Friday, March 27, 2015

Publishing News: THE NAMELESS DARK, the debut collection of short fiction from T.E. Grau, slated for release July 25, 2015 by Lethe Press

Cover art by Arnaud de Vallois

Now that the cover is squared away and the manuscript is into the last throes of the copy edit phase, I am happy to announce that my debut collection of short fiction, titled The Nameless Dark, will be published this July 25, 2015 by Lethe Press.

This collection represents (nearly) every single step of my journey into prose writing after spending over a decade as a screenwriter, and a music journalist and humor columnist several years prior to that, starting in my freshman year of college. It was at age nineteen - and hot on the heels of what Rimbaud described as a "long, boundless, and systematized disorganization of all the senses" - that I changed my major from History/Pre Law to English and never (okay, rarely) looked back. In all those years of writing, and through every minor accomplishment, nothing has even remotely been as satisfying as completing a book of prose and finding a publisher that is not just willing, but actually relatively excited, to print it upon rectangled paper and sell it to the reading public.

The journey from manuscript to publishing deal was a bit of a surprise. While wrapping up the last story for the collection ("Tubby's Big Swim"), Steve Berman of Lethe Press contacted me after both Nathan Ballingrud and Laird Barron posted reviews on Facebook of my prairie horror novella The Mission. Steve first sought to re-publish the limited edition novella (which was at that point out-of-print), but after a bit of discussion, he then made an offer to publish my entire collection based in large part of the good word of these two colleagues, whose writing I admire so much. Naturally, I am very much indebted to both Laird and Nathan for reading and then publicly commenting on my work. That sort of exposure is priceless, and incredibly important. Forever pushing the boundaries of manners and entitlement, I then asked Nathan to pen a foreword to The Nameless Dark. As gracious as ever, he agreed, for which I am and shall ever be eternally grateful.

As noted above, these stories stretch back to 2010, starting with "Transmission," which was the first short story I ever wrote, then becoming the first piece of fiction I ever sold. The bones of "Twinkle, Twinkle" were actually written before "Transmission," but I never sought to find a home for it, knowing that I'd want to sit on it a bit and rework it, which I did for The Nameless Dark. It, along with "Tubby's Big Swim" (my most recently completed story), and "Expat" (finished just before "Tubby"), are the three unpublished (and unclaimed) pieces in the collection. "Mr. Lupus," my longest work to date in terms of word count, sold to an anthology a few years back edited by Scott David Aniolowski, but has never been released to the public. "Return of the Prodigy" will be included in this summer's highly anticipated Lovecraftian fiction anthology Cthulhu Fhtagn!, edited by Ross E. Lockhart and published by his excellent press Word Horde. The rest of the stories have appeared in various anthos, fiction journals, and other books over the last five years, and I am excited to have them all collected under one roof, elbowing for space at the family dinner table.

As requested elsewhere in the ether, the table of contents reads as such:

Tubby’s Big Swim
The Screamer
Return of the Prodigy
The Truffle Pig
Beer & Worms
White Feather
Mr. Lupus
Free Fireworks
Love Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox
Twinkle, Twinkle
The Mission

Pre-orders will begin in April via Amazon, so keep watching this liminal space for information on that, and in the meantime, thank you ever so much, dear readers and watchers and tenders of the signal fires, for your interest in my work.  I hope The Nameless Dark satisfies, and opens the door for me to show you previously unknown places and the shadows that live there, both now with this book and in the years to come with whatever will come after. This is just the beginning, the hill country at the foot of the mist-shrouded mountain. I can see the overgrown trail up into the high country, and am adjusting my pack upon my shoulders. The way won't be easy, and is sure to be treacherous, but the view from the top promises to be so incredibly worth it.

Edited (3/30/15) to add: Pre-Orders now available right here.

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