Frequently Asked Questions
FROM SILKY: First off let me say thank you to all the dedicated readers who have written to Brian or myself. Brian enjoys hearing from his dedicated readers and also enjoys responding to your emails. I have compiled a list of the most "Frequently Asked Questions." You will find quite a few here and many of them are answered in depth. It is requested that if your questions are answered in this FAQ ... please do not write. If your question has already been answered here you will not be answered. We thank you in advance for your understanding. Now on with the questions.
I was a soldier (an MP) on duty in Berlin. Nights in the Olympic Stadium, the home of the Royal Military Police in Berlin, were long ones. This was 1967, long before the Wall came down. I was reading my favourite literature: macabre stuff of course. Some of it was good, some bad, and some bloody awful! I thought maybe I could do better. I was keen on Lovecraft, in fact I had been collecting his books for several years. He'd been published (posthumously) by August Derleth at Arkham House, Wisconsin, USA. And A. W. Derleth was the publisher and editor of some of the collections I had been reading. Usually very good stuff. So I wrote some short stories "after" Lovecraft, and I sent them to Derleth. This was a good idea but badly executed! First, I didn't know a thing about publishing, an editor's basic requirements, the proper approach, etc. And I certainly didn't know that Derleth was the dean of macabre publishers! I don't know what he must have thought of those first manuscripts ... single-spaced on weird-sized military paper, badly typed, stapled in the top left corner and unnumbered, rolled up and posted to him surface mail (from Berlin, in a tube?) Later, I discovered they'd taken all of five weeks to get to him. But can't you just see him at his desk, having to nail these damn things down in order to read them? Anyway, he bought them, published them, and Arkham went on to publish two books of my short stories and a short novel, all in hardbound editions. I owe a lot to August Derleth. But then, so do a lot of people. His publishing house was a who's who of all the old and the best weird writers. God knows where I got the nerve...
This is a dumb question but one that every writer in the world gets asked all the time. How does a professional artist visualize a scene from a writer's mind? What inspired the builder to place his first brick – and how did the architect develop the design in the first place? Who explained to the moorhen chick, before it emerged from its egg, that its first effort would be to jump in the water and swim? I'm a writer! Ideas are what it is all about. I HAVE to have ideas, and so they come. But where from? Out of my head, I suppose ... and some might say I am!
I force myself. I don't believe in writer's block. I DO believe in mental idleness. But to admit to writer's block is like saying you can't think. But we have to think even to ... to think! So I force myself. I just keep writing, and if it works – good! And if it doesn't, I change it around until it DOES work. Sometimes it's very HARD work. But to sit still and simply stare at a blank piece of paper or empty screen is totally soul-destroying, not to mention utterly defeatist...
Please check out the bibliography sections. Most of these books are now out of print … but are available through Amazon Kindle. If you live in the UK you can buy a Kindle from amazon.co.uk and buy the books from amazon.com. I have a Kindle myself so I would recommend Amazon.
- 1. The Burrowers Beneath
- 2. The Transition of Titus Crow
- 3. The Clock of Dreams
- 4. Spawn of the Winds
- 5. In the Moons of Borea
- 6. Elysia
- 7. The Compleat Crow (The Short Stories)
- 1. The House of Cthulhu: Tales of the Primal Land
- 2. Tarra Khash: Hrossak!
- 3. Sorcery in Shad
- 1. Hero of Dreams
- 2. Ship of Dreams
- 3. Mad Moon of Dreams
- 4. Iced on Aran
- 5. Questers For Kuranes (Included in the Dreamlands Special Edition published by Delirium Press.)
THE PSYCHOMECH TRILOGY:
- 1. Psychomech
- 2. Psychosphere
- 3. Psychamok
THE NECROSCOPE® NOVELS:
- 1. Necroscope®
- 2. Necroscope II: Vamphyri! (spelled Wamphyri! in UK)
- 3. Necroscope III: The Source
- 4. Necroscope IV: Deadspeak
- 5. Necroscope V: Deadspawn
- 6. Vampire World I: Blood Brothers
- 7. Vampire World II: The Last Aerie
- 8. Vampire World III: Bloodwars
- 9. The Lost Years Vol. I (UK) ... Necroscope: The Lost Years (US)
- 10. The Lost Years Vol. II (UK) ... Necroscope: Resurgence Lost Years Vol. 2 (US)
- 11. E-Branch: Invaders (UK) ... Necroscope: Invaders (US)
- 12. Necroscope: Defilers
- 13. Necroscope: Avengers
- 14. Necroscope: The Touch
The NECROSCOPE® COLLECTIONS:
- Harry Keogh: Necroscope & Other Weird Heroes. Contents: Introduction, Titus Crow: Inception, Lord of the Worms, Name and Number. Hero & Eldin: The Weird Wines of Naxas Niss, The Stealer of Dreams. Harry Keogh: Necroscope: Dead Eddy, Dinosaur Dreams, Resurrection.
