Tag Archives: weird fiction

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS

Holmes_forweb Earlier this week, I finished writing the draft of SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS for Titan Books. I wrote the novel in 6 months. In manuscript form, it’s 511 pages and 104,000 words. 

I now must edit the manuscript before turning it into my “real” editor at Titan. 

Most of my friends don’t understand what this means. 

The term, editing, does not mean a mere checking of spelling and grammar. Sure, if I see proofreading-type errors, I’ll fix them. But what I’m looking for during my editing phase are bigger problems: inconsistencies, redundancies, stilted dialogue, weakening of tone or voice, balance of style, coherent logic, character development, lack of tension, wrapping up of any loose ends, overused words or phrases, BALANCE (worth repeating).

SH_webHow do I explain what I do to my friends, who are not writers? First of all, most of them never ask me about the writing process. They assume that the writer bangs something out, voila, it’s perfect and ready to go, and magically, a publisher comes along and prints it. Anyone can be a writer: anyone. They assume that the publishing house’s editor does all the editing – !

Ask any professional writer if it’s wise to submit a manuscript that requires a huge amount of editing by the “real” editor, and here’s what he or she will tell you: never do it! 

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS is my 30th book, and I’ve also published 65+ stories. In addition, I’ve written 200+ technical manuals and 100+ medical and scientific newsletters, as well as 50+ science articles. I’ve edited two short story anthologies in the past couple of years. For 20 years, I was a manager of technical documentation, training, and systems analysis. 

This doesn’t make me a god of writing or editing. It does mean that I have a bit of experience. 

Trust me, you do not want to submit a manuscript to a professional editor unless you’ve edited it yourself. 

Holmes1With SHERLOCK HOLMES, I’m reviewing my manuscript to make sure that my Holmes and Watson (and various other characters) conform to Arthur Conan Doyle’s canon. I must make sure that my scientific speculation is true to the time period in which I write. I must add something new and vigorous to the canon without contradicting it. 

Given that SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS has a Lovecraftian/weird twist, I must make sure that my Holmes remains true to character while dealing with something extremely odd. 

I typically ground my tales in science. Even if I don’t divulge the scientific (or otherwise factual) underpinnings, a story must make sense to me, or I can’t write it. Sometimes, I do go off on flights of fancy, and venture into the purely supernatural/metaphysical realm; but this is rare. I’m typically jumping off from fact into fiction. 

So in my first SHERLOCK HOLMES novel, you might think I’m in a purely supernatural/metaphysical realm, but I’m not. And my Holmes knows that I’m grounded somewhere in science, too. 

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS is the first novel in a trilogy that I’m writing for Titan Books. While my editor and I hash through book #1, I’ll be researching, outlining, and writing book #2. Busy times ahead! 

In all honesty, I’ve never had this much fun. I’m completely obsessed with SHERLOCK HOLMES, and nothing makes me happier than writing these novels.

It reminds me of the time I got to watch STAR TREK as my “day job.” Or when I read 500 comic books as my “day job.”

Writers work like dogs, but we do have our fun.

 

NECRONOMICON SCHEDULE

lhg_signing_WHC2015 I’ll be a Special Guest of Honor at NecronomiCon, August 20-23, 2015 in Providence, Rhode Island.

(PHOTO left by Tim Waggoner 2015)

If you read fantasy, science fiction, horror, or anything “weird,” you must come to NecronomiCon.

“Weird” sits on the boundaries and merges the best of the genres.

MY SCHEDULE: 

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1.  Friday 4-5:15pm
NEW WEIRD
What are the challenges and rewards of subverting genre cliches? What are the challenges and rewards of mixing different elements of speculative fiction? Who are some of the best new weird fiction writers today? How can more diverse voices be encouraged and diverse fans be included?
Panelists: Lois Gresh, Caitlín Kiernan, Scott Nicolay, Vincent O’Neil, Joe Pulver, Jeffrey Thomas
Moderator: Anya Martin

(DRAWING left from NecronomiCon Website 2015)

2.  Saturday
 9-11am
BOOK LAUNCHES and AUTHOR READINGS

INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES
CULT OF THE DEAD

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Copies of both books will be available for sale and signing at this session, snacks provided!

Readings and discussions with Lois H. Gresh, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Laird Barron, William F. Nolan, Richard Gavin, S.T. Joshi, Joe Pulver, Jim Moore, Jason V. Brock, Jonathan Thomas, and more

Innsmouth Nightmares features original stories by leading writers of weird fiction, including John Shirley, Lavie Tidhar, Laird Barron, Paul Kane, Tim Lebbon, Richard Gavin, Steve Rasnic Tem, Wilum H. Pugmire, John Langan, Joe Pulver, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Bill Nolan, Jim Moore, S.T. Joshi, and many more. This is an all-star lineup of The Weird edited by Lois H. Gresh.

CULT_FRONT_COVER_204x278Cult of the Dead is a special collection of Lois’ weird stories with an Introduction by S.T. Joshi, who writes, “Over the last decade or so, Lois H. Gresh has done some of the most scintillating work of any contemporary writer of imaginative fiction.”

