A plucky, family-owned publisher based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Oldstyle Tales Press specializes in critical, annotated and illustrated editions of classic ghost stories, weird fiction, and gothic horror from the Classical Era of Supernatural Fiction (1795 - 1935).
Our mission is to make classic horror interesting and accessible with an engaging aesthetic and elegant design: to make the sort of books we would like to own, ourselves. Reading the classics should feel like an adventure -- not homework -- and we aim to bring that adventure to your armchair (but caveat emptor: the glass of tawny port and autumn gusts clattering against the casements are not provided).
WHAT WE DO & WHY WE DO IT
In spite of the disastrous plummet of the book market since the Great Recession of 2008, there has been a boom in affordable classics. Corporate publishing companies have rushed to produce cheaply priced (and cheaply produced) editions of recognizable-but-niche horror masterpieces like The Phantom of the Opera, The Turn of the Screw, and the short stories of Ambrose Bierce, M. R. James, and W. W. Jacobs.
The results have often been disappointing and uninspired for readers who are looking for a deeper understanding of these works: a 3-5 page introduction revealing little more than a Wikipedia page, no notes, no illustrations, and no passion. Oldstyle Tales aspires to fill the gap between the forbidding, inaccessible academic editions and the cheap, mass productions thrown together on a word processor and slapped with a photoshopped cover.
Classic ghost stories, horror, and weird fiction deserve the delicate and involved attention that they cannot find in copy/pasted discount editions, at a better price and with more intimate editorial hand than they receive in the excellent, if dry academic publications in university bookstores. With care, precision, interest, and passion, we pledge to provide a much richer exploration of the supernatural canon than you are likely to find in the vast majority of the paperbacks with their names on the covers.
M. GRANT KELLERMEYER
FOUNDER, EDITOR, & ILLUSTRATOR
Michael Grant Kellermeyer (b. 1987) is a former English professor and current bibliographer, illustrator, editor, critic, blogger, and author based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Anderson University (2010) and his Master of Arts in Literature from Ball State University (2012). He taught college writing and literature in Indiana for nine years at, variously, Ball State University, Ivy Tech Community College, and the Indiana Institute of Technology. He retired from higher education in 2019 to publish and write full time.
He founded Oldstyle Tales after noticing that it was difficult to find literary criticism or commentary on short horror fiction. Its first title, The Best Victorian Ghost Stories, was published in September 2013, followed shortly by editions of Frankenstein and The Annotated and Illustrated Edgar Allan Poe. Today it has 36 titles in print.
In his free time, Michael plays violin, watches old movies, and spends time walking in nature, or swinging on his front porch with his wife Kierstin and daughter Charlotte. Michael finds joy in straight razors, sandalwood shaving cream, briarwood pipes, and air-dried sheets. He loves listening to Classical music, jazz standards, sea shanties, watching the films of Vincent Price, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stanley Kubrick, and nursing Hendricks gin tonics, stovetop coffee, and mint tea.
Our hallmark chiaroscuro illustrations are pencil sketches done on 6 x 9 paper. The pictures are drawn in negative, and after being scanned, the color is digitally inverted, leaving a composition largely composed of deep shadows (the white paper) interspersed with glowing swathes of light (pencil smudges), and gleaming highlights (pencil marks).
My primary, direct artistic influences are illustrators Edward Gorey, Gustave Dore, Barry Moser, Lynd Ward, Arthur Rackham, Harry Clarke, Bernie Wrightson, and W. Graham Robertson. Painters Godfried Schalcken, Heinrich Fuseli, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Carrivagio, and John Atkinson Grimshaw are also influences to the mood, tone, and style of our illustrations.
Here's a side-by-side "before and after" of J. Sheridan Le Fanu's haunting masterpiece, "Schalken the Painter". On the left is the pencil drawing I made; on the right it has been inverted and touched up with Pixlr editor.
ANNOTATIONS & INTRODUCTORY NOTES
The greatest care is made to ensure that accurate, detailed, and helpful critical material accompanies the fiction included in this volume. Annotations and introductory notes are created using peer-reviewed scholarly articles accessed from JSTOR, Project MUSE, EBSCO Host, and bound collections of criticism accessed at Indiana University, Ball State University, Purdue University, and through interlibrary loans.
Definitions and references are informed by the Oxford English Dictionary, the Dictionary of English Nautical Language, the Encyclopædia Britannica, Grolier Online, and credible online databases. Foreign translations are only released after comparing the results of several books of grammar pertaining to the source language.
Biographical, critical, and contextual information regarding the writer, their work, and their world are generated after consulting peer-reviewed biographies, reference works, compendiums, collected correspondences, histories, and literary criticism.