RLK! News Archive - January-June 2001

In an effort to keep all historical news releases and important Laymon dates available for his fans, we archive all events that made it to our NEWS page in these special Archive pages. Want to know what date something was released? Want to know what issue of that magazine Richard was in? Then this is the place to look.


June 1, 2001

Laymon wins Stoker for Best Horror Novel of 2000!

On May 26, 2001 at the World Horror Convention in Seattle, Richard's The Traveling Vampire Show took out the Bram Stoker award for best horror novel of 2000. A Stoker award had eluded Richard for the past few years, and the sad irony is that this year he couldn't be there to collect it. Finally, Richard received some of the recognition in his home country that he has so long deserved.

Bad News was also nominated for Best Anthology of 2000, but lost out to The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, 13th Annual Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

Jonathan Torres was at the Awards night, and his report is below:

I attended the World Horror Convention and the HWA Stoker Awards.  The highlight of the weekend was when THE TRAVELING VAMPIRE SHOW received the Stoker (Stroker as Dick had quipped in the past) Award in the BEST NOVEL category.  I am glad that Dick won for TVS, it was high time he won an award, though I think BAD NEWS should have won also in the Anthology category.

Kelly accepted the award in Dick's stead.  Kelly went up to the podium, accepted the award, and read a speech that Dick had written.  I, for one, was wondering what kind of speech she was going to give.  Imagine everyone's surprise when the speech she read was the one Dick had originally written just in case A WRITER'S TALE won the NON-FICTION category in 1999!  It was a 'diddy' (poem) devoid of 'violence and titty' (those are exact quotes) specific to A WRITER'S TALE, but engaging nonetheless.  I could almost hear his voice as Kelly read the words.  After she finished, the room erupted into a standing ovation.

Right before she dashed off the stage, she held the award up and proclaimed, "The Dick is pleased!"

As for FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE BEAST HOUSE, during Jack Ketchum's tribute, he stated that he was sorry there would never be a sequel to THE MIDNIGHT TOUR.  When Kelly went on stage to accept the award, she corrected him stating that FNITBH should be out in August or late August from CD.

And here, thanks to Kelly Laymon, is the poem Richard wrote:

Stoker award acceptance speech in case A WRITER'S TALE should win:

I hope to entertain you
With my little "thank you" ditty
Without gratuitous displays
Of violence or titty.

Thanks to Ann, my darling wife
And Kelly, my bambino --
John Scoleri, Bob More-ish,
And Peter Enfantino.

Thanks, indeed, to Tanner, Bob,
My agent without peer
Who sold my books to Headline
And gave me a career.
Thanks to Michael Bailey,
Chizmar, D'Auria and more...
I'd like to thank a thousand folks
But hate to be a bore...

Kudos, though, to Warner Books
For giving me a start
By publishing THE CELLAR
Then ripping out my heart.

My hat is also off to Tor,
Onyx and St. Martin's Press.
They bought my books...a few, at least...
And published 'em -- more or less.

Here's to ALL the agents
And editors I've known --
Those who've helped my dreams come true
And those who've truly blown --
For they're the ones who gave me
In fabulous detail,
The curious adventure
That I call A WRITER'S TALE.

Before I go, I have to say
My thanks to every joker
Who cast a ballot for my book
So I could win a Stoker.

-- Richard Laymon


There is NO SANCTUARY!

Latest EXCLUSIVE news from Dick's agent, Bob Tanner is that Richard's next hardcover release in December through Hodder Headline in the UK is called: NO SANCTUARY. This is the first release from the Laymon Literary Estate that both Bob Tanner and Dean Koontz have been overseeing. More on this excellent news when it comes to hand!

More news from Bob:

- NO SANCTUARY will be published by Hodder Headline in December 2001 and will be published at a later date in the US.

- Leisure Books in the US has just contracted to publish NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER and DARKNESS TELL US.

- Dean will be writing a forward for both IN THE DARK and ISLAND when they are released by Leisure in the upcoming months.


Latest Laymon chapbooks released!

Check out below the coverart for the two Laymon chapbooks released recently. The Keeper can be found at Gauntlet Press and In The Attic can be found at Camelot Books. Thanks to Kelly Laymon for sending us the artwork.

  

The Keeper chapbook is FREE with any purchase of a Gauntlet signed limited edition (or $40 total purchase). The chapbook can also be purchased for $10 + $2 postage without any other purchase. See the Gauntlet Press website for more details.

For In The Attic, check out the Camelot Books website.


Laymon 101 Class Graduates!

In January this year we reported on the Policing in Contemporary Society class which Sam Smith was teaching at the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). Sam had adopted Laymon's Among the Missing as a supplemental reading for an extra credit book report.

Well, the class is now over and here you'll find Sam's thoughts on the class, plus the feedback on Among the Missing from the class members who submitted a book review and also a photograph of the class with their copies of the book.

"To sum up my course Policing in Contemporary Society, the main objective is make the students aware of how various law enforcement agencies interact with society. The course covered the history of law enforcement in England and the United States. It also covered current and controversial issues within policing and examined the relationship between law enforcement and the community.

The class went well. I had a really great group of kids this semester. I assigned the book Among the Missing as an optional book report for two reasons. One, to encourage students simply to read. Most college students only read text books and many of them do not read for leisure over the summer or upon graduating college. Two, I wanted to introduce them to Richard Laymon's writings. None of these students had ever read anything by Laymon before my class. Now it appears that we have several new fans that have joined our ranks.

-- Sam"

And now, for the reviews:

Among the Missing is a great book. It was the first book that I have read since my senior year in high school.

The book was odd to me since I did not want to put it down. Richard Laymon's book, Among the Missing kept me interested and I was so into it that I would not realize I was reading for a couple of hours or so.

Among the Missing is a great book and I recommend it to anyone who likes to read action and suspense books. - Matt Y.
Among the Missing contains a very creative, plot-twisting story line that makes you unable to put the book down. Richard Laymon is, hands-down, one of the most creative authors that I have ever read.

...I would like to discuss the wonderful detective work in this book. No, the detectives were not right in their suspected lead, but in real life, most detectives never are. It is never as easy in real life, as it is on TV, to catch the bad guys. It usually takes time, patience, and, sometimes a good gut feeling. The Crime Scene investigation was very well written about, and you could almost feel as if the writer were a real police officer.

Laymon kept you on the edge of your seat. That's excellent writing. - Andrea P.
The writing style was another turn on of this book.

Overall I think this is a wonderful novel. I have recommended it to everyone I know, and am looking forward to reading more works by Richard Laymon. - Emily S.
Although I was very skeptical of the book at first, it turned out to be one of the best books that I had read. The format and writing style sharply resembled the techniques used in film writing.

Overall, the book was really good and the twists in the plot caught me every time. -Brad M.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. It was really quick to read and very exciting and entertaining. I would strongly recommend it and look forward to reading more books by Richard Laymon in the future. -Lucas R.
Richard Laymon's murder mystery novel, Among the Missing is the best book that I've ever read. Never before has a book grabbed and kept hold of my attention so completely. The plot was engrossing enough to keep the reader interested at all times, but it was also straightforward enough that you didn't have to go back and read it over again. Laymon combines all aspects into this book. It has suspense, comedy, passion, and fear.

