If you've followed me for any amount of time, and if you're familiar with my work or my goth self, it won't surprise you how connected I am to Edgar Allan Poe. Working with Boroughs of the Dead, I've given countless tours around the areas in which he lived while in New York and I've done even more virtual talks about his influence in inventing modern genre fiction as we know it today, revolutionizing fiction as a working-class, struggling author, critic and poet.
Poe is my literary North Star, the reason why I became a writer. For more about my connection to Poe, please read this very personal post of mine about his collection of stories and poetry I loved as a child and how that set my course as an artist and author.
Not as many people are familiar with Poe's very short story "The Oval Portrait", but it's one of my favorites. Read Poe's "The Oval Portrait" for free here.
This brief story is a harrowing tale about the power of art. And ever since I was a kid I wanted to write a sequel. What might happen next?
I didn't have the guts to do it for years. I told myself I'd wait until I published 13 novels- an auspicious number - and then I'd allow myself to attempt to imitate my foremost inspiration and seek to further a story he began. This year I published that lucky 13 with the release of my latest Spectral City novel, A Summoning of Souls.
I was asked this year if I might join in an anthology meant to represent the long dark nights around the holidays telling ghost stories and fantastical tales, a distinctly Victorian tradition that's seeing a popular resurgence. And it was finally time to attempt what I'd longed to create for so many years.
A Winter's Tale: Horror Stories for the Yuletide is here, the inaugural publication from the new Pavane Press, with cover art by Lynne Hansen. My story "Not More Lovely Than Full of Glee", my sequel to Poe's "The Oval Portrait", can be found within its pages... Ready to tell you what became of the woman in that fated portrait.
My title comes from the original source text and becomes a focus point in the story, demonstrating the supreme power of the written word.
I hope you'll check out this anthology and enjoy my homage to the brightest star in my literary sky.
Cheers and Happy Haunting!