On Friday I did a call-in interview with the Styxxoplix Show in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can listen to it here, or catch it on WELT 95.7 FM in Fort Wayne tonight at 6.
One of the many subjects we touched on in the interview is the current wave of clown sightings in the U.S. and Europe. A number of Bad Monkeys fans have suggested that I saw this coming, but while I’d love to take credit for being prescient, the truth is I’m just old. As the Sunday New York Times pointed out, this has happened before:
Creepy clown sightings aren’t new. They date from at least May 1981, when the cryptozoologist Loren Coleman coined the term “phantom clowns” to describe them. At the time, children in Brookline, Mass., were reporting clowns in vans who beckoned them with promises of candy. The police issued an all-points bulletin, established checkpoints and conducted searches, but no clowns were captured.
Still, the reports spread to at least six cities in the span of a month. Waves of sightings recurred in 1985 and in 1991 (in the latter reports the figures were often described as looking like Homey D. Clown from the TV series “In Living Color”). In each case, the stories were primarily spread by children and caused mild to moderate hysteria, but no clown predators were ever found.
It was these earlier clown panics that inspired Bad Monkeys‘ Scary Clowns. The ‘phantom clown’ chapter of Loren Coleman’s Mysterious America was a useful resource when I was writing the novel, as was Jan Harold Brunvand’s Encyclopedia of Urban Legends, so it’s nice to see Coleman and Brunvand getting name-checked in the current news coverage.
Last month I recorded an interview for the SciFiSciFiSciFi podcast. The interview is now online:
You can also listen to a previous podcast devoted to a review and discussion of Lovecraft Country:
A big thank you to my hosts, Stephen Nelson and Barry Fujii, and their possibly imaginary friend Kevin; if they invite you on the show, you should say yes.
And as dignified as ever.
I’ve just posted a reader’s guide to Lovecraft Country, covering some of the real-world topics mentioned in the novel and giving suggestions for further reading. The guide is a work in progress, so if there’s a subject I haven’t covered that you’re curious about, let me know.
Some great news that I’ve been sitting on for months finally went public last night: Universal Pictures has optioned the rights to Bad Monkeys, with Margot Robbie set to both produce and star in the film.
I am incredibly psyched. Between this and the positive reception for Lovecraft Country, it’s been an amazing year so far.
On a related note, I’m also really looking forward to Suicide Squad.
More news soon.
This Saturday, July 23, I’ll be reading and signing books at the LoveCraft Brewing Company in Bremerton, WA. The event starts at 4:30 PM.
If you’d like to pick up a copy of Lovecraft Country in advance, Liberty Bay Books at 409 Pacific Avenue (just around the corner from the brewery) should have them in stock.
I’ve started putting together a reader’s guide and an FAQ for Lovecraft Country. If you’ve got questions about the novel that you’d like to see answered in the FAQ (or perhaps in a separate blog post), please leave them in comments.
And if you’d like to interrogate me in person, or maybe get a book signed, I will be appearing later this month at the LoveCraft Brewing Company in Bremerton, WA. That’ll be on Saturday, July 23rd, starting at 4:30 PM.