May ’23 Newsletter


Welcome to the Newsletter!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy it and will share it with your friends and family.

Recent Announcements:

My essay on Stephen King’s FROM A BUICK 8 came out in late April with THE SINISTER SCOOP. Be sure to check that out here

I have an interview with Kyle Starks coming out late this month with the Scoop. Keep an eye out for that!

Project Progress:

My beta readers officially have the newest version of my sci-fantasy WIP. While they read that, I am working on my speculative sci-fi piece, still no other news to share there or on the horror WIP. 

Recent Fascinations:

My previous fascination seemed, at least to me, to carry a lot of weight, and I’m not really sure how to follow that up in this one. I have been thinking a lot on self-publishing versus traditional publishing (in relation to the direction I want to go), but I don’t think I have enough concrete thoughts on that to really talk about it here. Instead, I’d like to take a moment to share something I’ve had on my mind for a long while that is much less important, but still pertinent.

But first, some photographs of a book crime:

Above are some pictures of my personal copy of CHRISTINE. It’s one of my favorite King novels, and that particular copy is the first King book I ever purchased (in about 2009 for 60 cents). As I’ve started down the path of collecting all of King’s published bibliography, this little copy (a first edition signet paperback from ‘83) has stuck out as the lone survivor of some long forgotten past. It rode in my backpack for damn-near all of highschool, and has seen hundreds of miles of highway and probably more than a dozen read throughs. It seems like a strange contradiction to my pristine first edition hardback of DUMA KEY and my collection of Grant DARK TOWER books, but when I feel a deeper connection to that battered and abused paperback than I do a lot of the other books in the collection. 

This isn’t another essay on King, I’ll save the story of that particularly abused copy of CHRISTINE for when I do that entry in my essay series on the Scoop, but instead a conversation on book collecting. Right around the same time that I decided to build a complete King collection, I started an Instagram in connection to my writing. As a natural connection, I also began following some King collectors. I quickly found myself in a wild world of ornate bookshelves, multiple-full run paperback collections, and incredible levels of collection preservation. 

I want to stop for a second and have an aside where I make two quick statements:

  1. I am not passing judgment on collectors who have really elaborate set-ups.
  2. I am not making any commentary on the bookstagram/bookish/shelfie process or influencer industry. 

Instead, what this is really about, to me, anyway, is what I see my book collection as. It seems that, unlike a lot of other online book/writing space folks, I’ve read a good bit of what’s sitting on my shelves. I try not to hang on to books I don’t really love, or at least have some connection to, and even the few there I haven’t read have often been read by someone else in my household. Not only have most of my personal books been read, but they have been well read. Many have broken spines, torn covers, annotations written in pencil. Many have sticky notes that have been in them for years. I abuse my books, with no real regard towards whether they are hardback or paperback. In comparison to a lot of influencers online, my bookshelf looks…unsettling. 

Here, take a look:

That’s just one of my shelves, and the other one isn’t much better. And again, this isn’t to say that my shelf is a real, lived shelf and the shelves of influencers are facades. I’m jealous of their aesthetic flair (and space!), and I’m also decidedly not an influencer centered around my collection. But I am someone who DEEPLY loves books. I spend about as much time reading as I do writing. It can be a bit disheartening, or at least a little frustrating, to see the internetification of book collecting head in a direction that delegitmizes my own personal collection. Commentary about spine cracking, about bent or torn pages. 

All of this eventually led me to thinking about my own work, and what I want out of my books once I (finally) put them out into the world. I’ve been thinking about whether I want to see them on the shelves of collections, neat and protected and not a scratch, or if I want to see them beat to hell. I see authors like Sanderson releasing bespoke, short run leather editions with neat gold lettering. Those are obviously books never meant to be read (take the fact that there’s an entire guide to reading them without rubbing the gold embossing off), and that idea just…irks me. It irks me in a way that the neat and aesthetic shelves do not. Even books like that previously mentioned DUMA KEY get read. I don’t purchase books I do not intend to read.

I can’t say that I will never release a bespoke edition of one of my books. But I can tell you a couple things with absolute certainty. I’m keeping that copy of Christine, and I want my books, every edition of them, to be read. 

Thanks for reading!

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