“I need a world filled with wonder, with awe, with awful things. I couldn’t exist in a world devoid of marvels, even if the marvels are terrible marvels. Even if they frighten me to consider them.”
—Caitlin R. Kiernan.
This is a pretty good quote to frame most things, IMNSHO, but definitely to frame my most recent piece of news: I finally have an official deadline for the first draft of my new book, Experimental Film: A Novel. Said deadline is September, 2013, which is...crazy, frankly. Still, I needed a good ass-kick to get me over the threshold with this project, and that certainly qualifies.
Without giving much away, Experimental Film is a story that's about as far removed from the Hexslinger-'verse as is humanly possible. It exists as an outgrowth of my “Toronto Dark” world, the one many of my short stories are set in, contemporary and urban and stand-alone. On the one hand, there's an M.R. Jamesian ghost story/mystery whose roots date back to the end of the 19th century and the beginning of cinema; on the other, there's a character who's not quite me, other characters who aren't quite various figures from the Toronto experimental film scene, and a lot of the stuff about Canadian film history I used to inflict on my students. It's stuff I've touched on before, most recently in the 2010 Shirley Jackson Award-nominated novelette Steve and I wrote together (“each thing I show you is a piece of my death”), but since I've never had to spin it out for 80,000 to 100,000 words before, it's quite fairly terrifying to contemplate. But energizing.
In other news I should have been linking to this blog, I've been writing a bi-weekly column on...gee, let's call it “horror culture”, for ChiZine.com. The current one is “Softly Brutal: The Gialli of Pupi Avati”, but you should be able to link the the rest though this (http://www.chizine.com/pupi_avati.htm#.UFNQoY7FUfE). For those who are interested, I also now have a Tumblr, here (http://handful-ofdust.tumblr.com/), which I mainly use to file odd-ass visual stuff I find inspiring. You'll see some mood-building stuff for Experimental Film up there already, and can expect to see more.
Okay, back to it.;)