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Richard Laymon fans.................

Old 11-22-02, 11:48 AM
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Richard Laymon fans.................

Here is a newsletter about the late, great horror author. Enjoy.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT'S ON BOARD - The FREE newsletter from Horror World

Issue 22 SPECIAL EDITION

Date: Friday November 22nd 2002


******************
In This Issue

EDITORIAL

MY FAVOURITE LAYMON

*****************

EDITORIAL
==========

As I was reading Richard Laymon's latest US release NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER, I realised that had the book been released a couple of years ago, I would have gone knocking on Dick Laymon's email box asking him for an interview. Knowing Dick he would have immediately said yes.

Sadly as I'm sure you know we lost Dick Laymon early in 2001 and I don't think the horror community has been quite the same since. So as I couldn't quiz Dick about his excellent book, I thought I'd do the next best thing and ask his friends and admirers about their favourite Laymon books.

My favourite Laymon is THE STAKE. I read this book in January 2001 and it probably drew more emotion from me than any book by the author I've read before or since. Even though I'm sure there was a good deal of fictionalisation around the horror novelist in the book - Larry Dunbar - I couldn't help but wonder how much of Laymon was in his creation. I was going to drop him a line and ask him about this when I heard of his untimely passing.

Thank goodness for his books - I love them all. I've said it a thousand times but without Laymon I wouldn't be reading horror today. I'd gone past my fascination with King, Straub and Masterton and was reading all sorts of books. Then I picked up a book called RESURRECTION DREAMS and I haven't looked back since.

Andy Fairclough



MY FAVOURITE LAYMON
====================

SIMON CLARK :

Richard Laymon wrote his novels in such razor sharp prose that the sentences are so taut they vibrate at perfect pitch like a guitar string. Of his novels THE STAKE has to be a real favourite of mine (the two guys trying to get the corpse into the garage loft is funny as much as horrifying -- I can imagine it being a Laurel & Hardy routine; in some dark and twisted alternative reality, that is). But for my favourite book of all it has to be A WRITER'S TALE (Deadline Press, 1998). This is the autobiography of Laymon and depicts a hard-working writer who took more than his fair share of knocks in the publishing world. It's a brave warts-and-all testimony and tells it how it really is being a writer. It's a must-have not only for Laymon fans but for anyone setting out on the exhilarating, scary, frustrating, thrilling ride to becoming a professional author.



JACK KETCHUM :

My favorite Laymon book has got to be THE CELLAR. When I found out what the Beast actually was I think my jaw dropped open -- and how many books can you say THAT about?


MICHAEL LAIMO :

I'd have to say IN THE DARK. It's the longest book I've ever read (500 pages) in the shortest amount of time (2 days). His writing style, simplistic yet breakneck, is clearly exemplified here, and the suspense factor never quits. And then, just when you think things can't get worse, Mr Laymon throws in his signature gross-out scene. It's a winner.



TOM PICCIRILLI :

Choosing a favorite Laymon novel is a spurious decision at best because Dick had something special to offer in each one of his works. His earlier, shorter books like THE CELLAR and THE WOODS ARE DARK brought in a wave of change in the horror industry. These stories are wild, frenetic, savage, and yet, despite some of the most vicious scenes in modern horror literature, they're amusing as hell. Over-the-top gore but droll to the nth power. Academics usually believe that if prose shows the writer's hand, it's somehow weakened or poorly crafted. But with Dick you could actually feel him having fun on the page-sometimes you could damn near hear him laughing. And that only served both the writing and the reader.

Later novels such as RESURRECTION DREAMS, FUNLAND, and ISLAND offered longer, more complex plot lines with a larger cast of strange characters, each with his own backstory. Dick often spoke of using the "infinite backstory" technique to follow new protagonists and villains into their own bizarre and tormented histories. In these books that method works perfectly.

Taking all of that into account, I might have to choose NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER as the novel that touched me the most. I feel that it incorporates all of Dick's strengths as a writer. The story is lean, poignant, moving, weird, dark, and filled with those moments of terror that only refine the beauty of the rest of the story. More than that, it's both an honest and sensitive portrayal of a young man in search of himself who undergoes a heartfelt rite of passage. This is a literate, powerful, and stirring novel that might very well be Dick's masterpiece.



STEVE GERLACH (site editor - Richard Laymon Kills!) :

My favourite Laymon is THE WOODS ARE DARK.

Why? It's simple really...

THE WOODS ARE DARK was my very first Laymon novel. Before that I was a "Laymon virgin." I used to hang out with the Koontz and King packs, thinking I was cool and knowing what horror really was about. Boy, was I wrong!

I still remember staring at the shelves at Minotaur Books in Melbourne, Australia, checking out the latest King and Koontz releases. After K comes L. There was Laymon, sitting right next to Koontz. Hodder Headline had given him the same cover style and design as Koontz, and he looked like he'd be worth the read.

"What the hell," I thought as I looked around, making sure none of the King or Koontz guys were watching. "They'll never know I tried *this* guy."

The rest is history.

THE WOODS ARE DARK was the novel that brought Richard Laymon into my life. It had everything I was looking for in a novel: terrific characters, a non-stop storyline and twists on almost every page. I started reading and just couldn't put the damn thing down.

