Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Alternative Hump Day With HP Lovecraft

I've been reading a lot of Lovecraft and Lovecraft-mythos stories lately. This is really not going to surprise anyone who knows me, but I'm reading with a purpose beyond just "yay, Lovecraft!" at the moment. Two main reasons:

1. My current wip, Nightmare Moon*, has some decidedly Lovecraftian elements, and I really want to immerse myself in that atmosphere. Re-reading classics like The Call of Cthulhu, tales that inspired the Cthulhu Mythos like The King in Yellow, and stories that have taken their own inspiration from the mythos - it's all helping me create the mood and feeling I want. I know lots of writers try to avoid reading anything that might influence them whilst working on a particular story; for me it's sometimes really helpful - it builds a mental mood-board that helps me shape the story, the language, and the characters.

2. With my Common Brimstone hat on, I'm currently brainstorming ideas for a new perfume line that takes inspiration from Lovecraft's Dream Cycle stories. So again, soaking up the themes and imagery of his works is going to play a big part in the development of that project.

Since I'm pretty much living and breathing Lovecraft right now, a quote from him seemed like a good choice for Alternative Hump Day (I am going to make it a thing), and when I remembered this one, I inevitably started thinking about UNDERTOW (coming soon from Ragnarok Publications!). UNDERTOW could, at a stretch, be described as "Ethan Banning Goes to the Seaside," which would of course skip over all the horrible, terrible, unfortunate things that happen to him/because of him in the book. I love the ocean. I love writing books set near the ocean and incorporating legends and folklore from the ocean into the stories. UNDERTOW really let me go all out with the setting and the story in this respect. And this quote very neatly captures one of the prevailing themes of UNDERTOW: there are things with which man should not fuck. Now that is about as Lovecraftian as you can get.

*Yes, I know it's the name of a My Little Pony character. In my defense, I have never seen an episode of MLP and dammit, it's a good title.

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