…Okay, so “Squidanthropy” might not be the final title, but I am happy to say that Centipede Press and my agent are wrapping up the details on a new collection of Ambergris stories, to be illustrated by the amazing Richard A. Kirk…
…except, it’s a little more complicated than that, as these things sometimes are….
Richard read City of Saints & Madmen recently and sent me a facebook message to say how much he liked it. I noticed he was an artist, and so I checked out his work. You don’t necessarily like someone’s stuff just because they liked yours, but in this case I was blown away. I have to admit I’d never seen his art before, and it’s wonderful. (It didn’t hurt that I then read his fiction—see below—and liked that, too.)
So since Richard had said he’d like to do a project someday, I pinged him and asked if he’d consider doing art inspired by his reading of City of Saints. I would then write Ambergris fiction inspired by his art. I suggested this because I’m genuinely curious as to what Richard comes up with, but also because I don’t currently have a way in to writing more Ambergris short fiction. I know from past experience that all I really need is the right kind of trigger, however.
Also, I want to get back to writing more short fiction, and short fiction that’s in my personal sweet spot. I can and do write personal fiction in a variety of modes, but lately I’ve been hankering for a return to the kinds of things explored through my Ambergris stories. What will probably result, too, will be tales set throughout the period of time covered by City of Saints.
Although the project is being pre-sold, there’re no pre-conditions on the stories, which is very attractive to me. Richard will create about 10 originals and a title page/cover (I believe). As he finishes an illustration, I will then write a story around it, so I can easily slot these stories around existing commitments. Some will no doubt be short, others may linger awhile. I’m going to go wherever his art takes me. The finished book will be between 35,000 and 60,000 words, depending. And since it’s Centipede, you know it will be absolutely beautiful. I’m very excited.
When I have pre-order information, I’ll let you know.