That’s one way it can be. I’m no stranger to erotic fiction. I’ve written my share of it, including a particularly warm scene between Lilith and Mary Magdalene, sharing a vision of Lilith’s first meeting with Adam before Eve came along, and my story “No Strings Attached,” published in Poppy Z. Brite’s Love in Vein II. The thing is, that is only one aspect of romance, and should only be the most important aspect if that overprimed sensuality is the message you are trying to impart.
In my latest novel, Nevermore, a Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe, I approach the romantic attraction in an entirely different manner. It is subtle. It runs deep, and in this case to tragic levels of frustration.
Nevermore is by no means an erotic novel. It is a dark fantasy, built on the foundation of the relationship between two strangers who meet at a Hotel on the banks of the Intercoastal Waterway, a man-made canal that runs from Florida all the way up to Vriginia. It was used for moving lumber, troops during the Civil War, outlaws, good, and all manner of travelers. The Lake Drummond Motel stood for only about ten or twelve years.
That was a rough place. It had rooms in Virginia, and rooms in North Carolina, and right on the border, there was a tavern. Talk about a place to lure the romantics. You could fight a duel across the border of two states, and confound local lawmen on either side. Creepy old southern gentlemen from Virginia could bring their underage lovers to the North Carolina side, where laws were different, and marry them. Those escaping in either direction stopped for the night, or a drink.
At one point a young poet, author, and critic named Edgar Allan Poe passed through those doors. There is little known of The Lake Drummond Hotel, and even less known of Poe’s visit. Rumor has it that he wrote an early version of The Raven during that stay.
There are a lot of questions about that poem. Who is Lenore? What’s up with the bird? Ravens are cool, but even in Edgar’s day, they were a symbol of spirits passing away. A lot of the women in Poe’s life died. From an early age, he lost his mother, he lost his first love in school (That’s recorded because he wrote a poem for her that survived). Others that he courted died, and at the time of his stay at The Lake Drummond, his wife Virginia lay dying in Richmond.
Nevermore is a novel of magic. It’s a novel that explores both the love a man has for a dying bride, and the powerful attraction of someone new – someone more in line with his own mind and abilities. In Nevermore Edgar meets Eleanor MacReady – Lenore to her friends. She is a traveling artist, making her way doing portraits and landscapes – but all the while with a deeper secret. She sees souls trapped in inanimate objects. Trees, bushes, grass, water and clouds. When she sees them, she is compelled to draw them, and then remove the faces, setting them free.
Edgar has secrets of his own. He’s tried repeatedly to get Virginia to allow him to try more arcane methods of curing her illness, but she refuses. She considers the dark things he studies sinful. What she does not know is that the stories – the poems – the very things that make her husband special come to him in dreams – dark visions he lives through in his mind and excises with his pen. He has a companion – an old crow named Grimm – who shares those visions. When he comes to The Lake Drummon Hotel, he is returning from visits with specialists in North Carolina who have offered him no new hope for Virginia’s health, and in a dark mood.
Both get swept up into a bigger story, a story that requires both of their minds, hearts, and abilities. A story that leads into the depths of The Great Dismal Swamp, and to the shores of Lake Drummond.
I am glad Fierce Dolan has offered his blog space to me to talk about my book, and I hope you will read, and enjoy, and share my words. Like Edgar, I am a storyteller. I am also a lover of crows, darkness, and magic. Come share my world, for a little while.
Nevermore, a Novel of Love Loss & Edgar Allan Poe is one of thirty or so books of mine to be published, including a Star Trek novel, a Stargate novel, and a small pile of books I wrote for White Wolf’s World of Darkness back in the day. It’s my newest, and one of my best.
Welcome to Nevermore…
David Niall Wilson has been writing and publishing horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction since the mid-eighties. An ordained minister, once President of the Horror Writer’s Association and multiple recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, his novels include Maelstrom, The Mote in Andrea’s Eye, Deep Blue, the Grails Covenant Trilogy, Star Trek Voyager: Chrysalis, Except You Go Through Shadow, This is My Blood, Ancient Eyes, On the Third Day, The Orffyreus Wheel, and Vintage Soul – Book One of the DeChance Chronicles. The Stargate Atlantis novel “Brimstone,” written with Patricia Lee Macomber is his most recent. He has over 150 short stories published in anthologies, magazines, and five collections, the most recent of which were “Defining Moments,” published in 2007 by WFC Award winning Sarob Press, and the currently available “Ennui & Other States of Madness,” from Dark Regions Press. His work has appeared in and is due out in various anthologies and magazines. David lives and loves with Patricia Lee Macomber in the historic William R. White House in Hertford, NC with their children, Billy, Zach, Zane, and Katie, and occasionally their genius college daughter Stephanie.
On the banks of Lake Drummond, on the edge of The Great Dismal Swamp, there is a tree in the shape of a woman.
One dark, moonlit night, two artists met at The Lake Drummond Hotel, built directly on the borderline of North Carolina and Virginia. One was a young woman with the ability to see spirits trapped in trees and stone, anchored to the earth beyond their years. Her gift was to draw them, and then to set them free. The other was a dark man, haunted by dreams and visions that brought him stories of sadness and pain, and trapped in a life between the powers he sensed all around him, and a mundane existence attended by failure. They were Eleanore MacReady, Lenore, to her friends, and a young poet named Edgar Allan Poe, who traveled with a crow that was his secret, and almost constant companion, a bird named Grimm for the talented brothers of fairy-tale fame.
Their meeting drew them together in vision, and legend, and pitted their strange powers and quick minds against the depths of the Dismal Swamp itself, ancient legends, and time.
Once, upon a shoreline dreary, there was a tree. This is her story.