There was not one moment in the entire four-hundred pages that I was not completely engrossed in it. This book is a testament to Richard Laymon's ability as an author. I would recommend that anyone who enjoys a good story would relish reading this novel. - Paul L.
Among the Missing isn't too far off my usual reading list except for the fact that it is fiction. True Crime books are usually my first choice but with the action and somewhat realistic events narrated throughout this book I found myself having to continue on until I was finished. I must agree that Among the Missing is an outstanding book that keeps the reader interested right up until the explosive end. Another interesting fact about this book is that Stephen King (which is one of my favorite authors) also enjoys reading this dramatic tale and even goes as far to say that Richard Laymon is one of his favorite authors. Sadly the recent death of Richard Laymon leaves not much more to the imagination as to what else he can write. I definitely will take advantage of his style of writing that he has published up to this point. Unfortunately, I am sure this is limited especially with the recent death of an obviously structured and talented writer. After reading this book I find myself saddened at the missed opportunity for him to write any more thus me to read any new books of Richard Laymon. - Tori S.
Wow! I loved this book. I usually read Stephen King and Dean Koontz but I have never been so involved in a book. I was completely mesmerized by it; I could not put it down. I hope to read a lot more of his books. His descriptions were fantastic, I felt like I was there and a part of the investigation. I never saw the end coming until I got to it and I was so shocked that I still could not believe it. I cannot say enough good things about this book and this incredible author. - Alison S.
This book starts out by getting your attention quickly and keeping it throughout the entire story.

Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed were the small chapters, which kept you reading, usually a reader will stop or plan to stop at the end of a chapter because they are long, but this book did not make me feel this way, it was perfect in that respect. I also liked the story line and the many twists and turns that kept you wanting to read to find out exactly who the killer was and why. The "Why" or reason a person committed the crime is the biggest thing left out of books and movies. Over all I enjoyed this book and would probably read something by Mr. Laymon again. - Crystal M.
Refreshingly, this book held my interest while hitting on points that were discussed in class. I feel that Laymon showed extensive knowledge on the field of policing. Furthermore, this book helped me better understand the concepts presented during class. At times, I found the book nerve-wracking, because I was afraid something would happen to the 'good guys.' Not only did this book force my class mates and I to reexamine topics discussed in class, but also presented to us what a police officer gives up and puts on the line in order to maintain a safe community. - Nikki T.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it. Not only was it suspenseful, but it had a surprise ending. Richard Laymon did a great job in writing this book and making it a suspenseful realistic novel that taught me several things about community police work. - Bryce C.
I enjoyed this book. The only hang up is the vulgarity of its content. Richard Laymon obviously is not writing to the Christians because they would take this rather offensive. This is not criticism because I enjoyed the book, and the book was as real as you can get but Christian readers would not be able to handle it. This is a great book which if put on the big screen would be an even better movie. - Nathan A.

Looks like we've found ourselves some new Laymonites! Congratulations to Sam and all those people involved!


Laymon Memorial - a personal view by Jonathan Torres.

RLK! is proud to upload this personal view of the Richard Laymon Memorial held in March, with thanks to Jonathan Torres and Ann Laymon:

The following is my experience of the events following the Richard Laymon Memorial Service held at Dark Delicacies on March 3rd. I know this was an emotional and personal experience for those involved and I hope I do not upset anyone who was present by relating my experience.

A little background, I was part of a group of writers/non-writers that included Brian Keene, Geoff Cooper, Weston Oches and many others (please do not take offense to my not listing all names). There were about eight (more including wives/girlfriends) of us mingling around the back of Dark Delicacies between the middle bookcases.

Now this is my experience:

After the service we went outside to stretch, talk and blow off some steam. Brian Keene had to take a walk, he was the most affected second only to Geoff Cooper. Not that we didn't care . . . Our talks ranged from Laymon to our own work. Then one of the guys, Feo Amante I think, opened the trunk to his car and passed out some beers and chilled coffee for Cooper and John Pelan. After that we toasted Richard.

The time now was around 11p and everyone was heading home. Most of the group I was with were actually staying with the Ann and Kelly. They were headed back to the house and invited me along with them. Ann graciously allowed me to go along.

We took the back streets driving through Burbank, meandering through Mulholland, past the Sunset strip into West L.A., close to UCLA (where Dick once worked). I was surprised to find where they lived. When I first moved to L.A. 3 years ago, we lived in West L.A. also, maybe 3-4 miles away.

At the house we unloaded the remaining food from the service and the beer we had stopped to pick up. The Laymon's have a nice cozy house. After passing through the living room there was a glass-top table with boxes, papers and mail strewn about. Four boxes were stacked on the table. Can you guess what they were? They were four manuscript boxes with notes written on the side flaps. I believe these were the four manuscripts tagged by Dean Koontz as being possbily publishable.

I only remember one of the titles, A TIME TO KILL, with the date 1969 on it. The other boxes had title names and either 'unpublished' or 'unpublished with notes' on the side. On top of the boxes were about 30 manuscript pages of THE QUEEN OF THE SUNSET PALACE. I flipped through some pages but did't read anything. Mike Oliveri told me he had read the pages already. Thinking about it now, I should have read some also.

Behind the table was a hallway leading to the bedrooms. One wall was dedicated to various pictures of Kelly from birth on up.

After things were put stowed in the kitchen, Weston Oches got out a bottle of tequila and started pouring shots. Everyone took their shot glass and went into the living room were Weston held a plate containing one empty shot glass, that was for Dick. Everyone then poured a bit of their tequila into the shot glass. Another toast was made and everyone drank. As far as I know, Dick's shot glass was never emptied, though one of the guys suggested that Dick's glass should be poured onto the carpet in memory of him.

After a moment of silence, Brian Keene took me, and some others, up to Dick's office. The office was above their garage and fully operational with bathroom and heat/AC. His office is big. Two walls are lined with plain bookshelves. The other two are lined with bookshelf/storage units. The regular 2 shelves hold books he read or collected. I saw several Koontz books: older editions, psuedonym copies, etc. One shelf/storage units held all his books. I saw about 10 copies of BAD NEWS, paperback/hardback copies of American/UK editions, some of his older juvenile or romance books. He must of had over 20 copies of the UK HB of Island. Some we standing 2 deep in the shelves while some were still in their shrinkwrap from the publisher.

On the other wall, cut short for his work area in the corner, was another shelf/storage unit that held various personal records, his books and limited editions from authors like Koontz, Gorman, Lansdale, etc. For those who have a copy of the CD edition of THE TRAVELING VAMPIRE SHOW, and maybe the Leisure edition, can get a glimpse of one of his bookshelves in the background.

In the corner was his work area. On the big desk sat his new computer. To the right hung the framed cover art to COME OUT TONIGHT. I was told that there was a sheet of paper of his upcoming publishing schedule, but I didn't look at it. The wall behind the desk (his back facing the wall), had some framed pieces of his older short stories. There was the first page art and text from his short story "The Grab" that was in Cavalier I think. There also hung a picture that contained the ad for DARK OF THE WOODS that Dick took out in some magazine to advertise the book (I think the book was DARK OF THE WOODS). Under those pictures was a small table/desk loaded with floppies. One of the floppies I saw was marked somthing like "Traveling Vampire disk 4".

In one of the shelves were other manuscript boxes that seemd to contain manuscript boxes of unpublised pieces. I don't know anything else about those.

After looking around and staring in awe at the units holding his books (we frequently commented on how it was a dream of ours to one day have a wall devoted to our stuff) we all sat down and just hung out. Most of the talk was business: writing, publishing, publishers who were screwing people, upcoming titles from publishers. Then the talk drifted to Marvel comics, horror movies, Godzilla movies, Japanese Anime, computer games. At one point Keene commented that Dick would have enjoyed our bull session.

After a while of talking we went back down. At this point is was about 1:30am. We got some food then went to sit in the living room where Ann was talking with some of the wives/girl friends that had come along. I sat for about 30 minutes then had to leave. It was 2am already and everyone else was still going pretty strong though you could tell Ann was tired. I think Kelly had gone to sleep by now.