And when I was finished a few hours later, I never looked back.

THE WOODS ARE DARK showed me that this Laymon guy was an author I needed to read. I had to get all his books. This was a guy whose story-telling ability was second to none. This was a guy who wrote the stories I wanted to read, without all the padding, flashbacks or pages of description. His stories began on page one, not on page 267.

Just the story, Ma'am, with blood, violence and gore. Who could ask for more?

THE WOODS ARE DARK is not everyone's favourite, that's true. But it sure is mine. It's the first time in my life I got the "Laymon Buzz" running up and down my spine. The first time I found an author who told a story exactly how I thought it should be told. The first time I had contact with Dick, the man I would go on to become good friends with.

It's my personal favourite. I mean, let's face it, you never forget your first time, right?



BRIAN KEENE :

My favorite Laymon is still the first I ever read--THE CELLAR. I discovered
it when I was 14, and it rocked my world. For a kid whose dealings in
horror (up to that point) were Weekly Reader Ghost Stories and the 70's
Marvel and DC horror comics, it was an introduction to a much darker--and
much more fun--world. After reading it, I never looked back...


ERIC HOHEISEL :

I bought THE CELLAR at a local drugstore when I was eleven years old and I have been a fan ever since. I think the pace helped a great deal, at that age I didn't have the attention span for Stephen King. Also, the graphic sex and violence were a big hit on the school bus where the book was passed back and forth between probably thirty kids, though most only read the 'good parts' that were marked with the folded in corner. Unlike many books I've read in the twenty years since I can still remember many of the scenes.





JOHN PELAN :

Favorite Laymon book? (The author pauses and goes upstairs to look at his complete set of Laymon hardcovers, all but one or two inscribed to him by his friend...)
Tough question, from the standpoint of literary merit I think Dick was hitting on all cylinders with THE TRAVELING VAMPIRE SHOW, simply an incredible book. As far as the most useful book, anyone that's serious about making a living as a professional writer needs to read A WRITER'S TALE. It's just that useful, no fluff, no BS, just the facts that one needs. It's the one book I can recommend to someone with the statement that if they do what Dick suggests, their income as a writer will increase.
And then of course we have THE CELLAR... Were it not for Dick writing this and getting it published, (along with James Herbert's THE RATS and Jack Ketchum's OFF SEASON); we might never have had any pushback against the 1970's trend of "quiet horror". THE CELLAR broke all the rules of the time and sold a boatload of copies, and we all owe Dick a debt of thanks for writing it.
But my favorite Laymon book... Years ago, after Dick and I had become friends, I set out to assemble a complete collection of his books in hardcover, (it was a little easier then than it is now), one volume eluded me, (and perhaps eludes many of the Laymon fans that read this newsletter), RESURRECTION DREAMS... A damn hard book to find and I guess now a pretty expensive one... Kathy and I were at a convention with the Laymons, and I made an off-hand remark about being down to just two or three books to finish off the collection. Some months later when we were setting up our table at another convention, Ann walked up and handed me a copy of RESURRECTION DREAMS, saying "Dick wondered if you still needed this..." I looked over and there was Dick with a big grin on his face. That's thoughtfulness personified, and that's why RESURRECTION DREAMS is my favorite Laymon book.

Cheers,

John Pelan
Midnight House
Seattle, WA
Halloween 2002



*********************
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Old 11-22-02, 01:57 PM
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Wow! Apparently I have to read The Cellar.

I've read a few of Laymon's books and my favorites so far are The Travelling Vampire Show and In the Dark.


I was fortunate enough to see a low budget movie version of In the Dark at this years Horrorfind convention. Unfortunately, I doubt if it will ever make the big screen (or even DVD).

http://www.ains.net.au/~gerlach/rlitdmov.htm <--- In the Dark movie info.

Has any Laymon books ever been made into a movie?

Thanks for the post!

-Steve

Last edited by Alien Redrum; 11-22-02 at 02:00 PM.
Old 11-22-02, 03:58 PM
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I just read my first Richard Laymon novel about 2 weeks ago, NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER and I enjoyed immensely. I had no idea that he is unfortunately deceased. Thanks for posting this, I look foward to reading his other works soon and I definitely recommend 'Night in The Lonesome October'
Old 11-25-02, 03:58 PM
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Welcome for the post. Laymon was an amazing author. No other films have been made from his work....yet.
Old 11-26-02, 11:54 AM
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I'm not familiar with Richard Layman's work, but it sounds spectacular. I'll have to pick up one of his novels over Thanksgiving.
Old 11-27-02, 12:38 PM
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Laymon never caught on in the U.S. so most of his work is out of print or was never released. Almost every book he ever wrote is available in the UK, where he is huge.

Leisure has slowly released some of his books in the past couple of years, with plans to release 2 (at least) a year in the future. Of the ones you can get at any bookstore, I'd recommend "The Traveling Vampire Show" or "One Rainy Night". (others, which are also very good, "Island", "In the Dark", "Night in the Lonesome October" and "Among the Missing")

I've been lucky and found some of his long out of print books in used book stores.

