I'm delighted to join the Red Room community, and I have a favor to ask of my new writer and reader friends, both here at Red Room and visiting from cyberspace. I have been following a creative track for quite a long while now that has delivered me, I believe, deeply into the world of fantasy. It's a venerable literary tradition. (Whenever I'm asked-as every writer is eventually asked-what one book I'd take to a desert island, I invariably say The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.)
In case you're not familiar with my body of work, I've published four books that have roots in the world of fantasy. My book of stories (Tabloid Dreams, Henry Holt, 1996) is based on the sort of headlines found in newspapers like The Sun and The Weekly World News. Indeed, a story from that collection, "JFK Secretly Attends Jackie Auction" was chosen for inclusion in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Tenth Annual Collection. (Another story, "Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot" is very widely anthologized in classrooms and is clearly a work of fantasy.) I wrote a novel entitled Mr. Spaceman (Grove Press, 2000) with the narrator being a spaceman who has temporarily kidnapped a charter bus full of gamblers heading for a Louisiana casino in order to interview them in preparation for publicly revealing himself to humankind. I wrote a book of 62 short short stories (Severance, Chronicle Books, 2006) giving voice to the last minute-and-a-half of lingering consciousness in 62 recently severed heads (from Medusa and Cicero through The Lady in the Lake and Anne Boleyn and Sir Walter Raleigh to Jayne Mansfield and a Sunday-dinner chicken). And my new novel, which has just now been published by Grove, is entitled Hell. It is set entirely in that very place with a central character who is the anchorman for the TV Evening News in Hell. (Hell is very very crowded, by the way, and it's set enough in the future so that some currently-living folks we all expect to see there actually do make an appearance. As well, as, of course Cerberus, Satan, and assorted succubi.)
I still remain mostly unnoticed in the world of fantasy readers, however, though I think they would truly appreciate what I've been doing artistically. And the fantasy readers I know are wonderfully slow readers, lingering over every moment-to-moment detail, something I preach ardently to the readers of mainstream literary fiction, who often tend to read too quickly. The favor I ask, then, is for suggestions of how to reach out with my new book to the regular readers of fantasy.
Please leave me your suggestions in the comments section below. Thanks.