Monday, March 27, 2017

The Road Ahead


I miss blogging.

For a long time I felt like I had things to say. All of it random, of course, about my life, our life, writing, teaching, reading, my son's autism, whatever was on my mind. And then, a curious thing happened. Well, several curious things happened. 

1. I started getting busier as a writer. I picked up a quarterly column with Lamplight Magazine - Horror 101examining the development and evolution of the horror genre. I picked up several submissions reader gigs, eventually leading to my gig as Reviews Editor for Cemetery Dance Publications, and then I picked up a column for Cemetery Dance Online, "Revelations."  Also, the pace of my fiction writing has picked up. More short story solicitations, and though no "deadlines" for longer works, a steady publisher willing to publish my work, so the motivation to get work done, get it out there has increased. So I'm way busier as a writer - earning some cash here and there - giving me less and less time for blogging.

2. I decided to spend more time with my family, less time in front of my laptop. For the most part, for many personal reasons, I've limited myself to writing an hour a day, in the morning, especially fiction. Occasionally I spend Sunday afternoons on my nonfiction work, but for the most part, that left little time for blogging also.

3. Quite frankly, I'd run out of things to say. Honestly, I wasn't sure I had anything left to talk about, and it felt like all my questions about writing were getting redundant. Who wants to read the same navel-gazing over and over?

4. Does anyone still read blogs anymore anyway? Seems like everyone is posting their missives on Facebook. It got to feeling like blogs had become obsolete. 

So.

Am I blogging again?

I'm not sure. Number 1, 2 and 4 are still issues. But number 3...

Well.

I've got questions, again. About my future as a writer. I've turned in my second short fiction collection to Crystal Lake, Things You Need, I'm finishing my first novel The Mighty Dead, and it'll probably go to CL, and maybe a limited edition hardcover publisher, if they still want it. Mystery Road is due out from Cemetery Dance, and there's a waiting novella quartet, Long Night in the Valley, which I'd also like to pitch to CD's ebook line, and then...

I dunno. I'm happy with how things have turned out, and if I never publish anywhere else, I'll be reasonably content. But I think I want more. Or at the very least, I want to try for more, if only to see if I'm capable of it.

And there's been a renewed focus on my faith the last two years. I wonder where THAT will take me, not only life-wise, but writing-wise. I'm not about to start writing Amish Romances any time soon, or Ted Dekker knock-offs...but how will this change me as a writer?

I dunno.

And I still have lots of questions, about myself, about writing. For example: I've hit a nice run in which my last four short stories have been solicited. I've nailed three of the four. The fourth I'm still waiting to hear back on. What if it ultimately isn't to the editor's tastes? Will I suck it up and keep moving? Will I take the rejection personally? Feel bad, retreat for awhile, lick my wounds, then pick myself up? Or will my newfound and admittedly fragile confidence implode? It's like, the more success I experience...the more questions I have.

SO. Maybe I'll blog once a week. Or maybe this post will fade into the distance, and I'll be too busy. All I know is I feel like I'm entering another transition phase in my "career," and I'm unsure where it will lead. Maybe I'll talk about it some, and if so,  you're welcome to listen in.

Friday, September 30, 2016

I'm On The Horror Show

As I mentioned in my cover reveal of Mystery Road, my forthcoming novella from Cemetery Dance Publications, there are certain watermarks you set in pursuit of your writing career. Since its inception, I've thought often how I would love to appear on The Horror Show With Brian Keene

Well, last night it happened. My interview, recorded with Brian Keene last week, aired on The Horror Show. We talked about my writing inspirations, mixing writing with my faith, balancing all that with a family and a teaching career. Check it out on Project IRadio here.


Author Kevin Lucia discusses Christian horror fiction, developing an interconnected mythos, and balancing a writing career with a family life. Plus, our first prize giveaway, Herschell Gordon Lewis and Robert E. Weinberg in remembrance, John Carpenter breaks his silence on Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN remakes, James Patterson backs down from Stephen King, THE EXORCIST bombs, a plea to Elon Musk, and Dave and Brian debate the second season of MR. ROBOT.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"And I Watered It, In Tears" Becomes the Radio Play "Drowned."

A few years ago, after reading Danse Macabre by Stephen King, I looked up all the old horror radio plays he talked about - Dimension X, Quiet, Please; Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Dark Fantasy - and, to my delight, found them all archived on the internet in mp3 format. For two years, I downloaded and listened to every one I could find, loving them, all the while lamenting their passing. A thought occurred to me one day, however: "Podcasting offers the potential to bring this all back."

And today it has, thanks to Lamplight Radio Play, with the radio dramatization of my novella, And I Watered, In Tears, which first appeared in the debut volume of Lamplight Magazine, and eventually in my novella quartet, Through A Mirror, Darkly. Here it is with a full cast, sound effects, and all the trimmings: "Drowned." Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2016

DANCING WITH SHADOWS – THE CHARLES L. GRANT BLOGATHON - Oxrun Station

My first contribution to Neil Snowdon's Charles L. Grant blogathon.

It was Charles Grant's Oxrun Station novella quartets which did it for me.

I first discovered Charles Grant when, after reading Norman Pretniss' wonderful novella Invisible Fences, I read Douglas Clegg's blurb for Fences, comparing Norman to some guy named Charles L. Grant. I thought to myself, "If this Grant guy is like Norman Prentiss, I should check him out."

My first several Grant novels I enjoyed. The Grave, For Fear of the Night and Stunts. However, it was the Oxrun Station novella quartets - The Orchard, Nightmare Seasons, Dialing the Wind, and Black Carousel - which grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go. The poetic, tight lyricism of his prose. The subtle, creeping atmosphere. The quiet, looming dread. And the strange town where some people, unfortunately, go missing and are never found, ever again. Or go mad. Or lock themselves inside their homes and never come back out. 

