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Literary Essays on Gothic Horror, Ghost Stories, & Weird Fiction

from  Mary  Shelley  to  M.  R.  James —

by M. Grant Kellermeyer

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My Recent Guest Spot on Sley House Publishing's Literary Podcast (— plus a short personal update)

A very warm hello to you, dear reader!

In this post I'll be breaking the fourth wall a bit to chat with you about two exciting updates from behind the scenes at Oldstyle Tales Press.

The first is to share that I was honored and excited to be asked to sit in on two episodes of the Sley House Publishing podcast, "Lit Bits."

Sley House is an up and coming new press that focuses on sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and thrillers, and their podcast dives deep into examples of the Speculative Fiction genre ranging from Edith Wharton and Bram Stoker to the The Maltese Falcon and The Bride of Frankenstein, bringing sensitive and timely criticism to these classics. They also interview living authors and figures in the publishing industry, so please give them a follow and a listen!

Earlier this year they were generous enough to invite me on for two episodes which aired a few months back. The first one focused on what Oldstyle Tales Press is all about: why and how I do what I do. We go into its origin story, scope and focus, and tons of behind the scenes processes (e.g., how I do those white-on-black illustrations). If you'd be interested in hearing more about this straight from the horse's mouth, you can listen to me talk with the guys about this here:

In the second episode, we looked closely at the Victorian ghost story, its cultural context and tropes, and used two case studies from my first book The Best Victorian Ghost Stories, to probe these issues: M. R. James' ghoulish "Lost Hearts," and Edith Nesbit's gory "The Mystery of the Semi-Detached." We discuss different interpretations of these tales and why they might surprise us with their subversiveness and emotional power. If you'd like to hear us dig deeply into the overarching genre of the Victorian ghost story as well as these two exemplars, you can check them out here:

(Sley House Publishing's evocative background banner could easily have come from the scene of a Victorian

ghost story -- especially "Lost Hearts")

The second update that I wanted to give you, briefly, is to thank you all for your patience as we reshape and reimagine what Oldstyle Press will be doing in the future. Because of your support, I was able to make this my full-time source of income last September, allowing me to stay home with my two year old daughter.

It's coming on a year, now, and I'll write you more about that soon, but as I feel out the work/home balance that I'm able to strike for my second year as a stay-at-home-parent/full-time-publisher, I appreciate your patience as blog posts and books might be trickling in a bit more slowly.

In truth, there are tons of projects that are currently in the works:

  • New classic horror books and anthologies in the works

  • Expanded second editions of at least two earlier titles

  • A new line of classic adventure novels (e.g. Treasure Island)

  • Three new ghost stories that I've written for Hallowe'en

  • A complete collection of my own supernatural stories available to buy in paperback

  • And several exciting tweaks to the website and our operations

In short, while I've been quieter than usual recently, things are moving very quickly over here, and I can't wait to share what I'm working on with you all. In the meantime, if you are so inclined, please give those podcast episodes a listen (if only to hear what I sound like and to learn a bit more about what it was that frustrated me so much that I decided to start this website!), and check out our great new friends at Sley House Publishing. Long may they print.

Signing off and receding back behind the fourth wall again, I remain yours very gratefully,

Michael Grant Kellermeyer


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