March 1, 2011

SOUL KEEPER 2: A History of Horror


I have been receiving a lot of comments and questions (all much appreciated) about the forthcoming SOUL KEEPER movie and the short story from which it is adapted. So a few answers are in order.

I can trace the idea for SOUL KEEPER back to something my mother said way back when I was but a lad. I can't remember which of my many pre adolescent existential dilemmas she was responding to, but she said, "We make our own Heaven and Hell."

The notion lodged in my developing writer's imagination. What if that were literally true?

The idea hid away, still percolating, until I began writing for real. I was publishing scary novels from the mid 80's till the mid 90's. During that time I was invited to contribute to a few anthologies of short fiction.

In 1990 Tor Books published Lovecraft's Legacy, a bunch of short stories targeted to celebrate H.P. Lovecraft's Centennial. Editors Robert Weinberg and Martin Greenberg invited me to contribute a story.

"We make our own Heaven and Hell." What if that were literally true?

I was a bit intimidated at the prospect of being published along with such writers as Robert Bloch, Brian Lumley, Gahan Wilson, and F. Paul Wilson, but I gave it a shot, building a grim little tale upon my mother's fatalistic wisdom.

And so Carl Congdon began constructing his own afterlife. He left his wife, ran away, crashed his car and met... was it an angel, a devil, or something worse?

For years the story itself had no afterlife. It was never picked up by other collections and might have vanished forever until I got it into my head to put together a book of my short fiction.

Not Yet Dead came out in 2009. A second printing was released in 2010. Both editions have sold out and -- until there is another printing -- the book will be almost impossible to find. However, it still exists as part of an ebook on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Next time--SOULS KEEPER: The Movie! (With pictures!)