I thanked Ann for letting me come along and offered my condolences again. We shared our third hug then I was off.

I know I glossed over a lot of things like who actually was there and other items, but I hope you got an idea of what I saw. Ann and Kelly were very generous with everyone there.



Spotlight On... is back - and we welcome Rain Graves!

RLK! is delighted to bring you this RLK! Exclusive interview with Rain Graves, one of horror's young up-and-comers.

This is our first Spotlight On... feature for the year, and it certainly is one of our best! So, sit back, get comfortable and say hello to Rain at the Spotlight On... page.



From the archives:
Enfantino and Scoleri with Richard in his office in 1999

In memory of Dick, we're dipping into the RLK! archives once a month to bring you a photo of the world's best author, so we can all be reminded of happier times. Here's the third, which we uploaded in June, 1999:


Richard wrote at the time: "This photo was taken in my office on the second floor of my garage. It shows some of my book collection, a cuckoo clock and a sled-dog rug that were gifts from my brother, Bob, an oil painting done by Dave Swartout, a friend of my parents, when I was a little kid, and two more of my favorite publishers. On the left, with his head in the boat, is Peter Enfantino. On the right is John Scoleri. These two guys, along with Bob Morrish, published my first story collection, A GOOD, SECRET PLACE and they published A WRITER'S TALE. They instigated both books (both of which have been nominated for Bram Stoker awards). Neither book would exist except for Peter and John. Unfortunately, they have retired from book publishing (or so they say), but they do publish a magazine called BARE BONES that is full of in-depth nonfiction articles about the earlier years of pulp magazines and paperback genre books and authors.

John and Peter come out to Los Angeles about once a year for a paperback trade show, and we always get together for dinner and have ourselves a good time."


May 1, 2001

Night In The Lonesome October Starred Review in PW.

Night In The Lonesome October has received a starred review in the April 2 edition of Publishers Weekly. An extract from the review (no spoilers) is below:

On February 14, Laymon died of a massive heart attach, aged 54. His death carried a particular poignancy because of late, after several years during which he couldn't find an American publisher even as his books climbed bestseller lists in England and Australia, he was enjoying a comeback here, with his current and backlist work being issued by Cemetery Dance and Leisure Books. Some of Laymon's problems with American publishers arose from the downturn in the horror market in the '90s; more came from what many considered excess sexual violence in his books.

The poignancy of his death shades into irony because his posthumous publication (there are more to come)...features less of the sexual violence...[and] also highlights his tremendous strengths as a writer. This is at once one of the eeriest, and one of the most immediate, horror novels of recent decades...

....Above all, this novel, like so many of his others, is just good old nasty fun to read; it's a traipse through unknown territory, with jack-in-the-boxes of all sorts lurking just behind the next shadow or page.

With Laymon's death, horror has lost one of its rarest talents. Horror fans know this, but, sadly, few others do. That horror remains literature's shunned child needs no further demonstration than that most major media (eg: The New York Times) ignored the death of Laymon, who was, in addition to the author of more than 30 novels, some of them bestsellers, the President of the Horror Writers Association of America. RIP.

Speaking of reviews, the RLK! review page for Night In The Lonesome October can now be accessed from our Reviews section. If you want your review of the book to be included on the page, please feel free to send it to us.


Laymon makes Stoker Awards Nomination List - Twice!

The Horror Writers Association has released the final ballot for this year's Bram Stoker Awards. Richard is nominated in two categories:

NOVEL - Traveling Vampire Show

ANTHOLOGY - Bad News

Let's hope this year will finally be Richard's year.


From the archives:
Laymon and Don D'Auria at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta in 1999

In memory of Dick, we're dipping into the RLK! archives once a month to bring you a photo of the world's best author, so we can all be reminded of happier times. Here's the second, which we uploaded in June, 1999:


Richard wrote: "The fellow standing next to me is my hero, Don D'Auria, the managing editor at Leisure Books. Don was the hit of the convention, not only because he is such a nice guy (and funny), but because he is responsible for running the only mainstream horror line in the United States. And it is succeeding because he knows what he's doing."


More news on the upcoming Horrorfind Weekend...

Plans continue for this summer’s HORRORFIND WEEKEND, also called the “Baltimore Weekend of Terrors”. Judging by the number of reservations already made and the amount of interest expressed by dealers and celebrities, the organizers fully expect this event to be one of the largest and most widely attended horror conventions of 2001.

Sponsored by Horrorfind.Com and Fright Vision, along with special contributors Rue Morgue magazine and Haunted Attraction magazine, this convention will be a one-of-a-kind event, comprising all the different aspects of the horror genre: Horror Movies, Horror Books, Horror Amusements, Halloween Haunt Industry, Haunted House Industry, and the Real-Life Supernatural will all be represented.

Horror Movie Celebrity Guests include: Bruce Campbell (star of Evil Dead I & II, Army of Darkness), Doug Bradley (Hellraiser’s Pinhead), Tom Savini (special effects wizard for Creepshow, Dawn of the Dead, From Dusk Till Dawn), Dick Warlock (Halloween’s ‘Michael Myers’), Tom Morga (Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees), Ben Chapman (Creature From the Black Lagoon), Linnea Quigley (Pumpkinhead II, Nightmare on Elm Street IV), Brinke Stevens (Haunting Fear, Nightmare Sisters), Count Gore De Vol (Host of TV’s Creature Feature) and many more to be announced.

Horror Writer Celebrity Guests include: Douglas Clegg (Mischief, Halloween Man,) Jack Passarella (Wither, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Barry Hoffman (Born Bad, Hungry Eyes, editor of Gauntlet Press), Karen Taylor (author of the Vampire Legacy series from Pinnacle Books), Mark McLaughlin (Shoggoth Cacciatore, editor of The Urbanite), Gerard Houarner (I Love You And There’s Nothing You Can Do About It, The Beast That Was Max), Brian Keene (No Rest For The Wicked, editor of Jobs In Hell), Mason Winfield (occult investigator, author of A Ghosthunter’s Journal), JF Gonzalez (Clickers, Shapeshifter), Weston Ochse (Natural Selection, Scary Rednecks and Other Inbred Horrors), Holly Newstein and Ralph W. Bieber (Out Of The Light) and many more to be announced.

Richard Laymon, who passed away on Valentine’s Day, was to have been a Celebrity Guest. A special presentation of different authors reading selections of his work in his memory is planned.

Events include a massive dealer’s room, live midnight séance, celebrity Q & A sessions, author readings, stand-up horror comedy, horror movie room, walk-through Haunted House, real ghost stories, mass celebrity and author autograph signing event, individual autograph sessions, music, nightly parties, and much more.

Celebrity panels during the weekend will cover such topics as starting your own magazine, writing horror, building horror webzines, getting started in the haunted house business, comedy in horror, vampires, censorship, haunted house industry methods and scares, real-life violence and the genre, dark poetry, getting published, and much more.

The Horrorfind Weekend takes place August 24th, 25th and 26th, 2001 at the BWI Airport Marriott in Baltimore, Maryland. The Marriott is five minutes from BWI Airport and 12 minutes from downtown Baltimore. There is a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. The bars, restaurants, indoor pool, lobby, dealer’s room and convention rooms are all on the first floor, making it ideal for a great event.

For the convention, special discounted Horrorfind room rates are only $99 a night. Make reservations at the BWI Airport Marriott by calling 1-800-228-9290. Make sure that you mention the Horrorfind Weekend to take advantage of the special room rate. The hotel reports that rooms are going quick.

