Bump in the Night is out this week! And there’s a blog tour on! I’m up today, and you can find me over at Sid Love, posting about the horror of a well-placed “yes.” I knew this would have to be my discussion topic pretty much as soon as we got the heads-up to start making plans for a post. I love it so much when characters enthusiastically embrace things that aren’t good for them. >3
In one of those entertaining cases of authorial blind spot, I’ve seen a few reviews now that compare “Resurrection Man” to Frankenstein — one of them even goes so far as to call it “loosely based” on the novel. And now that they point it out I can see it? But I swear it never even crossed my mind while I was writing. Somehow Frankenstein’s monster has never been one of the classic horrors on my radar. But maybe this is a sign that I should fix that.
Tis the season, after all.
Someone on my route to work put up their Halloween decorations this weekend — something to make me smile as I trudged through the rain to the bus stop at 7:30 on a Monday. I’ve always loved Halloween. A bit of it is the costumes, but a lot of it is the upending of our usual approach to death and monstrousness. It’s the goth in me, or possibly even further back, the morbid little weirdo who decided that being a vampire would be a great life aspiration. There’s something fascinating about all of our stories about how to make death less permanent.
For most of the year, those stories and those monsters are shoved off into a dark genre corner, where most people don’t pay attention to them. They’re a niche interest, for people who wear too much black and think skulls make cool drinking vessels and who probably ought to be avoided on the street. Then October comes, and ghoulishness is everywhere. “Ordinary” people hang paper skeletons in their windows and drape the trees in their front yards with tomb-thick cobwebs. Ghosts and ghouls peddle things in the supermarket. The morbid becomes a source of play, with mock graves for Abby Normal and L.B. Bach planted in neatly mown lawns. For a few short weeks, being fascinated with the dead-but-not-gone isn’t abnormal at all.
So it’s doubly delightful this year that I have a story coming out in October that takes advantage of the opportunity. “Resurrection Man,” my contribution to Bump in the Night, is a story about a man with no fear of the dead — no fear and in one case an absolute (undying?) devotion. There’s horror in Josef’s story, definitely, but there’s delight, too. He’s doing the thing that our Halloween rituals reach for — taming death, making its barrier permeable, besting its last word.
These shivers aren’t from horror. They’re from thrills.
Check it out, my Halloween offering this year is available now! Bump in the Night is a collection of six gay erotic horror stories, including my piece “Resurrection Man,” which is a story about what happens when a necromancer is in love with a man who had a terminal illness. (Spoilers, what happens is sexy and also Not Quite Right.) I am delighted to be part of this anthology, and to have the chance to continue to work with Riptide. The antho releases on October 14 — preorder direct from Riptide for 15% off ebook or paperback!
I feel so ridiculously lucky to have found Riptide and found Rachel, my editor there. For an author, having an editor you really *click* with, someone who gets what you’re trying to do and knows how to push you toward it, is an utter godsend. Since “Resurrection Man” I’ve sent Rachel two longer pieces and gotten one acceptance and one revise/resubmit. And you know? I’m at least as grateful for the R&R. The accepted novel was something I’d put a lot of work into over multiple passes and revision and agonizing, and I really wanted to be able to get it an audience. The R&R novelette was fun, but much sloppier, honestly; much more rushed. I sent it out because I wanted to get something in front of people *sooner*, rather than because it was ready. And I think it probably still could have gotten published in some places. But it wasn’t my best work, and getting called on that was good for me. It’ll make me hold myself to a higher standard, and it’ll help me trust my editor’s judgment on future works, too: she knows when I could be doing better than I am, and she won’t let me get away with half-assing it.
I can’t wait to have more concrete news about the novel. I feel so good about writing this year.