“The Stairway In The Crypt”

My old friend W. H. Pugmire and I are currently collaborating on four or five new short stories for our forthcoming collection Spectres of Lovecraftian Horror.  The plan is that Dark Renaissance Books will publish the book about a year from now.  It will contain around ten stories by each of us, plus the four or five new collaborative stories.  We’re working on the first of the joint stories right now — tentatively titled “The Stairway In The Crypt.”  This began as what I thought was a perfectly good and complete short story by Wilum.  He sent it to me with the suggestion that I add some scenes to the beginning — a sort of back-story on the main characters that will lead up to (and hopefully enhance) what Wilum has already written.  This is a wonderful challenge for me, working backwards in narrative time and imagining what might have happened in these characters lives before Wilum shows them to the reader.  He said he wanted it to play off of certain specific works by Lovecraft and Poe, something I was very ready to do.  I spent a couple weeks doing research and rereading the key pieces by H.P.L. and Poe that we are referencing (or is it stealing from?)  Soon fictional scenes and details of the relationships between the characters began to jell in my imagination, and yesterday (having finished my taxes and free now to write in my spare time) I began drafting my opening scene.  As with our previous collaboration, The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal (now in production by Dark Renaissance Books, with fantastic cover art and interior illustrations by artist Erin Wells) it is tremendous fun working with Pugmire.  He’s not only a literary genius, but a hell of a nice guy.  I’m really glad we’re doing four or five new stories together — I would hate this current piece to be our last joint effort!

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About David Barker

David Barker is the author of two works of weird horror fiction written in collaboration with W. H. Pugmire: The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal and In the Gulfs of Dream & Other Lovecraftian Tales (both books were published by the now defunct Dark Renaissance Books, but copies are still available from Dark Regions Press.) Barker and Pugmire also collaborated on a Lovecraftian horror novel, Witches In Dreamland, which will be published by Hippocampus Press, possibly in late 2017. Recently, his stories and poems have appeared in Fungi, Cyaegha, Spectral Realms, The Art Mephitic, The Audient Void, The Indiscriminate Mixture and on Shoggoth.net. He has a short story in the weird fiction anthology, Nightmare's Realm, edited by S. T. Joshi and published in 2017 by Dark Regions Press. He also has published several works of horror and bizarro fiction as Kindle ebooks, including the bizarro zombie novel Dead Guys in Packards. Together with Jordan Hofer, David Barker has written two nonfiction books about UFOs and alien abduction: Little Gray Bastards (published in 2016 by Schiffer Publishing) and Unidentifiable Flying Objects (due in Fall 2017 from Schiffer.)
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