Tickets for the convention are selling briskly as well. Advance ticket purchases made before April 15th, 2001 are only $20 for the entire weekend. After April 15th, tickets will be $25 for the entire weekend. There will be no admission without a ticket. To purchase advance tickets, make your check payable to and mail to:

HORRORFIND.COM LLC
9722 Groffs Mill Drive PMB 109
Owings Mills, MD 21117

Advance tickets can also be purchased online via Paypal, by visiting the Horrorfind Weekend website: http://www.horrorfind.com/show.

There is a limited amount of Dealer tables left. Tables are $150 each, for the entire weekend. These are 8 feet-long, heavy, fold out, covered tables. There are only a few tables left. To reserve a table, email convention@horrorfind.com or call 410-596-2710.


April 2, 2001

Laymon Memorials

Below are the two reports on the Laymon Memorial Services, held on March 3 in Burbank, USA and Melbourne, Australia.

BURBANK

THE RICHARD LAYMON LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL
By
G. B. Michaels


Dark Delicacies is a small and rather non-descript store (except for the seven foot tall Frankenstein’s Monster out front.) It would be easy to pass if you didn’t know what you were looking for. So much for the outside.

Inside it’s an altogether different creature. Ghoulish trinkets, dark jewelry, posters and paintings, and, of course, books. Oh so many books. It wouldn’t be hard to get lost in your dreams there. But that’s not why we gathered.

We came to say goodbye. Or perhaps to let him know that we remember— And we won’t forget.

By 7 PM, the official start of the gathering, there weren’t many folks there. Proprietors Del and Sue Howison were on hand, along with two vanloads of family and close friends. We trickled up and down the book aisles, running our fingers over the spines of so many stories. A few waited up front, by the door, looking over the three poster-board spread of pictures Kelly Laymon had prepared. The pictures told a story, in no particular order. They were a hodge-podge of memories, each one as precious as the next. Here, Dean Koontz and Richard clown around at Universal Studios. There, Richard and Brian Keene launch an assault on Feo Amante at Keene-Con 2000. Each snapshot is a memory, a frozen moment of time. Sure it sounds corny—corny until you realize that it is true. Richard with Edward Lee and Jack Ketchum. Richard with Don D’Auria. Richard with friends. Richard with family. Richard at play. Richard at work. Richard…

There was a memorial guest book to sign and snack table to visit as well.

People started to arrive and visited both.

And then more. And some more.

At the opposite end of the building rows of fold-up chairs, seating for perhaps seventy-five to eighty people, faced away from the entrance and filled nearly half of the store. The aisles between the shelved books and horror knick-knacks filled with wandering people and clustered people. Conversations broke apart to reform elsewhere with a slightly different compliment.

More people arrived. The store filled quickly.

There weren’t any stars. No heroes and no noticeably notables. Yes this is L.A., but friends of Laymon don’t play that shit. Tonight everyone stowed their artisan mantles and simply became friends of Dick Laymon. The fans showed, but there weren’t any fan shots tonight either. No autographs or shoulder-pinching pictures.

Half an hour before the memorial started the chairs began to fill. Some tired of standing, perhaps, and others were jockeying for the best seat. Before Del took center stage and ushered a semblance of order into the small store more than half of the seats were occupied.

By the time he began, they were filled, as were the aisles, the corners, and the doorway.


(From left to right) Mike Oliveri, Feo Amante, and Brian Keene

Del started with recognition as to why we were gathered. Not to commiserate or hug and cry, but to nod to what was right when Richard Laymon was with us. To consider his life, celebrate his victories, and remember his smile. Afterwards Del laid down the ground rules – we could take turns stepping up front to speak our own personal remembrances, and between each speaker he’d read a few of the notes received from fans and friends abroad who couldn’t make the trip.

Brian Keene opened the service, reading aloud “Among The Missing: Richard Laymon In Remembrance”, the memorial essay he had written for both Jobs In Hell and the HWA Newsletter. He was followed by Rain Graves and Michael Oliveri, both of whom also spoke of Laymon’s effect on the younger generation of horror writers. Long-time friend Gary Brandner spoke next, offering a touching remembrance of Richard from horror’s glory days. Other’s who offered testimonials were authors such as Geoff Cooper, Nancy Holder, Dominick Cancilla, and Weston Ochse, who read a written statement from Irish writer Eoghain O’Keeffe.

But horror writers weren’t the only ones touched by Richard Laymon, nor were they the only attendees who had something to say. Bookstore owners like Alan Beatts of Borderlands Books, web masters like Eddie “Feo Amante” McMullen of Feo Amante.Com, neighbors of the Laymon family, and fans of Richard’s work all took turns speaking what was in their hearts and on their minds.

Del Howison read remembrances from people around the world, including Joe Lansdale, Robert Devereaux, Stanley Wiater, Garrett Peck, JF Gonzalez, Edo van Belkom, Steve Gerlach, and fans from all over the globe. Perhaps the most poignant tribute of all was the one delivered by Frank De Laratta (the inspiration for “Pete” in THE STAKE), who spoke of Richard not as a fan of his books or as a fellow writer, but as “just a friend.”

Others who showed up to pay their respects were Bentley Little, Michael T.. Huyck Jr., Craig Spector, Dennis Etchison, Jeremy Lassen (Freak Press), Mary Ann Mitchell, Jason Williams (Nightshade Books), Gak, and Jonathan Torres.

Author and editor John Pelan delivered the final remembrance of the evening, in which he likened the group of writer’s and friends that Richard Laymon had inspired to a modern day Lovecraft’s Circle.


(From left to right)Mike Oliveri, Mikey Huyck, Weston Ochse,
and the back of Jonathan Torres's head.

The service was concluded with a showing of the Dark Dreamers television episode in which Stanley Wiater interviewed Richard.

The silence in the store during the viewing spoke volumes…

Then the memorial was over, and the crowd again splintered into groups. At the snack table, Bentley Little talked quietly with Weston Ochse. In the aisle, Alan Beatts talked with Jason Williams and in the corner; Michael T. Huyck Jr. commiserated with Frank De Laratta and Ann Laymon. Several fans gathered in the Laymon section and discussed favorite titles. Outside, about two dozen writers and fans participated in an impromptu curbside toast, led by Feo Amante. Past them, John Pelan confered with Rain Graves and Gak. On a nearby street corner, Brian Keene stared off into the sky above L.A., while Geoff Cooper disappeared down an alley.

I watched them all, these writers and readers, fans and friends. They stood apart and in constantly shifting groups. But one thing was evident. Something tied them all together as one.

Richard Laymon.

And that is the one thing they each took home with them.

MELBOURNE

THE RICHARD LAYMON MELBOURNE MEMORIAL
By
Steve Gerlach


It was a lovely autumn afternoon in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. A fitting place to hold a memorial, but certainly not the right place to talk about horror.

Or was it?

The lovely green gardens and clear blue waters were still, deathly silent. And one look skywards would be greeted with thousands of tiny beady eyes.

Yep, you read right. Beady eyes.

Melbourne is suffering from a plague of fruit bats. Thousands of the furry little guys were perched, hanging upside down, in the trees above.

Watching...

I think Dick would have chuckled at the scene. Somehow it was just the kind of unnerving landscape that could have featured in a Laymon novel...

Were the bats about to attack? Or were they waiting for some kind of sign? We'll never know...

The Melbourne Laymon Memorial Event began at 4pm on Saturday, March 3. There was initially some confusion as to the meeting place, as there are actually *two* cafes in the Botanical Gardens, and people arrived at both. Still, like intrepid Laymonites that we are, a small party was sent into the woods to find the others and, unlike a Laymon novel, they all came back safely.