3.  Saturday 1-2:15pm
SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS NO MORE

Many of the most unique and powerful voices in weird fiction belong to women! Although once looked upon incorrectly as a white man’s genre, weird fiction has a long tradition of women writers, and that tradition continues today. Join us in celebrating these talented authors, and find out why they write Lovecraftian fiction.
Panelists: Lois Gresh, Caitlín Kiernan, Anya Martin, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Ann Schwader
Moderator: Faye Ringel

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4.  Saturday 4:00-5:15pm
MECHANICS OF FEAR

Lovecraft wrote all sorts of terrifying tales. But how do you scare someone? What is horror, as opposed to terror, in a piece of fiction? What are different types of scary stories? Are there elements of a horror story that are guaranteed to make the reader sleep with the lights on?
Panelists: Lois Gresh, Stephen Jones, Caitlín Kiernan, Jonathan Thomas, Damien Angelica Walters
Moderator: Don D’Ammassa

5.  SUNDAY 10-11 am
AUTHOR READINGS
Lois H. Gresh and Ann Schwader

6.  Sunday 2:30-3:45pm
WRITING THE MYTHOS

Mythos and Lovecraftian fiction is bigger and more popular than ever before. What makes a story “Lovecraftian,” and how can a writer make a unique and powerful contribution to this ever-growing genre? Our panel of legendary writers show how they did it and which steps new writers should avoid.
Panelists: Joe Pulver, Darrell Schweitzer, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Rawlik, Lois Gresh, Laird Barron
Moderator: Mike Davis

Supernatural Crime Thrillers – 3 Novels in a New Series!

THRILLING NEWS! I just received a contract from Titan Books for the first 3 supernatural crime thrillers in an original series.

I’m extremely thankful to Steve Saffel for believing in me. Huge thanks also go to Jonathan Maberry, Christopher Golden, James A. Moore, Nancy Holder, Leslie S. Klinger, Loren D. Estleman, and S.T. Joshi.

I’ve spent the past 4 weeks writing an extremely detailed outline of Novel #1. Now I’m filling in details for Novels #2 and #3. I’ve also been buried in research, which is one aspect of writing that I truly love. Research is a great excuse to read a lot of books and learn all sorts of cool things!

 

NecronomiCon

This is a brief post about NecronomiCon with a few choice photos. Overall, it was a fantastic convention, bringing together all who love weird fiction and H.P. Lovecraft’s work for one grand weekend in Providence, Rhode Island. Many thanks to Niels Hobbs, the organizer of the convention, and to the many volunteers who helped him.

I was on a variety of panels:

  • HPL’s Phobias
  • Sex, Gender, and Identity in HPL’s Life and Work
  • Writing Mythos Fiction
  • The New Weird

I also read Willie the Protector from S.T. Joshi’s forthcoming magnificent anthology, SEARCHERS AFTER HORROR (Fedogan & Bremer, 2014).

My final official activity was to appear as the rabbi at the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast on Sunday morning. Officiating (of course!) was the ever-erudite Minister Robert Price along with the ever-hilarious Deacon Cody Goodfellow. The choir was led by the ever-harmonious Darrell Schweitzer.

I had endless fun and wonderful conversations with many people (far too many to list here). It was also a thrill to see S.T. Joshi honored as keynote speaker and recipient of a special Robert Bloch award.

I could go on and on at great length about the con, but I have absurd amounts of writing to do, so I’ll simply show you some photos and bid you adieu — until next time.

In no particular order:

During S.T.’s keynote speech, I showed up via another spacetime dimension and landed next to Sunni Brock.
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HPL’s Phobias panel on Friday (photo courtesy of Asylum House) – with Robert M. Price, Lois Gresh, Rory Raven (moderator), Scott Connors and Peter Cannon (not in this photo)
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New Weird panel (photo courtesy of Sunni Brock) – left to right, Pete Rawlik, Lois Gresh, Jonathan Thomas, Jason Brock (moderator), Joe Pulver, Richard Gavin, Laird Barron
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Sex, Identity, and Gender in HPL’s Life and Work (photo courtesy of Sunni Brock) – with Wilum Pugmire, Lois Gresh, S.T. Joshi (moderator), Caitlin Kiernan, Selena Chambers
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Sex, Identity, and Gender in HPL’s Life and Work (photo courtesy of Sunni Brock) – with Wilum Pugmire, Lois Gresh, S.T. Joshi
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Writing Mythos Fiction (photo courtesy of Asylum House) – with Vincent O’Neil, Lois Gresh (moderator), Jonathan Thomas, Richard Gavin, Simon Strantzas
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Reading (photo courtesy of Matthew Carpenter) – with me was Jonathan Thomas
reading_crMatthew Carpenter

And now for the SILVER SCREEN SPOOKSHOW EYEBALL photos, courtesy of Anya Martin!

Lois, the eyeball, and Niels Hobbs
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The eyeball attacks Jason Brock.
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Diane O’Bannon wants to eat the eyeball…
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…but one lick and she already knows it’s made of something we cannot fathom.
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The eyeball amuses Leslie Klinger.
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CAUGHT with the eyeball – Wilum Pugmire and S.T. Joshi
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Here are a few choice photos from the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast, courtesy of Matthew Carpenter.

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Finally, a photo of the beautiful and delightful Sunni and Anya —

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