Tag Archive for richard laymon

A Little Shelf Porn

I’ve been working to turn my office back into a creative space. Ever since my iMac croaked, it’s become a catch-all for books, paperwork, and other junk we don’t know what to do with around the house. I’d get in there to do my weight lifting, but that’s about it.

That needed to change.

One of the first things I did was clear up some shelf space and put up a bunch of books that had piled up here and there. Here’s what that new section looks like:

I’ve got work in several of those books. It’s not all of them by any stretch, but it’s nice to see a lot of them in one place. It’s been a nice kick in the ass.

The original Restore from Backup were contributor copies from the first printing. I haven’t been to a con in ages, so they’ve been sitting around, waiting for homes. (I need to get a copy of the new edition from Crossroad Press up there with them.)

The two The Burning Maiden anthologies include “A Family Tree, Uprooted” and “One Night on the Road to Charleston.” I’m not sure there will be a third, but I’m on board if those stars realign.

Jump ahead to Athena Voltaire Pulp Tales, an anthology featuring Steve Bryant’s comics heroine. It was fun being able to play in her world a bit.

Next up, Needle includes one of my crime shorts, “With This Bullet.” It’s more like a small anthology than a magazine, and I was in some great company with this one.

Then there’s the original edition of The Pack: Winter Kill. The later edition and a few copies of the sequel, The Pack: Lie with the Dead, will be joining it shortly.

It all makes me wonder why I hadn’t put it all together earlier, as shelves like this are important to writers. Sure, part of it is ego, but it’s easy for some of us to forget what we’ve done. I’ve been kicking around the idea of assembling a collection, and I wonder whether I’ve got enough material to pull it off. This is a good reminder that yeah, I probably do.

I’ll never forget the time Brian, Mikey, Coop, and I saw Richard Laymon’s shelves way back in 2001. We were still dumbass rookies at the time, and we thought, goddamn, wouldn’t it be nice to have a setup like that? His output and work ethic was incredible, and really something to aspire to.

Many years later, John joined us and we did it again at Pic’s place. We saw his office and the old PC I’d sent him (I couldn’t believe it was still running), and we had this weird mix of writer’s envy and fanboy enthusiasm as we ran our fingers across the spines of his work, traversing the genres of horror and crime and weird Western. We quoted Self, one of his coolest characters, and marveled at his output.

(Credit where due: by then my man Brian was pretty close to having shelves like that, if he wasn’t already there. Goodonya, brother.)

There’s both fondness and a little pain in the memories of those days in LA and Colorado, but it’s good this simple shelfie brought them to the surface. It reminds me it’s not too late to keep building out that shelf. Life’s done its thing, as it often does, but I’ve gotten a few things squared away and the creative muscles are stretching and reawakening.

Onward I go, one piece at a time.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Listen in on Diabolical Radio Tonight

Tonight at 11pm Eastern I’ll be one of several guests on Diabolical Radio discussing author Richard Laymon. Their call-in number is (646) 652-4625 if you would like to join in or ask questions.

If you’ve never read Laymon before, I highly recommend you check out his book Savage. One of my favorite books in any genre, I often describe it as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the horror genre.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.