Alot of you may already know the story, but for those of you who don't... let's tell it one more time.
Back in the mid-90's, after a ten-year career as an author of Southern horror (eight years as a professional) I left the genre and returned to a normal, nine-to-five job, working for the Man. This was mostly due to the implosion of the horror publishing market and Zebra Books' abrupt decision to totally shut down their horror line, which was my bread and butter. Truthfully, for a long time I had no desire to return to writing and thought that my days as a horror author were over and done with. Then, in the summer of 2006, due to the urging of alot of friends and fans, I decided to give it another try. So, after a long hiatus of ten years, I once again took up the mantle of Southern horror writer and planned my big comeback.
A comeback that, unfortunately, nearly two and half years later, folks are still waiting for.
Hey, take it from me... I'm all fired up and ready to go. My fans are ready, too. They are still waiting for that first big Ron Kelly limited edition to be released to much fanfare and critical success (or so I hope!) But I'm afraid their patience may be wearing a mite thin. And, to tell the truth, so is mine.
The main reason for the long wait is the nature of the publishing business itself. From the time a manuscript is accepted by a publisher until the day of its release can sometimes span a year or more... and that's just as a mass market paperback. When it comes to the small press (or independent press, as some call it), the wait can be even longer. Setbacks and unforseen obstacles -- such as personal tragedy and the current state of the economy -- can change the momentum of a project in the works and slow it down to a snail's pace. This is what has happened to several of my comeback projects. Instead of running and leaping onto your bookshelf like a bullfrog on PCP, they are slowly making their way there like a turtle slogging through molasses in wintertime.
True, I've had a couple of things come out in 2008: namely Flesh Welder from Croatoan Publishing and Tanglewood from Cemetery Dance Publications. Fortunately, both were total sell-outs and well recieved critically. But it's the big books that alot of the fans are licking their lips over. The hardcovers with the glossy covers and steller artwork (by master horror artist Alex McVey, I might add). But, unfortunately, these are also the projects that have hit snags in the publishing timeline, due to one setback or another.
One of these projects is the re-release of my Irish werewolf novel, Undertaker's Moon, which was published by Zebra back in 1991 under the generic title Moon of the Werewolf. Shortly after I decided to try my hand at writing again, I made a deal with now defunct Nocturne Press for a very classy limited edition, with lots of cool werewolf illustrations and extras. After that publisher went out of business, UM moved on to Croatoan Publishing next. Then, when Croatoan hit some unforseen snags, the project ended up at its present home at Full Moon Press as Number 1 in the Essential Ronald Kelly Collection, due out in February of this year. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that the third time is a charm. Much longer and this ol' werewolf's fangs may drop out and its hair turn gray from old age.
Two other projects -- both at Cemetery Dance -- are a long time coming... but they are coming... soon. The two books (a new novel and a short story collection) are both unannounced. But they are at the printer now and on the very verge of release. So, in that respect, there is some much appreciated sunshine gleaming over the horizon.
Also, a brand new project at a third publisher, is fast approaching completion. This, too, is presently "top secret", but will be announced sometime in early-January. Keep an eye on the horror message boards, this blogspot, and www.ronaldkelly.com for the big news.
Take it from me, folks, I'm just as anxious for the Ron Kelly Comeback Train to start chugging its way down the tracks. True, it's been derailed several times... in 2007, as well as 2008. But hopefully it'll gather steam and come roaring into your horror-reading station throughout the year of 2009.