Once the two groups were united, almost two hours was spent under the tall trees in the gardens. We talked everything Laymon: from fond memories of our favourite Laymon novels, to the IN THE DARK movie; from favourite characters to best scenes; from what Dick meant to us to how we would survive without him. The two hours passed quickly.

Packing up our gear, we headed to McKillop Street in Melbourne, where the Haunted Melbourne Ghost Tour (http://www.haunted.com.au) was to begin at The Haunted Bookshop. Deciding we didn't have much time to eat before the tour, we brought a little American flavour to the event by stopping at McDonalds for a quick bite.

Then, at 8pm we headed inside The Haunted Bookshop to meet our tour guide, Drew Sinton. Dressed like someone from a Laymon novel, with a long flowing coat and wide brimmed hat, he welcomed us to his bookstore and told us to take a moment to look around. Everything occult could be found in the store. From The Antichrist Bible to Spells and Ouija boards, the darkly-lit bookstore (with seance room out the back) set the tone for the night to come.

And soon we were back out the door and away on the tour. For "the world's most livable city", Melbourne had suddenly gone very quiet. In fact, for a Saturday night (and the night of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix - held no more than two kilometers away) there was hardly any sound at all. This did not surprise our guide, Drew, who informed us that the centre of Melbourne is built on cemeteries and is "the only cemetery in the world lit up at night."

The bats flew overhead as we walked down the backstreets of Melbourne. An eerie silence fell over the group as we listened to tales of mass murder, suicide and horrific accidents. To take you all step-by-step through the tour would ruin it for those who may one day walk that same route so, needless to say, we got our money's worth.

But some of the highlights included walking by the scene of the 1987 Queen Street massacre - an office building that's now an international hotel. Pity the international guests in certain rooms... We toured through back alleys and past Australia's first AIDS quarantine building. We came to building after building whose street numbers added up to 13. Even two bouncers outside two different haunted pubs wore security tags numbered 13.

Maybe someone was trying to tell us something...

But for pure Laymon-like chills and thrills, you couldn't go past the old Cobb & Co building.


It has now been converted into a carpark but, naturally, it holds a grim secret. Can you see a ghost on the first floor platform? In the middle of the night, and in the silence, we were invited to roam around the big empty building one by one. To walk out the back, completely cut off from the rest of the group, to find out what "vibes we could pick up". Naturally, we were then told of the horrific axe murder that took place there early last century. In cold, calm tones, Drew related how the murder took place and used his flashlight to trace the route the ghost takes when it is seen; usually on cold, windy winter's nights.

These horrid events have left the building with the legacy of a ghost that from time to time has enjoyed scaring the wits (and a lot more) out of people! Even the carpark attendants and security guards won't stay there! For an open building in the middle of Australia's second biggest city, it was eerily deserted, cold and dank.

Did we see anything? Naaaaah.

Were we freaked out?? Oh Yeah!

I'm sure I could hear Dick chuckling through it all.

On the last leg of the two-and-a-half-hour tour, and with the bats still arcing overhead, we arrived at Queen Victoria Market. The "Queen Vic" is Melbourne biggest and most famous market and, you guessed it, built on the site of a cemetery. We stood in the catholic section while forklifts spun around us, preparing the merchandise for Sunday's market.

In the end, the night was a raging success. As we all split up to go our separate ways (most to head off back to certain areas of the tour to find what they could "dig up" themselves) we left united as a group of like-minded individuals.

A group brought together by one man: Richard Laymon.

And that's one of the things I have heard and read repeatedly since Dick's passing, in email after email and phone call after phone call, is how proud every Laymon reader is to have known Dick, either personally, or through his writing. And how wonderful it is they have met like-minded people - other Laymonites - who are now friends, because of him.

As one Laymonite said at the end of the night, "What do I do now that my hero is gone?"

It's a question we had all thought. And sadly, we had no answer.

But Dick will live on in his books and in the hearts of his readers worldwide. And those very same readers will introduce new readers to Dick's works. And that way, we all help keep Dick's memory alive.

And as the bats flew over our heads as we made our way back to the car, I couldn't help looking up past their fluttering wings and smiling at the half-moon.

I knew it then: Dick would have enjoyed the tour. He would have got a real kick out of it.

And I had no doubt in my mind that, wherever he is now, he is looking down on us and enjoying every minute.

The Dick *IS* pleased.

And a special message from Ann and Kelly Laymon:

"To all our good friends, Dick's fans and all, there is no way to express our thanks and gratitude for your expression of love through your acts of kindness, cards, etc. We are especially grateful to Sue and Del Howison for the wonderful memorial service at Dark Delicacies and those who attended."


From the archives: Laymon and Ketchum catch up in New York

In memory of Dick, we're going to dip into the RLK! archives once a month to bring you a photo of the world's best author, so we can all be reminded of happier times. Here's the first, which we uploaded in October, 1999:

Here's a great picture of Richard and Jack Ketchum at Jack's local pub, The Aegean, in New York City. The picture was taken by Kelly, Richard's daughter, on August 10, 1999.



Also this month...

Other news of interest this month:

Simon Clark pays tribute to Richard at his website Nailed by the Heart.

Both Hellnotes and Horrornet now have Laymon Tribute Boards online too.

You can also find an obituary for Richard at Amazon.com.

Volume 12 - Issue 11 of The Official Newsletter of the Horror Writers Association featured a 27 page tribute to Richard. Those who took time to relate fond memories of Richard included Brian Keene, Tim Lebbon, Joe Lansdale, Geoff Cooper, Steve Gerlach, Tom Piccirilli, Jack Ketchum, Clifton Holmes, Mort Castle, Ed Gorman, John Pelan, Simon Clark and more.


March 3, 2001

Bob Tanner on the Laymon Literary Estate

RLK! has just spoken with Bob Tanner, Richard's agent, and he outlined the following about the Laymon Literary Estate:

A. Just prior to Dick's death, they (Bob and Dick) secured a four-book contract with Hodder Headline and a new two book contract with Leisure Books.

B. Dean Koontz and Bob are going through the manuscripts left behind by Dick to find which, in their opinion, are ready for publication.

C. Dick's next contracted work is due to Hodder Headline in July this year. So there *will* be a new title early in 2002.

D. Bob will keep RLK! up to date with more news as it comes along.

In other news, Don D'Auria from Leisure Books said, "I'm hoping we'll be able to keep going with Dick's work. There are lots of books that have been done in the UK that have never seen US print. I'm hopeful that there will continue to be new Laymon books in the States, both in hardcover and paperback."


March 1, 2001

Details of the Laymon Literary Estate

RLK! will be speaking soon with Dean Koontz who, along with Richard's agent, Bob Tanner, is managing the Laymon Literary Estate for the Laymon family. We'll bring you the news about the Estate as soon as we receive it. Meanwhile, below are some points reported by Hellnotes:

Richard's literary estate is being organized and catalogued now.

Dean has already discovered four completed manuscripts and several other partially-complete manuscripts.

It's early days yet, but Dean expects more material to come to light soon.

U.S. publishers are already expressing interest in publishing the new material.



Laymon Memorial services - Burbank and Melbourne

A reminder about the US Laymon Memorial service to be held at Dark Delicacies bookstore in Burbank, California, on Saturday, March 3. The service will begin at 8:00 pm in the evening. The address is: 4213 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank CA 94505 phone (818) 556-6660.

