This is your annual reminder that signed copies of my novels make great holiday gifts.
I’m selling signed first editions of Sewer, Gas & Electric, Set This House in Order, The Mirage, and Lovecraft Country; email for details.
Signed trade paperbacks of my first five novels and hardcovers of Lovecraft Country are available from Secret Garden Bookshop in Seattle. You can contact them by phone at 206-789-5006 or via email; tell them what books you want, and they’ll order them, have me sign them, and ship them wherever you like. (And yes, they do ship internationally.)
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.