David Bain made his presence known to me nearly a decade ago when I was given the chance to review Steve Vernon’s short story collection NIGHTMARE DREAMS. Being very impressed with the collection, I then turned to its editor when I was looking for someone to help me with my own collection, TERRIBLE THRILLS. That editor was David Bain.
The collection never panned out with that publisher--they went under pretty quickly--but I did manage to get that collection published. In the meantime, I was working on my own editing gig, putting together an anthology called the BOOK OF MONSTERS, which Scrybe Press put out. As the book neared its due date, I realized I still didn’t have any goblin stories, but I needed one to round out the Table of Contents. I emailed a few acquaintances asking for submissions and of the three or four I received, Dave’s was the one that made the cut. From there I invited him into another anthology I wanted to publish but which never materialized, and pretty soon our acquaintanceship had developed into a full-on friendship.
Years later, I’m happy to say he’s one of my closet writing confidants and a man whose work I’m coming to respect more and more with every new story I read.
And now, you too can get in on what I already knew with Dave’s first novel, GRAY LAKE. I asked Dave to say a few things about the novel and his upcoming work.:
“Although I should have other novels coming out within a year, GRAY LAKE might always be my favorite, my magnum opus. A labor of love, it summarizes everything I went through between the ages of sixteen and 25 or so, all the good and the bad. It was also my master’s thesis and - hey, CDM was one of the first readers, so readers can blame any typos on him!
GRAY LAKE is also at Amazon and elsewhere, but if readers want to buy it via Smashwords before July 13, they can enter the following code and get it for $1.99, a dollar off: CX84T. The url is: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70096
There are at least two characters from the novel who I plan to write more about - you’ll surely see the burn-scarred villain Mike Menger again; I’m keeping the identity of the other one a secret, a surprise for readers.
Within a week or two of this spotlight, I should have a free companion ebook available - THE ROAD TO GRAY LAKE. This will have a free related short story called “Billy Gets a Job” as well as an excerpt, deleted scenes, an essay or two, a poem, a video playlist and even a couple photos. You can consider GRAY LAKE the movie, and THE ROAD TO GRAY LAKE the bonus DVD.
Then, in August, I’ll be releasing WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS: TALES FROM GREEN RIVER, a collection of short stories from the same milieu as GRAY LAKE. Yes, I know the title is the same as a classic movie, but it fits so perfectly. (And besides, it applies: the movie is about the newspaper biz, and I was a newspaper bureau chief for about a decade, and, yes, there is a newspaper story.) The collection will be a mix of ghost and crime tales - what I like to think of as “smalltown noir” stories.
The politics and secret goings-on of small towns fascinate me, much more so than the obvious machinations of big time politics. You find out all sorts of interesting things as a local reporter: there are so many big fish wannabes in the small ponds, plus there’s also the whole struggle of the small fry just trying to stay alive.
And every now and then a monster slithers through the pond. Consider my own little Indiana town. Meth is everywhere. We just had a three-man shoot-out near a major intersection because one guy stole these other two guys’ weed - two people died, the survivor’s going to prison. Back when I was a reporter, we had two fathers kill their sons (one barely a year old, the other thirteen) within two weeks - the baby cried for its mother one time too many while Dad was babysitting alone; the teen’s dad went off after receiving a call that junior wasn’t doing his homework. And most recently we produced our very own AMERICA’S MOST WANTED fugitive with a laundry list of (at this point still alleged) offenses longer than this blog entry. And this is a “nice” town, not some exaggerated barefoot-and-pregnant toothless hillbilly enclave.
Writing is one way I deal with the fact that this stuff happens literally next door - which is why I rarely set my fiction in the typical “isolated farmhouse” setting where so much horror and suspense literature takes place. For instance, in my $.99 collection STREETLIGHTS FILLED WITH FLOWERS: THREE TALES OF URBAN FANTASY, the horror and crime take place in a mall, in a 7-11 and, well, yes, in a woods, but a county-maintained municipal woods within jogging distance of the streetlights. That one’s available at Amazon or http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/40251
What else to leave you with? How about links for my newsletter and my web page? (From there your readers can join me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, etc.) And a big thanks for the readers and writer of this profile!"