Thursday, July 12, 2012


Hello All,

Here’s some news. I hate for this to sound obscure and what I like to call dot-dot-dottish—so named after people who use the elipses on Facebook posts to curry attention by withholding information or being obtuse, circumspect, vague, or hard-done by. For example:

Why do I bother being so nice and respectful of other's emotions when people don't care about me ...

Some people (they know who they are) are SOOO immature ...

Frustrated, angry, sad and mad. That about sums it up ...

Life is SO unfair ...

And etc and so on. Those posts bug the hell out of me. So I'll be running the risk of being a dot-dot-dotter right now, in that I can't quite come out and detail the entire circumstances behind the following news. So feel free to stop reading now, because it's that sort of a thing.

So, after writing my last novel, Cataract City (which was recently picked up by Greywolf in the US, which is fantastic, I'm elated about that), I felt like I needed a bit of a palate cleanser. 

CC took a fair bit out of me—I won't get all author-y and say I slaved over it and, y'know, I threw myself all over the room and visited some real dark parts of myself, etc, etc, all the standard writer nonsense ... because honestly, it wasn't like that. Never is, never really has been. Even when I've struggled with books and felt them going to shreds in my hands, nothing I can really do to stem the bleeding ... it's not as if it's all that hard. It's upsetting and, because I'm kind of Type A in some ways, it's fist-clenchingly upsetting that I can't fix it. 

But still, despite prior protestations I like writing for the most part. I like working on new stuff and getting into a book. Cataract City just took quite awhile to write, there were lots of edits (and more to come) so it was time-consuming and it was really important to make sure everything fit and worked and that involved just a lot of time. 

So yes, a palate cleanser. Something more light—or at the very least, more genre, where I could work within the confines of that genre and ... maybe just let things flow a little easier. 

So I had this idea. Pure horror. I mean, spine-splitting, jaw-breaking, fireballing horror. That was how I wanted to approach it. 80s horror, really. The stuff I grew up on.

So I wrote it. Took 5 weeks. 6? Just poured out of me. The story was simple, the characters were understandable to me—they acted according to their natures so I didn't have to go around explaining everything they did or justifying it. 

Ended up being 90k. Sent it to my father; he chopped 15k from it. I chopped another 5k.

I sent it to my agent a little abashedly, to be honest. But I'd sort of let him know that he wouldn't exactly know what to expect out of me from one book to the next—hell, I barely know—so to his credit he was more or less: Shoot it all to me, we'll sort it out.

He sat on it for a month maybe, then called and said he'd read it, dug it, offered edits, which I took, then he ended up sending it to a well-known writer for a blurb, which we received and it's glowing, and then we sent it out.

I really wasn't expecting anything, even then. I almost felt as if I hadn't ... for lack of a better word sufferered for this book. It poured out of me too easily. But maybe that was part of what made it work—the writing was pretty effortless so perhaps the reading of it was similar. And sometimes when you don't put the weight of expectation on a given endeavor, you don't freight it down with your hopes and aspirations, well, you allow some cool things to happen.

So fast forward two weeks. We got offers from St. Martin's, Doubleday, Riverhead, and Simon and Shuster. I was baffled. Gobsmacked. Bamboozled. Choose your silly word for it.

There was a little auction. Simon and Shuster ended up taking it. A two-book deal, for, to be honest (and not to be crass, which the following likely is) more money than I've ever been paid for a book. 

So ... weird. And yeah, it's horror. Balls-out, gory, depraved horror.


But my agent suggested that, at this point, we should put it out under a pseudonym—and not my old one. A new one. So that's what will happen. 

And that's all I can really say. That being: there will be a book from me out next year or the year after that will not bear my name. So you can speculate on which one it might be. 

All I can say is: Horror. Simon and Shuster. Those are the clues. 

The game is afoot! Not that I really, truly think anyone's going to take the time to puzzle it out. 

All best, Craig.


  1. I really don't understand why you would publish what might be your most successful book under a pseudonym.
    I can't wait though, I'm a horror guy, this should be right up my alley. Congrats on the deal :)

  2. I agree with Cristane. Looking forward to the book. Best to you Craig.

  3. Craig, sussed out your pseudonym for your forthcoming horror tome. Book is called The Troop & your nom de plume is Nick Cutter. Do I get a prize! All the best!

  4. Arkos, your prize is the gift of enlightenment ... if I was really Nick Cutter, and I'm not saying nothing. Why would I spoil all the fun if that was the case?

  5. Craig!
    Thanks for replying to my comment. Really hope me finding out your pseudonym has not/ will not spoil all the fun as you put it. But I KNOW I am right! has an entry for The Troop which states that the book has been written by a recognized author under a pseudonym. This author lives in Toronto, Canada. Also, someone on the net has read an advance reading copy of The Troop and your name is on the copyright page. Really enjoy your work by the way and the movie version of Rust & Bone is amazing! Look forward to reading Catarct City when it comes out. All the best!