Check out Richard Laymon Kills!

Last edited by cineman; 12-11-02 at 10:30 AM.
Old 11-27-02, 11:32 PM
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I have read One Rainy Night, The Traveling Vampier Show, Among the Missing and In the Dark.

Of the 4, I enjoyed The Traveling Vampire Show the most. It's a pretty sick coming of age story.
Old 11-29-02, 12:03 PM
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My favorites are Island and Bite. About a year ago I bought A Writer's Tale and it's pretty good too.
Of the ones that still haven't been released in the US, I think I'd like to read Body Rides the most. The whole premise of that book sounds great.
Old 12-10-02, 11:54 PM
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I really liked One Rainy NIght

But I tried to get into the Traveling Vampire Show...and I got halfway into it and I just got so sick and tired of the main characters I just quit right there.

I also read Bite...it was just so/so.

I was digging Among the Missing...but misplaced the book halfway through
Old 12-11-02, 09:31 PM
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I sort of wondered how Laymon can keep coming up with books, despite being deceased for quite a while. Leisure still has books forthcoming from him, don't they?

I'm assuming that these are all oder books that were previously published in the UK. That, or someone has been writing checks to Andrew Neiderman.
Old 12-12-02, 11:57 AM
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The books Leisure are putting out in the next few years are a mix of books previously published only in the UK (or a couple that are out of print in the U.S.) and new works, never before published that were written before his death.

One of these new works is called Amara. It will be published in the UK in April 2003 and the U.S. in September 2003.

*edit*

The title for the U.S. release has been changed to To Wake the Dead. It will be uncut from the original manuscript.

Leisure will be releasing No Sanctary in July and Blood Games in November in paperback (first U.S. printing of any kind for both titles).

*edit*

Richard Laymon Kills has more details.

Last edited by cineman; 03-21-03 at 09:55 PM.
Old 12-23-02, 10:54 AM
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I just finished "Resurrection Dreams". Very creepy until the end, which came abruptly, IMO. I'll never look at science fairs the same way again...
Old 12-23-02, 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by cineman
I just finished "Resurrection Dreams". Very creepy until the end, which came abruptly, IMO. I'll never look at science fairs the same way again...
Cool - I'll have to read that one next. I'm still waiting for my copy of Midnight's Lair to come in the mail from half.com.
Old 12-23-02, 04:47 PM
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Where is the best place to buy Laymon books unavailable in the US?

Half?
Old 12-26-02, 10:33 AM
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Originally posted by Alien Redrum
Where is the best place to buy Laymon books unavailable in the US?

Half?
I highly recommend Amazon.uk. With shipping, you'll average about $10 a book, for new copies. Great if you just want to read them.

I think that beats paying the $15-$30 that most used book sellers charge for used copies.
Old 12-26-02, 02:50 PM
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Originally posted by cineman
I highly recommend Amazon.uk. With shipping, you'll average about $10 a book, for new copies. Great if you just want to read them.

I think that beats paying the $15-$30 that most used book sellers charge for used copies.


Good deal!
Old 12-28-02, 05:32 PM
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Just finished reading Midnight's Lair.

This was my first Laymon novel, so I didn't know quite what to expect. I must say that I was thoroughly entertained and loved the story - how bizarre and messed up it may have been - can't wait to read another!
Old 12-30-02, 10:18 AM
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I just put down Stephen King's From a Buick 8. I guess I just can't get into a demon-car book right now.

I picked up Laymon's Island and was hooked instantly. Laymon saves.
Old 01-29-03, 05:32 PM
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Finally finished Island. It was another mind-blowing read. Just when I think he won't go any further over the edge, he does.
Old 02-03-03, 05:24 PM
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I am in the middle of Night in the Lonesome October. It's pretty good so far and it sorta reminds me of In the Dark. All I can say is that is one f'd up college town.

Coming up is Quake and The Midnight Tour.
Old 02-05-03, 11:16 AM
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Well, I finished Night In the Lonesome October last night and man..... wow.

I was kind of worried that things weren't gonna get wrapped up but, as usual, Laymon did not disappoint. Things tied together quite nicely and the ending was well done IMO. A little unique.

The only problem I had with it was
Spoiler:
Who exactly did Ed end up with? All 3? Nice.


I just started The Midnight Tour today and I am already hooked.

I think Laymon is beginning to surpass my love for, dare I say it....

King.
Old 03-21-03, 09:50 PM
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I just finished A Writer's Tale. If you are a Laymon fan and you can get ahold of a copy, I highly recommend it. It is an amazing history of his writing.
Old 03-21-03, 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by cineman
I just finished A Writer's Tale. If you are a Laymon fan and you can get ahold of a copy, I highly recommend it. It is an amazing history of his writing.
I'd love to read this. Where did you happen to find a copy?
Old 03-22-03, 12:59 PM
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I bought it on Ebay for $100. Worth every penny.
Old 03-26-03, 05:57 PM
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Just finished Cuts, one of his last books. Laymon, through and through. Has a "twist" ending, which is unusual in his work.

There is one scene that really made me squirm.

It was gross. It was great!

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