A smaller, more informal service will be held on the same date in Melbourne, Australia (home of RLK!). The Melbourne service will start at 4pm in the Royal Melbourne Botannical Gardens. The meeting place is the cafe inside the gardens. Dinner will follow around 6pm and the event will end with The Haunted Melbourne Ghost Tour. This tour takes place from 8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. and costs $20. (It is also a tour RLK! had discussed with Dick on many occasions as something worth seeing if he ever made it "Down Under"). Feel free to drop by and bring your Laymon thoughts and memories with you. For more information, call (03) 9843 4893 8am - 4:30 pm weekdays.



Other news this month...

There's a terrific review of Dreadful Tales in February's edition of Shivers Magazine, issue #86. They list it as one of the best horror books of 2000. The review can be found at http://www.visimag.com/shivers/h86_display.htm.

There's a Richard Laymon memorial message board online at the UK Terror Tales site. Leave your thoughts and memories at http://www.terrortales.co.uk/terrortalk.htm.

Also, a reminder that Richard wrote a wonderful 5-page introduction to Ed Gorman's just-published SUCH A GOOD GIRL AND OTHER CRIME STORIES (5-Star Mystery Series HC, pub. 2001). In it, he examines Ed Gorman's "lover's quarrel with humanity" in his dark, poignant stories of "the untamed wilderness of the human heart." Written with ringing admiration and friendship, Laymon's introduction is honest, insightful and a real treat for Laymon and Gorman fans alike.

We've added more original Laymon cover artwork to the Midnight Tour section of RLK! Check out the original artwork and buy some to hang on your wall today!

And, finally, here's the cover artwork for Brian Keene's terrific short-story collection NO REST FOR THE WICKED, mentioned below on January 1 this year.


February 18, 2001

Update from Alan Beatts

I've just gotten back from Los Angeles where I have been since yesterday helping Ann and Kelly Laymon with arrangements. I know that, at a time like this, one wonders how the family are holding up and if there is anything that can be done to help.

As those who know them might expect, Ann and Kelly are doing fine. They have a good support network in the form of their friends and family members. Though this has been a terrible shock to them, they are optimistic and deeply touched by the outpouring of sympathy that the community has expressed. To answer the question that one wants to ask but can't - Their financial situation is perfectly fine. Furthermore, yes, they are eating (smile).

Without endlessly repeating information that appeared elsewhere - Dick died at around 9:30 am on the 14th. He died at home and was attended by his wife, Ann. The cause of death was heart failure and it was very sudden. He didn't suffer. He was 54 years old. His body will be cremated and there will be no public interment service. However, there will be a public memorial service held in Los Angeles on the 3rd of March. The memorial service will take place at Dark Delicacies (4213 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank CA 94505 phone (818) 556-6660) at 8:00 PM.

It is unfortunate that the formal announcement of Dick's death was preceded by rumors. It was unavoidable and not the intention of the family.

He will be sorely missed.

Sincerely,
Alan Beatts

February 16, 2001

Statement from the Laymon family

Just received this statement from Kelly Laymon:

"Richard Laymon died on Wednesday morning, February 14, 2001 of a massive heart attack in his Los Angeles home.

A memorial service will be held at Dark Delicacies bookstore in Burbank, California, on Saturday, March 3, 2001. The service will begin at 8:00 pm in the evening. If you can come, feel free to bop on by. If you can't make it, you CAN send a message to Del and Sue Howison and it will be read at the service. You can contact them at:

darkdel@darkdel.com

-- Kelly"


February 15, 2001

Richard Laymon - In Memoriam

It is our sad duty to inform you all that Richard died of a heart-attack on February 14.

Our sympathies and thoughts are with Ann and Kelly at this most difficult time.

Richard was a wonderful person as well as a terrific writer who reached out to all of us through his books. His fans world-wide are shocked by this terrible and sudden news.

If you wish to send your condolences to the Laymon family, please feel free to email us and we will pass them on.

There will be a memorial service for Richard on March 3 at 8PM at the Dark Delicacies bookstore. The address is 4213 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank, CA. Phone: (818) 556-6660.



We will all miss you, Dick. This planet just won't be the same without you.

Through your books and stories, you will live on in our hearts and minds forever.

Farewell, dear friend and mentor.

-- Steve, Addie & Whitley



February 1, 2001

News on Laymon's newest novel
THE QUEEN OF THE SUNSET PALACE


Here's the latest news about the book Richard is now working on, currently titled THE QUEEN OF THE SUNSET PALACE:

"It's not a vampire book. I can't say anything about the story, but it is intended to be my first Leisure hardbound, and will probably be published at about the same time by Headline in the UK. I got about 195 pages into it before it was interrupted by the holidays, my trip, etc. Now that I've got the new computer and printer and everything is working (with the help of Jerry Lentz, who spent two hours laboring over it), I'm about to resume the actual writing. I hope to have it done before World Horror and the Stokers in May."

And, naturally, we can't wait to read it!


The Latest from Richard...

Richard has just returned from his vacation. In his exclusive travelogue below, you'll find out more about his trip, his latest writing projects...and dead printers:

Thank you very much for the birthday wishes, and thanks to the many terrific people who sent birthday wishes to me through RLK!. It's really amazing and gratifying that so many people would take the time to do such a thing.

I was actually somewhere in New Mexico on my birthday. Ann and I took off in our Jeep Cherokee (1990) on January 3 and drove to Fort Mohave, Arizona, where we hooked up with Frank and Kathy DeLarratta. Most RLK regulars will be familiar with Frank and Kathy because we've gone on numerous trips with them (seven? so far), and THE STAKE was inspired by a visit with them to some ghost towns. (THE STAKE is also dedicated to them.) Last year, we went with them through Nevada, visiting Rachel and checking out the Area 51 region.

Our trips with them always seem to focus on UFOs, government conspiracies, A-bombs, ghosts and cowboys. This year, we saw a lot of Billy the Kid sites, including the Lincoln County Courthouse (where he killed two people in an escape) and his grave. We also went to Columbus, NM, which Poncho Villa invaded with an army of 1,000, burning buildings and killing 8 townfolks in 1916. Also, we went to Los Alamos where the Manhattan Project developed the A-bombs that brought about the Japanese surrender in 1945. And Alamagordo and White Sands, where a lot of military testing goes on.

Among the highlights, however, was our visit to Roswell, New Mexico. That's where a UFO (or more) supposedly crashed in 1947. We visited the UFO museum. And also got to meet Glen Dennis, who was an undertaker in Roswell at the time of the UFO incident. We got to meet him, talk to him and get his autograph. He was phoned by someone from the air base and told that they needed as many child-sized coffins as he could get his hands on. He also went out to the base and met a nurse who supposedly actually saw alien bodies. She subsequently disappeared. Anyway, it was pretty exciting to meet someone who was actually involved in the incident. His name is probably familiar to those of you who have studied the Roswell incident. Apparently, he was even portrayed in the ROSWELL movie with Kyle McLaughlin. (Please forgive my spelling.)

While at the UFO museum, we got our hands on a map to the "crash site." So the next day, we all piled into Frank's Blazer and drove out there. It's a good thing he had four-wheel drive. The last part of the trip was over a very rugged dirt road through a heavily wooded mountainous area. The map was a little vague and there were absolutely no signs or markers to indicate where the crash site was located. (When the government covers something up, they don't post signs. And apparently markers that are put there by UFO buffs get quickly removed.)

Anyway, darkness was fast approaching by the time we reached the vicinity of the crash site. It was supposed to be 50-100 yards north of a certain camping area. Only problem, there were TWO campsites and we weren't sure which one it was. So we explored the areas north of both campsites. Nobody else was up there. It was very desolate (and cold) and darkness was coming down. But we wandered around, taking photos and video tape. We think, between the two areas, that we saw the crash site but we'll have to look at our tapes and photos to try to confirm it. Pretty creepy up there. I'm sort of a worrier, and was worried we wouldn't be able to find our way back to the car. But we did . . . and drove out of the area after dark.

