What in the heck was I thinking, writing a book?
Hello! Thanks for checking in with me. This site exists primarily to promote my new book Lost in the Dark: A World History of Horror Film. It comes out on May 17, 2021. I hope you will read it, enjoy it, buy multiple copies of it, and distribute them freely among your friends and neighbors.
Meanwhile, I wanted to use this blog to introduce myself, chronicle the publishing process, and discuss new projects and ideas, and whatever else pops up along the way.
So why did I write a book? Would I recommend the experience to others? It helped immensely that I didn’t know what I was doing. If I had any idea what writing a book entailed, I never would have attempted it. It’s just one of the many things I’ve found myself just up and doing over the years.
Growing up, I wanted to be a rocket scientist, then a minister, and somehow got to the point where I wanted to be an actor. After a year of college acting, I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I didn’t know who I was or what the hell I was doing. I dropped out. I worked odd jobs, fathered a child. Then I discovered comedy.
Soon I was performing as a standup and, much more happily, as an improviser. It was the ‘80s, and there were gigs aplenty. But I never went beyond regional notice. After 15 years on stage, I gave it up.
Still, I needed to create, I needed to do something. I started writing. Soon I was freelancing for a number of publications, focusing on arts and entertainment. I was doing something right. I started getting published in Europe, in Australia as well. From there I fell into daily journalism, which consumed me for a number of years until the great wave of layoffs began. I and most of my friends were out of the newsgathering business.
I returned to freelancing, but it was unsatisfying. I was tired of pitching stories. My frequent attempts to find a group, a cause, an organization that I could belong to, work for, and derive satisfaction from came up empty. What else could I work on? How about a book?
I looked at years of stories I’d written, searching for leads. Oddly, I had written more about horror film than any other topic. Very well, then. Could I write a book on that? I went to the library in the search of a comprehensive history of the genre worldwide. And I searched. And I searched, ransacking shelves across the region. And wouldn’t you know it, there wasn’t one. So why couldn’t I write that?
HAH! Easy for me to say.
Next time: Writing and selling my book