Four years ago, a short story of mine appeared in The Third Alternative #37, and at the end, a brief author bio reported that I had completed three books: a children’s picture book called THE HALLOWE’EN COMPANION, a Y/A titled THE EVIL KITES OF DR. LOURDES, and a novel, THE BRIARS. A reader recently asked about these three stories in a comments thread, curious as to what became of them; because none of them have ever appeared in print.
This is probably a lesson to me that I should keep my mouth shut about unpublished work. It isn’t a lesson I seem to have learned (I’m slow on the uptake). My bio in the back of the LOCKE & KEY: WELCOME TO LOVECRAFT hardcover states that I’m at work on a novel called THE SURREALIST’S GLASS. I do have a new book done, finished in first draft, and I feel really good about the way it came out. It isn’t, however, titled THE SURREALIST’S GLASS, but something else entirely.
As for those other stories… none of them ever appeared under those titles, but EVIL KITES and THE BRIARS provided elements that were worked into other narratives. THE BRIARS, for example, was the story of a gifted but emotionally disassociated young man who, under the influence of a terrible supernatural force, commits a grisly home invasion with the help of an ogreish thug. If that sounds familiar, it’s because much of the material in THE BRIARS was folded into LOCKE & KEY. Until a story is actually published, everything and anything is subject to change; not just titles, but characters, concepts, scenes and themes.
Now at the risk of doing the very thing I was just scolding myself for – talking about an unpublished story – I’ll say that the current working title of the new novel is HORNS. I think that’ll be the final title too, but I wouldn’t swear to it until the book is in stores. I do also feel that what I’ve got is solid enough to maybe risk a description of what it’s about. So, for those who are interested, a (very short) plot overview appears after the jump.