Monday, July 4, 2011

Some notes on "N is for Neville"

Dead but Dreaming 2 is out, and it contains my story "N is for Neville." You should go buy it from Miskatonic River Press. The cover is slightly different from the one previously posted, but the contents are pretty darn good.

Dead but Dreaming 2 from Miskatonic River Press

For those of you who like your metatext fresh, here are my story notes on "N is for Neville."

All my stories are special. They’re all pretty personal pieces, expressions of myself, my heart and sweat on the page. And hey, if someone pays me money to print it, that's extra gravy.

“N is for Neville” is its own kind of special. I worked it for a while before it came out in its current form, including a month-long period in which I was stuck. I couldn’t get the tone right, the characters didn’t speak to me, and the words just hung on the page, lifeless.

What got me through it was Wilum Pugmire. I was reading his Sesqua Valley and Other Haunts, followed by The Fungal Stain and Other Dreams and I realized what I was missing decadence. The characters needed to be arty, wealthy, and bored. And Wilum’s writing showed me how to get that across. Which is why he appears in the story, and why the story is dedicated to him.

What I didn’t expect was for Wilum to write a story that Tuckerized me, and to sell it to the same anthology. And that’s something that warms my blackened walnut of a heart. One of the reasons I write is so that I can consider these smart, eloquent people who love words as my peers. Because I love the conversations writers have. To listen to people throwing out idea after idea and pass them around, building on each others concepts until you have this grand, hypothetical castle in the clouds; that’s magic. Ideas are magic.

I met Wilum at the 2007 World Fantasy convention. Like most writers I’ve met, he is enormously pleasant to talk with; intelligent and a fascinating conversationalist. More than most, Wilum has brought a great deal to my life and my writing. This story is dedicated to him because I would not be where I am today without his generosity and fascinating stories. Thank you, Brother Wilum.

1 comment:

w. h. pugmire, esq. said...

I am extremely touched, my dear John. I love your story and am honour'd by ye dedication. & if it wasn't for YOUR inspiration I never wou'd have written my own wee tale, so I thank ye in return. It's a GREAT anthology!