We covered about 3,000 miles during the trip, and didn't get back until the night of January 18. That was just a couple of days before the start of the HWA art contest to come up with a new logo. And I came back to find myself overwhelmed with email and other sort of work.

But I couldn't work on my novel. My old printer had gone down a few weeks before Christmas. I'd bought a new printer, but it wouldn't work because my computer was too old. So, after getting back from the trip, I went out and bought a new computer using cash that Ann had collected over the past year or so by selling copies of my books to fans. I hooked up the new computer . . . but the printer STILL wouldn't run. So I went out and bought some new software: Microsoft Works with Word. In the past, I've always written on Wordperfect, but everyone has been saying I need to start writing on Word. So I bought the Word and installed it.

The printer STILL wouldn't work. I imagined myself hurling my computers and printers out the second-story window of my office. I threatened twice to run out and buy a typewriter. But then I phoned my friend, Jerry Lentz. The next day, he came over to the house. After two hours (including a long phone call to the technical service people at the printer company) he was able to get the whole thing working.

So I'm back in business. I'm now in the process of transferring 200 pages of my next novel, THE QUEEN OF THE SUNSET PALACE, into the new computer, changing it into Word (which means removing every page number by hand), and printing it up. After it's printed, I'll be able to reread it and return to writing . . . I hope.

By the way, this might be a good time to mention that Alan Clark (the artist) and I are working on a children's book. I've already finished writing it. It's called, THE HALLOWEEN MOUSE. We're hoping it'll be published by Cemetery Dance. I put my pooh-reading, and so on, to good use . . . I hope.

I'm also in the process of reading and correcting the proof pages for the Headline edition of NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER. That novel will be coming out in March (I think) from Headline and (in the US) from Cemetery Dance.

The HWA logo contest ended last night. The top three vote-getters (by John Turi, Marge Simon and GAK) were all great. Any of them would've been a terrifc choice, but the winner (featuring a mountain-top castle) by John Turi is really wonderful. It's bright and gorgeous.

Thanks again to everyone for the birthday greetings. And thanks to you, Steve and Addie, for another year of Richard Laymon Kills!. I hope everyone has a really good 2001. And that we'll see some of you in Seattle in May!

Best,

Dick



New Laymon Message Board

With the sad closing down of the wonderful Masters Of Terror message board, and due to requests from visitors to RLK!, we are happy to step into the breach and provide the official RLK! Message Board.

Check it out at: http://guestbooks.netservices.gr/readgb.cgi?name=RichardLaymonKills and feel free to leave a post or two! (A direct link to the board can also be found on our welcome page.)



Cover artwork for the CD Publications version of
NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER


We've already provided you with the UK cover artwork for NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER (due in March). Now check out the US cover thanks to Cemetery Dance Publications!:




World Horror Convention 2001 details

A website is now online with all the details of the 11th Annual World Horror Convention, to be held Memorial Day weekend, May 25 to May 28, 2001, in Seattle, Washington, USA. Richard is one of the Guests of Honor this year, and RLK! may be making a surprise appearance too. More details when they come to hand.

Find out more at: http://www.whc2001.org/.


January 14, 2001

Happy Birthday Richard!

January 14 is Richard's 54th birthday! RLK! and all our members would like to wish Richard a very happy Birthday! An email containing all the well-wishes from his readers has been sent to him today. We wish him well this year. Keep up the great work, Richard!



Publisher's Weekly list Laymon in Year-In-Review!

Publisher's Weekly listed The Travelling Vampire Show in its annual year-in-review "starred reviews" column for SciFi/Fantasy/Horror in 2000. Here's the excerpt:

Established names dominated the best science fiction of 2000. ...In horror, though, which continues to undergo a renaissance due in large measure to the publisher Cemetery Dance, the "big" names--King, Straub, Barker--were notably absent from PW's starred reviews while less-known but innovative, even influential, authors prevailed: John Shirley, for instance, with metaphysical horror in Demons; Douglas Clegg with a masterpiece of emotional horror, You Come When I Call You, and Richard Laymon with the flat-out fun horror read of the year, The Traveling Vampire Show.

The Traveling Vampire Show
Richard Laymon (Cemetery Dance)


The career of Laymon, "once dead in the States, though not overseas, has risen anew, thanks largely to Cemetery Dance, which has issued his work.... This book, his best in years [offers] his trademark squeaky-clean yet sensual prose, high narrative drive and pitch-dark sense of humor.... A horror tale that's not only emotionally true but also scary and, above all, fun."

The full article can be found at: http://www.publishersweekly.com/starredreviews/SciFi.asp.



Take a peep at PEEP SHOW!

A terrific new horror magazine is about to hit the stands. Here's the press release from Paul Fry, the editor:

PEEP SHOW

Short, Scary Tales Publications is very proud to announce the launch of a new print magazine.

Published biannually (June, December) Peep Show aims to bring you the very best in erotic horror fiction and artwork from new and well-known horror writers and artists.

Please visit the website at peepshowmagazine.co.uk for more details and for the submission guidelines if you are interested in contributing.

You can email the editor, Paul Fry at editor@peepshowmagazine.co.uk (inquiries only). Or you can contact me via snail mail at:

Paul Fry,
15 North Roundhay,
Stechford,
Birmingham. B33 9PE.
England.
(Please enclose a SSAE for a reply.)

Your submissions and inquiries are always welcome and appreciated!

The small press needs your support to survive. I hope you will subscribe to this magazine and help me keep it alive.

Kind regards,
Paul Fry.
Editor/Publisher.



January 7, 2001

RLK! 4th Birthday Competition Winners

Find out who won the prizes in last month's RLK! 4th Birthday Competition, and also check out the answers to all the important questions!

Did you guess the trick answer to Competition 4?
Just who are the top 10 favorite authors on the Leisure list?
And who are the top 10 authors you would MOST LIKE to see Leisure publish?

Head on over to the RLK! 4th Birthday Competition page now.


January 1, 2001

RLK! Welcomes you to 2001!

Welcome to 2001! Hope you're all looking forward to another great Laymon year! 2001 is going to be a terrific year, that's for sure...so make sure you come along for the ride!

-- Steve and the RLK! team.



Happy Birthday Richard!

Richard turns 54 on January 14.

Everyone associated with Richard Laymon Kills! would like to wish Richard a happy birthday. If you would like to add your name to our "email card", email us and we will pass your good wishes on to him.

Email Us Now!


RLK! 4th Birthday Competition Winners!

Well, December is over and so are our 4th Birthday celebrations. We'll be going through all the entrants in this first week of January to pick the winners. Thanks to everyone who entered - and good luck. The winners will be contacted by email and their names will be listed on the 4th Birthday Competition page. Look for a list of the winners by January 7.

Thanks once more to everyone who was involved! Hodder Headline Australia, Hodder Headline UK, Leisure Books, Richard Laymon, Rhian Bromage, Edward Petrie, Amanda Baldwin, Brett Osmond, Don D'Auria, and all the entrants! Thanks again!



TRIAGE news breaks...!

There have been whispers around the horror community of a secret Laymon/Ketchum/Lee collaboration which has been in the works. Here's some breaking news about the project, called TRIAGE which appeared in a recent HELLNOTES newsletter:

'[Ed] Lee recently completed a fourth novella, "In the Year of Our Lord: 2202," that will be included in a three-way h/c collection entitled Triage, which also contains a novella by Richard Laymon and one by Jack Ketchum. All three novellas are based on the same prologue, written by Laymon. It's not yet clear, however, who will publish the collection. '

More news on this when it breaks!


