you have to be a subscriber to Sideshow’s newsletter or not. I’ll go check their website and see if it’s on there… Nope. You missed out.
And for those looking to read more novellas on their digital readers, run and buy a Delirium Books novella subscription.They’ve got work coming out by Cate Gardner, Maurice BroMan (I can never spell his last name. Broaduss? Anyway, dude’s crazy talented), Christopher Fulbright, and a bunch of others.
Here’s a tip that’ll help you through the rest of the week:
Enjoy living with all your being because once you’re dead it’s too dark to see what the hell you’re doing.
"10 out of 10 Stars... GOSSAMER: A TALE OF LOVE AND TRAGEDY will blow you away my friends. It is that good." -- Peter Schwotzer/Famous Monsters of Filmland.
"WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL is as crazy as its tormented protagonist. Hard as nails." -- Jack Ketchum, author of The Woman.
"Lee Thompson knows his horror-noir. He fuses both genres together in the turmoil of terror, tragedy, blood, guilt, and lost chances at redemption."--Tom Piccirilli, author of THE LAST KIND WORDS
"The Dampness Of Mourning is taut, tough, and terrifying..." -- Brian Hodge, author of Picking The Bones
“The Dampness of Mourning is a riveting thriller." --Midwest Book Review
"Thompson’s voice is his own — strong, hypnotic, and unsettling--grabs you by the balls and rips them right off, breaking your heart and your psyche in the process.” -- Brian Keene, author of Ghoul, Dark Hollow and The Rising
"Brooding, soulful, haunted." -- Robert Dunbar, author of Willy and Martyrs & Monsters