My lil Poe boy watches over me as I write

Emily and I recently took a quick weekend getaway to historic Berkeley Springs, WV. Located in the eastern panhandle, its warm mineral springs became a huge attraction as our country was started, leading to its founding in 1776 by George Washington as America’s first spa. Its original name was "Bath," meant to be a competitor of sorts to the English city of Bath in Somerset. While I’ve never been to its English counterpart (based on a quick Google, Somerset’s Bath looks much more impressive—sorry, Berkeley Springs), we did enjoy our short stay at the historic Country Inn as well as our appointment at Berkeley Springs State Park’s heated Roman Bath House. There, for a period of time you can reserve a private heated pool of natural mineral water all to yourself, or to yourselves, if a couple, like Emily and me. Emily chose to wear a swimsuit, but wanting to get the most out of the experience, I of course went in "full Roman," a phrase I came up with when we got there, which I’ll leave you to interpret for yourself.

So, for obvious reasons, there are no pictures of Emily and me in the bath. However, I do have pictures of this cool little Edgar Allan Poe figurine we found at Jules Enchanting Gifts just across the street. Check out this neat little guy!

"Nevermore!"
He’s just a Poe boy from a Poe family
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40,000 words into my new horror novel

I haven’t updated you guys on my latest writing project until now because whenever I start something intended to be a novel, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to remember how to write again, or I’ll get to the end and it won’t be long enough, or it will turn out to be an incoherent, unpublishable disaster. Well, I’ve been deep into a project I started this spring, and I’m relieved and excited to go into this weekend having crossed the 40k mark! What’s more, I think it might resemble something you may actually want to read.

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In which Curtis M. Lawson interviews me on the Wyrd Transmissions podcast

Fresh feasting for your famished earholes, hot off the audio griddle. Curtis M. Lawson, host of the podcast Wyrd Transmissions, has interviewed me. Listen to us chat a little about my writing and a lot more about other stuff.

Listen to “Ep. 49 – Appalachian Horror with Timothy G. Huguenin” on Spreaker.

Stream here it using the embedded player above, or go directly to the episode page, or listen on Apple Podcasts (don’t forget to rate and review the show).

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Interviewed by Gwendolyn Kiste

Okay, this is over a week late, which translates into about three months in Internet years, but I would be remiss if I failed to direct any interested parties toward Gwendolyn Kiste’s interview of me on her blog.

If you’re at all curious about my influences, inspirations, and my thoughts on recent and upcoming works (primarily my recently released novella, Unknowing, I Sink, and my upcoming novel, Schafer), you’ll want to take a look.

Appalachian Horror: Interview with Timothy G. Huguenin

While you’re over there, please peruse the rest of Gwendolyn’s website. She is an incredibly talented and accomplished horror and dark fantasy writer, having won the Bram Stoker Award(R) three times, if I recall correctly. Her works include the Stoker-winning novel The Rust Maidens and her new novel, Boneset & Feathers, which I am currently reading.

It was quite an honor and pleasure to chat with her and talk about my humble writing.

80k and running the home stretch

Today, I broke 80,000 words on my work in progress. This was my original goal. In fact, it had been my goal when writing Schafer, though I only made it somewhere in the 70s on the first draft, dropping to 69.5k after revisions made it ready for submission. I’ve always been a little insecure about the short length of my previous books, so for me, it’s a pretty big deal to surpass this barrier.

I am very close to the end, too. I believe I’ll finish this first draft this week or next. While it’s likely that later revisions will shorten the manuscript, meaning it isn’t guaranteed the final book will end up past my goal, I’m very happy to have made it so far. I will be celebrating with some of the leftover birthday cake Emily got me (chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting, topped with peanut butter cups).

Though I still have a little more work to do on this draft (then a lot of work to do in editing and revision), I’m feeling very satisfied today and hopeful that this book isn’t going to turn into the disaster I feared (I always get scared in the middle of a project that it’s all going to implode and leave me with an unfixable mess—this has happened before).

I can see the finish line! Woohoo!

Happy Birthday to me: an update that is probably too long and one nobody really needs to hear

I’m writing this on my birthday. I am now 31 years old, young enough to still remain active and be considered “young” by a lot of folks, but old enough that my body constantly reminds me that I am no longer invincible.

It’s been a great birthday so far. I’ve taken the day off from writing. Two fried eggs and a pourover coffee for breakfast, a mango and some leftover stir fry for lunch. Since a little before noon, I have been smoking a rack of spare ribs in my Weber kettle charcoal grill. The weather has been mostly sunny, with a few large clouds that threatened to drop but so rolled on by. The temperature has hovered around 70 degrees F. Initially, I had some difficulty in getting the grill up to temp (supposed to keep within 225-265, aiming at 250 as much as possible), but now I’m over four hours into it and for the majority I’ve been able to keep it steady in the 250s. I’ve been reading the latest issue of The Atlantic and listening to the new Miles Davis collection Dad and Mom got me for my birthday, checking the grill temperature and making adjustments every twenty minutes or so. Today, I feel relaxed and happy.

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Happy New Year: 2019 in review, and 2020 #amwriting goals

Boy, 2019 was rough for me, for reasons which I will not detail in this post. But ever since I’ve started this blog, I’ve done one of these year-in-review/looking-ahead posts, so here goes. Please forgive my lack of pictures and GIFs—the internet connection where I live is exceedingly slow and unreliable, and I must avoid that kind of thing unless I’m at the library or coffee shop or some other place with high speed internet that won’t poop out on me in the middle of my work.

2019

Last year I set some goals for 2019. I did not meet any of them (well, I sorta met one).

