I have interviewed this week’s author, William Meikle, before. As a matter of fact, I probably have gushed over him on this blog I love his stories so much. It started with a nudge from author Sean Ellis. The conversation went something like this:
“You’re a fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, aren’t you?” he asked.
“You know it!” I replied. “Why do you ask?”
“Well, it’s just that I think you try out an author I know…Willie Meikle,” my friend continued. “He has a series of hardboiled detective novels with a paranormal edge to them. I really think you’d enjoy them.“
And the rest, as they say, is history. Meikle’s “hardboiled P.I. with a paranormal edge turned out to be his MIDNIGHT EYE FILES series…and the paranormal edge was more like a Lovecraftian bite! With big sharp pointy teeth. From other dimensions with tentacles, no less. Oh yeah…Willie writes about some really creepy fun stuff. And he doesn’t just write about H.P. Lovecraft-type monsters. He also writes about vikings fighting yetis. He writes about haunted islands and the call of mermaids. His works range from B-movie style horror to Hitchcockian suspense.
Plus…he’s Scottish! So you know he’s got a way cool accent (and I could swear it comes out in his prose from time to time. Ha!).
What’s even more cool is the fact that my publishing company, Seven Realms, is going to get to publish him. Twice, in fact!! We’ll be publishing his “The Concordances of the Red Serpent” (a Hitchcock-like suspense thriller with the touch of the paranormal) in print only around Christmas time. But before that, Willie is contributing a short story for our upcoming anthology THE GAME, inspired by the classic Richard Connell short “The Most Dangerous Game.” And let me tell you…Willie’s contribution is nothing like what you might expect. But tell you what…let me let HIM to tell you about it…along with something that’s really gotten him excited. The release of his first hardcover novel “The Creeping Kelp”!
MY FIRST HARDCOVER…
by William Meikle
I love the feel of hardcovers, always have since I was a boy. I still have an early Twentieth Century edition of Treaure Island that just -feels- like a book. That’s something you don’t get with ebooks
I’ve always loved being published in print. I’ve had numerous stories in anthologies, and my earlier novels are also available in POD paperbacks — I drool over the shelf on the bookcase. And I expect to do a whole lot more drooling over THE CREEPING KELP, which will be my first hardcover novel. Can you tell I’m just a wee bit excited? It’s coming later this summer, and I can’t wait.
As for what’s inside the covers…. It’s kelp. It creeps. 🙂
It’s a cautionary tale of what man is doing to the environment. A WW2 experiment resurfaces; a Shoggoth fragment meets some bits of jellyfish and some seaweed and together they decide they like plastic. They like it so much that they start to seek it out, and grow, and spread… and build.
It’s a homage to several things. There’s more than a touch of Lovecraft obviously, given that I’ve appropriated the Shoggoths, but there’s also a lot of John Whyndham in there. I wanted to do a big-scale, Britain-in-peril novel for a while. The title came to me one day and I knew immediately that there was a story to be told there. There’s also a bit of QUATERMASS in there too — the old “British scientists screw up” genre has been with me for a long time and it’s also something else I’ve always wanted to do. Here it is.
I started my fandom of the disaster genre young and at first it was from a Science Fiction perspective. The British ones from the ’50s and 60’s got my attention, in particular John Wyndham’s DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS and THE CHRYSALIDS. Them, and A CANTICLE FOR LIEBOWITZ were my earliest introductions to the form. After that came tales of cosmic disaster, mainly Lieber’s THE WANDERER and Niven and Pournelle’s LUCIFER’S HAMMER. My interest was further piqued by Terry Nation’s TV show THE SURVIVORS, and Stephen King’s THE STAND, the first to being real horror to the genre IMHO. But my favorite in the genre is by Robert Macammon. His SWAN SONG is a roller coaster blockbuster which eschew’s King’s religious trappings for non-stop action and gritty realism mixed with a slug of the supernatural. My kind of tale.
I grew up on a West of Scotland council estate in a town where you were either unemployed or working in the steelworks, and sometimes both. Many of the townspeople led hard, miserable lifes of quiet, and sometimes not so quiet desperation. I was relatively lucky in that both my parents worked, but they were both on shifts that rarely coincided, and I spent a lot of time alone or at my grandparent’s house.
My Granddad was housebound, and a voracious reader. I got the habit from him, and through him I discovered the Pan Books of Horror and Lovecraft, but I also discovered westerns, science fiction, war novels and the likes of Mickey Spillane, Ed McBain, Alistair MacLean, Dennis Wheatley, Nigel Tranter, Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov. When you mix all that together with DC Comics, Tarzan, Gerry Anderson and Dr Who then, later on, Hammer and Universal movies on the BBC, you can see how the pulp became embedded in my psyche.
I think you have to have grown up with pulp to -get- it. A lot of writers have been told that pulp=bad plotting and that you have to have deep psychological insight in your work for it to be valid. They’ve also been told that pulp=bad writing, and they believe it. Whereas I remember the joy I got from early Moorcock, from Mickey Spillane and further back, A E Merritt and H Rider Haggard. I’d love to have a chance to write a Tarzan, John Carter, Allan Quartermain, Mike Hammer or Conan novel, whereas a lot of writers I know would sniff and turn their noses up at the very thought of it.
If I had to describe my writing style in five words, it would be these: Entertaining, pulpy, fast-paced, old-school fun.
Order it in hardcover now, or I’ll send the Shoggoths round.
Read a free chapter here:
And order the signed limited edition hardcover here:
If you’d like to pick up some of William Meikle’s books, here are a couple of links to try:
And don’t forget to check out William’s contribution to THE GAME anthology…due out in August!!
By the way, here’s what Willie said about his contribution to the anthology entitled “The Toughest Mile”:
My story THE TOUGHEST MILE is based on a chase and as I wrote it I came to realize that its antecedent wasn’t literary so much as cinematic, and an amalgam of several early movie experiences of mine. There’s some of THE NAKED PREY in there, especially in the early part where the chasers are waiting to go at proscribed, almost ritualized intervals. In the fights that follow there’s more than a bit of SPARTACUS, with baying crowds and blood in the sand. And in the final confrontation with the Witch Queen, Kirk Douglas is there again, snarling and chewing the scenery. It runs in my head like a ”60s movie, and that;s how it felt in the writing of it.