IN THE DARK exclusive interview...!

We have great pleasure in bringing you an RLK! Exclusive interview with IN THE DARK movie director Clifton Holmes and producer Dwayne Holmes. The interview, called BROTHERS AND ARMS, was conducted by our good friend Brian Keene and is the most in-depth and up-to-date interview currently available about the film. This interview is a must read for all Laymon fans. Find out the latest news and all the behind-the-scenes details of the making of the first ever Laymon film! Our thanks goes to Brian for conducting a terrific interview and providing RLK! with permission to publish it in full.

Surf on over to the RLK! IN THE DARK Movie Page now to read it.

Speaking of Brian, here's some news on his latest project, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, which includes an introduction by Richard:

NO REST FOR THE WICKED
By Brian Keene

Publisher: Imaginary Worlds Press
http://www.imaginary-worlds.com

Release Date:
Hardcover May 26, 2001
Paperback: To Be Announced

Introduction "No Rest For The Wicked Keene" by Richard Laymon.

Brian Keene first emerged on the horror scene in 1997 with an appearence in the American genre mag Cabal Asylum. His story in that issue, "Down Under", firmly knocked the vampire culture on its ass and has become a cult favorite since then.

NO REST FOR THE WICKED contains "Down Under", as well as other stories from the first three years of Keene's career. Among the tales: "The Burn Barrel" (which made the preliminary ballot for a Bram Stoker Award and recieved Honorable Mention in THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR), "Caught In A Mosh", "Hunting Season" (winner of the Blindside Press Best Short Story Award), "Deliver Us From Meeble" (co-written with David Niall Wilson) and many more.

The book carries a hilarious and poignant introduction by Richard Laymon, who Keene has named as his #1 influence growing up. Said Laymon, of Keene's upcoming debut novel MORE THAN INFINITY, "Brian Keene is one of the brightest young writers around. He crafts top-notch, horrifying thrillers."

In his introduction, Laymon chronicles Keene's meteoric rise in the horror fiction genre, and recounts some personal anecdotes as well.

The publisher is expecting the book to sell out quickly. Contact Imaginary Worlds for pre-ordering information.


Laymonology 101

A Richard Laymon novel has made it on to the reading list for the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). Here's the news, as related to us by Sam Smith:

"I have been teaching in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) for nine years. USI is the third largest university in Indiana.

I teach part time, one three hour night class per week. I have taught the following classes for USI; Introduction to Criminology, Deviant Behavior (now there is a class that I should have introduced Laymon's writings) and Juvenile Delinquency.

I will be teaching a course entitled Policing in Contemporary Society that will begin in the Spring semester of 2001. I have adopted Laymon's Among the Missing as a supplemental reading for an extra credit book report. Usually, I get 90-95 percent participation in extra credit assignments, including book reports. So it is now official, Laymon is part of a college curriculum.

My first choice was Laymon's The Quake. Unfortunately, the university bookstore cannot find it in print to order at least 30 copies. The university bookstore will not order books overseas. So this semester, I chose Among the Missing.

My ideal course would be teaching a semester on the writings of Richard Laymon, maybe call it Introduction to Laymonology.

-- Sam"


The Boy Who Loved THE TWILIGHT ZONE gets top review.

This short story by Richard, which appears in BE AFRAID, edited by Edo Van Belkom, just received a terrific review in the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal. Richard said of the review below, "It contains just about the best review of a short story that I've ever had." Here is the review in full:

From: THE NEW BRUNSWICK TELEGRAPH JOURNAL

Unlike the three-year-old set, most teenagers love a fright on Halloween. For them, Edo van Belkom brings together 15 very scary stories in BE AFRAID! These short stories are definitely not for the faint of heart. As van Belkom notes in his foreward, "horror is not about monsters -- it's about people's personal fears and emotions." And what gives these tales their edge is that they all feature teenaged characters and typical teenage concerns like physical appearance and the struggle for popularity.

Steve Rasnic Tem explores the horror of puberty in "Jake's Body," a story about a boy who sprouts red fox hair on his knees. In Robert J. Sawyer's "Last But Not Least" and Edo van Belkom's "To Be More Like Them" a boy who's always picked last for gym class and a girl with a nickname "Scary Face" wreak vengeance on their tormentors. Sixteen-year-old Kelly of Edmund Plante's "In the Middle of the Night" finds out the hard way that she's going to have to get along with her creepy stepbrother, while Ellen of Scott Nicholson's "In the Heart of November" realizes that her friendship with a dead girl's ghost is worth more than a romance with the school heart throb.

BE AFRAID! touches upon the entire spectrum of horror fiction. Although most of the stories are based, at least initially, in reality, the collection includes a couple of old-fashioned ghost stories and one gory tale about a boat that, like the car in the famous urban myth, drags behind it the severed body parts of unwanted passengers. Van Belkom, who lives in Ontario, invited several leading Canadian writers to contribute to BE AFRAID! including Monica Hughes and Tim Wynne-Jones, whose stories coincidentally deal with objects that come to possess their owners.

Without exception, these short stories are well crafted and chilling. But the one that made the hair on the back of my neck tingle was American writer Richard Laymon's "The Boy Who Loved THE TWILIGHT ZONE."

Chuck, a likeable teenaged couch potato, is looking forward to Halloween in front of the television watching an all-night marathon of THE TWILIGHT ZONE until his parents insist that he go out trick-or-treating. He hooks up with a group of little kids and their attractive older sister, and the story seems about to dissolve into a harmless adolescent romance. But then they ring the doorbell of a handsome young man, wearing black, who invites Chuck alone in to watch -- you guessed it -- THE TWILIGHT ZONE marathon.

Laymon doesn't tell us if, despite his pretty friend's desperate pleas, Chuck accepts the invitation. All he says is that Chuck finds out this night that "life outside the safety of his home can be more surprising, more gratifying and yes, more dangerous than an all-night marathon of THE TWILIGHT ZONE." It's enough.

Perhaps I will keep my daughter home this Halloween!


Catch up time...Cover images a-go-go!

Our apologies for being a bit lax in bringing you the cover artwork for Richard's upcoming books. Due to a busy 2nd half of 2000, plus mail going missing between here and the UK, we've only just got around to uploading these images now. Still, at least now you get two covers for the price of one! Here's the hardback cover artwork for Richard's next two Hodder Headline releases DREADFUL TALES and NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER

    


Also, news has just reached us that NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER has been chosen as the main selection of the Doubleday Book Club in the UK. Great news for Richard and all Laymon fans in the UK!


Spotlight On... a change of pace...

Starting this month, the Spotlight On... features will become semi-regular, instead of monthly. This change is mainly due to an addition to the RLK! household, Whitley Matheson Gerlach, who was born on May 5, 2000.

It has become increasingly difficult to produce a Spotlight On... feature every month, due to family committments and, as well, due to the fact we have featured the majority of authors we wished to feature when we began the section two years ago. But, never fear, Spotlight On... isn't disappearing altogether. The old features will stay online and we hope to bring you 4-6 features a year, instead of the regular 12.

We know the Spotlight On... feature page is a very popular one here at RLK!, and we'll endeavor to keep it that way. Stay tuned for more details - each new feature will be announced on this page during the year.

But for now, re-visit some of the classic Spotlight On... features from the past two years.


Want to check out news on Richard from July-December 2000?
Go to our RLK! News Archive - July-December 2000 page.




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