- Necroscope: Harry & The Pirates. Contents: For the Dead Travel Slowly, Harry and the Pirates, Old Man With A Blade.
- Necroscope: The Plague-Bearer
- Necroscope: The Möbius Murders
No. I once tried to sell a story to Derleth by someone called Hagna S. Grey. (Or some such.) He said, "God, no! That sounds like Theda Barra! There's nothing wrong with Brian Lumley!" So I took his advice.
That's a hard one. There was Lovecraft, of course, but I think every weird writer I ever read probably had something of a hand in my development. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Abraham Merritt, Jack Vance, H. Rider Haggard ... Lord, I mean lots of people. High adventure always attracted me.
My father died just a few years before I left the Army. He had had a good run: he was eighty-four. But when he was lying there in his box I thought of all the years – twenty of them – that I'd been away from home, and all the conversations we had never had. I mean, my father was only a miner, but still you would be hard pushed to find a more intelligent man – and even harder to find a better gentleman. I would have liked to tell him I loved him, I suppose. So I went across to his local pub and bought two pints, one for him and one for me. I helped him drink his, too, and I imagined I was talking to him. I got to tell him some of the stuff I should have told him a long time before. That was the germ of Necroscope. And as for the rest of it, it just growed.
There are two. Necroscope® and Deadspawn. I think it's because they're so different. In the first, Harry is so vulnerable, so humble. And in the last he's a monster. But he's still hanging in there, and so he's OUR monster... I also like the Vampire World Trilogy a lot. I think these three books are probably my best written work to date.
We will keep our fingers cross that someday there will be Necroscope® someday there will be movies or a TV Series.
A hell of a lot! Locations, historical and current events, you name it. Almost all the alien (Wamphyri) names are culled from real names, tribes, that lived in and around the Romanian regions.
"Vam" as in vampire – "phyr" as in fear – and "i" as in eek! Vam-fear-ee, with a hissed, slightly extended emphasis on the fear bit!
"Ke" as in key, and "ogh" as in oh. Key-oh.
No. It was supposed to be a one-of ... but I found the finished book so satisfactory that I had to do Wamphyri. And then I personally wanted to know where the Wamphyri came from – hence The Source. Deadspeak and Deadspawn were quite deliberately written in response to pressure: my readers wanted more. And since Sunside/Starside already "existed,” The Vampire World Trilogy followed in natural procession/progression. The thing just growed!
No, there is nothing in the works at this time.
Many audios of Brian's books are now available as downloads from Audible. See Audio page on this site.
Yes, some time ago the short story Necros was made into a movie by Ridley Scott for The Hunger Series which appeared on the Showtime Television Network.
Classic Plastics did some "beautiful" things from The Source. But they had problems with other projects and the thing fell through. I have also shown Vasagi by Paul Brown. We no longer have any of these models.
As far as novels go, I doubt it. I've moved on. The Mythos has more or less stagnated now. There's still a genuine love of Lovecraft, but it's increasingly difficult to find anything new to say. Hero was a heroic fantasy (obviously), but Swords & Sorcery isn't what it used to be. Same goes for the Primal Land stories. Tarra Khash is a personal favourite – but I really wouldn't know where to take him now. I know Fantasy is big, but personally I can't be bothered with orcs and elves and such. Sorry.
The following information is taken from the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook/Handbook: One volume of up-to-date accurate listings of national and local newspapers and magazines, radio and TV stations, agents and publishers. Whether you are established or just starting out, here are all the media contacts you need. Addresses, telephone, fax and e-mail addresses, full names and titles are included. (You should be able to find this at your local library.)
These days we don’t do too many conventions anymore. If a convention is held somewhere where we really want to be … like Las Vegas … we will do our best to attend … otherwise we stick close to home. Nothing like a World Horror or World Fantasy Convention in Jolly Ol’ England.