2019 goals:

  • Finish the Bigfoot novel – Nope.
  • Find a publisher for Schafer – No. (but to be fair, this is not completely under my control)
  • Write at least five stories – Yes…ish.
  • Plan a successful WV Writers literary event in my region – No longer the Region 2 Rep.
  • Pass the English Literature CLEP Exam – Haven’t taken it.

This Bigfoot story is becoming about as elusive as Ol’ Sassy himself (have I made that joke before? I feel like I’ve made that joke before). I did make some progress in the fall, after finishing a novella (more on that in a bit), but I ended up putting it off again. I came up with another book idea I was more excited about at the time. My wife and some other people also think it is a pretty good concept, so I decided to set aside Sasquatch in favor of this one while I have some enthusiasm and creative juices flowing (kind of a gross expression, right?). So, thanks especially to Emily and John Little for encouragement in making this decision and telling me there might be something special in my new idea. I’m already making quicker, steadier progress on that book than I had been on Bigfoot. I’m not totally scrapping that one, though. I have some really good writing already done for it, and if I can pull off the rest of the story well, I think it will be a good one. I’m just not ready to finish it, I guess. But I have a good feeling about the new book.

Still have not found a home for Schafer (a novel I wrote in 2017 about an evil hypnotist, though I have yet to hear back from a number of publishers, any of which I would be very happy to work with.

I had planned on writing at least five short stories in addition to finishing the Bigfoot book. This is the only sorta check-mark on the list. At the beginning of the year, I started on a short story that I just could not finish. While I wrote in fits and starts, and did not make quick progress on it, it continued to grow into something exceedingly strange, ungainly, and lovely. At last, in September, I wrote THE END on this little monster, which came out to 21,300 words. So, it’s the length of five short stories, even though it is a single novella.

This is actually kind of cool, as I have been interested in writing a novella sometime in the future—only I ended up actually doing it by accident. As my 2019 goals were otherwise unmet, I’m going to fudge this one and give myself the credit. A novella is cool, yo. I’m not sure yet when or how it will be made available to the public, but I have some ideas.

For a moment I was the Region 2 Representative for the West Virginia Writers, and had some plans for that which never panned out. Coincidentally, as of November, I don’t even live in Region 2 anymore.

English Lit CLEP exam hasn’t happened yet. Should be soon, though. Transportation issues are complicated at the moment.

I’m not going to get into all the reasons that 2019 was hard on me. One of them, however, was an unexpected job change for my wife and a move from Bartow to Parsons. Emily and I are glad we were able to stay in West Virginia (and we love being in Tucker County), but the last part of the year was extremely chaotic and stressful. I am surprised I don’t have any noticeable gray hair after all that happened (I did catch one or two strands during the ordeal, but they’re gone). We still don’t have it all figured out, but we’re getting used to our new situation, and are both extremely grateful to God for what we see as His quick provision in a very uncertain and desperate time. I try to use this website to focus on my fiction rather than religious commentary, but I feel I would be wrong if I did not briefly utter a quick word of thanksgiving here. Things could have looked much worse for us at the end of 2019. We are greatly relieved.

In fact, there were some very bright spots to 2019. I had a whole lot of fun at all the book events I attended. At the Lewisburg Literary Festival, I broke my total sales record for that event. Same at West Virginia Book Festival, where I should have brought more books—I sold out of Little One! I was honored to be guest at the Haunted Majestic this October, a haunted house boat floating on the Ohio River near Huntington.

And, like I said before, it felt good to write my first novella. It is a very weird story, though. Who knows what will happen with it.

I saw only one of my short stories in print for 2019, “The Puddle Girl of St. George” (ironically, my wife’s new job is located in St. George).

And while I only saw one story newly published, I received some really encouraging responses concerning other unpublished work about which I’m not ready to go into detail. Suffice it to say that I finished the year with greater confidence in my ability and the quality of my short fiction. I hope to have some more exciting, less vague-blogging news for you later this year.

2020

Honestly, while I do have some writing goals to set forth, there is some practical, real-life stuff which is going to have to take precedence over my writing. But related to my continued pursuit of a profitable fiction writing career, I reckon the following are worthy targets:

  • Finish the new novel (and maybe get a bit more done on the Bigfoot story)
  • Get Schafer published
  • Get the weird novella published
  • Attend Camp Necon

Yeah, I already put down my deposit on Camp Necon. It will be my first time attending, and I’ve heard great things. This year, it will be held in Salem, MA, which is pretty cool, because I don’t think I’ve ever been to Salem.

Other than that? I feel like I’m forgetting stuff that should be in this post. But I gotta tell you, I’m too tired right now to care. Have a happy new year, everybody.

one more thing

PS — I haven’t drawn up a “Best of 2019” list yet, and I don’t know if I will—even less likely to do a “Best of the Decade” list. But I wanted to quickly recommend Michael Wehunt’s newest novella, Everything is Beautiful and Nothing Bad Can Ever Happen Here, published by Nightscape Press last September. You can click that link to buy it directly from the publisher, as a limited, numbered paperback, autographed by the man himself, Michael Wehunt, one of my favorite contemporary writers. Only 118 copies remain at the time of this writing.

OK that’s it. I gotta go make dinner. So long!

Update: #amwriting – fall, weird, bigfoot

#AmWriting in Autumn

The leaves have been fantastic around here the last few weeks. We’ve had some beautiful blue-sky days lately, though they have been a bit warmer for my tastes. Even though I’ve been going through some really hard stuff lately, I’m doing my best to get out and enjoy the greatest season in West Virginia. I even got me a brand new set of overalls. Continue reading