And, always, there was the prose:

"Winter...and rain.

During the blade-sharp of January a cold-snap, during the hours when snow immobilizes and breath turns to short-lived fog, there are the dreams of summer, of green, of walking with no particular purpose except to savor across the playing fields of the park beneath hickory and ash and white birch of such luxuriantly thick foliage that even the still air seems hazed with mint. In part it is a steeled defiance of numbing temperature that reduces animals to hibernation and man to bitter complaint; and in part it is a hypnotic gesture to the pleading of one's senses for an earnest reassurance that this sort of weather will not last, that there will indeed be a time when warmth beyond the hearth is a reality in spite of the fact that it seems now like nothing more, and nothing less, than attic memory.

But there are worse times than the cold.

And there are worse illusions than memory." - Nightmare Seasons

Oxrun Station joined Greentown, Illinois, Castle Rock, and Cedar Hill as one of my favorite fictional small towns, and in some ways, the best of all of them: Grant was able to masterfully weave his Oxrun Station novella quartets, novels and short stories together without ever becoming too self-referential. Credit this to his subtle touch, I suppose. If you've never read an Oxrun Station story before, side characters seem simply that. But if you're steeped in the town, everything takes on a larger, darkly transcendent meaning. 

And of course, like a true addict, I had to collect all the Oxrun books. I devoured them. I still re-read them today. They have had a profound effect on my work and my own mythos; an impact exceeded only by Papa King's.  

Grant never revealed exactly what was wrong with Oxrun Station. Perhaps he passed away (too soon) before he could. Somehow, I'm glad he never did pull back the curtain. Oxrun Station is a just a strange, out of the way - maybe lethal - town, and that's just the way things are.

But he wrote about more than Oxrun Station. Tomorrow I'll talk about that.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mystery Road Cover Reveal

Many of you probably caught this on Facebook yesterday, but for those who didn't - I was finally able to reveal the cover to my next Clifton Heights book, Mystery Road, forthcoming from the revered Cemetery Dance Publications. 

There are certain watermarks you set for yourself when you begin writing. This is a big one, and I still sorta can't believe it's happening. 

2016-2017 promises to be a busy year. Mystery Road is coming out, I've got three short stories to write, my Horror 101 column for Lamplight, and a new column for Cemetery Dance Online. Busy is good, though! I've always wanted to be busy, and now that I am, I'm smiling, for sure.

Monday, May 9, 2016

"When We All Meet at the Ofrenda"

Update: Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories  is available for preorder! Below is Luke Spooner's illustration for my short story in it, "When We All Meet at the Ofrenda." I couldn't be happier. Actually stunned is a much better word for it. Bleeding Cool offers this review of the collection, and says about my story:

"Kevin Lucia’s “When We All Meet at the Ofrenda” made me truly care about the protagonist and continued that theme I liked at the beginning of what we’d do for our loved ones. "


Gutted releases June 24th, featuring an all-star lineup which, quite frankly, leaves me feeling more than a little unworthy. That, and I feel like this is one of the best stories I've ever written. Check out the synopsis and TOC below:

Awe and ache. Terror and transcendence. Regret and rebirth. Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories is coming this June! Imagine a series of stories that explores the tension between beauty and horror, wonder and terror, sorrow and transcendence. A book where the only choices are “bad” and “worse.” It’s a book of scars, regret and loneliness. But through it all, it’s a book where hope can still exist and beauty can still thrive. Where goodness, if not rewarded, is at least acknowledged. A flower in the barrel of a rifle. A rose rising defiantly through a crack in the concrete. This is GUTTED: An anthology of terrible wonder and darkness. With a foreword by Cemetery Dance magazine founder Richard Chizmar.
  1. “The Morning After Was Filled with Bone” by Stephanie M. Wytovich
  2. “Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave” by Brian Kirk
  3. “Arbeit Macht Frei” by Lisa Mannetti
  4. “The Problem of Susan” by Neil Gaiman
  5. “Dominion” by Christopher Coake
  6. “Water Thy Bones” by Mercedes M. Yardley
  7. “A Haunted House is a Wheel Upon Which Some Are Broken” by Paul Tremblay
  8. “On the Other Side of the Door, Everything Changes” by Damien Angelica Walters
  9. “Repent” by Richard Thomas
  10. “Coming to Grief” by Clive Barker
  11. “Cards for His Spokes, Coins for His Fare” by John F.D. Taff
  12. “Cellar’s Dog” by Amanda Gowin
  13. “When We All Meet at the Ofrenda” by Kevin Lucia
  14. “Hey, Little Sister” by Maria Alexander
  15. “The One You Live With” by Josh Malerman
  16. “The Place of Revelation” by Ramsey Campbell


Thursday, May 5, 2016

My Stuff: Illustrated Classics

Remember these bad boys? I wonder how many readers were first exposed to the classics in this way? Once upon a time, I had a whole collection of them. My uncle gave me a whole set for Christmas one year, and I read them over and over. I think this was one of my favorites. Again, one automatically thinks science fiction, but when you consider the ape-like Morlocks living underground and feeding on the Eloi, the horrible vision of the future the Time Traveller sees when he accidentally goes too far ahead....
 
Pretty horrific.
 
Anyway, I have no idea what happened to all of these. I found this one at, as usual, the local library used book sale. Someday, I'm going to hunt up the entire set on Amazon. Madi's probably already a bit past these, but I'd like Zack to read the someday, when he's ready.