Monday, February 10, 2014

Ripping Time, Rocking Space: An interview with Ross E. Lockhart

Last year during the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Los Angeles I had the good fortune to meet author, anthologist and editor Ross E. Lockhart at the famous Whale & Ale.

I was quite familiar with his 2011 anthology, The Book of Cthulhu and its 2012 follow-up, The Book of Cthulhu II, both from Night Shade Press (alas, now defunct). In 2013, his anthology Tales of Jack the Ripper came out from Word Horde Press (and is currently under consideration for the final ballot of the Stokers this month). Lazy Fascist Press also put out his rock-and-roll novel Chick Bassist. Ross has been a very busy, very, very naughty boy.


If it's weird and unusual, Ross Lockhart probably knows about it. He holds degrees in English from Sonoma State University (BA) and SFSU (MA) with an extensive background in horror, fantasy and science fiction editing for small presses. As we get ready for the next H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, I had a chance to interview him about his work.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started on all of this? What was one of the hardest things for you to learn?

I mention in my introduction to The Book of Cthulhu that I stumbled into discovering Lovecraft through Erol Otus's artwork in the AD&D book Deities and Demigods, and even though I'm no longer a gamer (I simply don't have the sort of attention span that handles hours'-long gaming sessions well), I do continue to draw inspiration from gaming circles as well as literary ones. As for hard lessons: Get it in writing! Always!

What's your favorite H.P. Lovecraft story?

It varies a bit, but "The Festival" and "The Cats of Ulthar" are perennial favorites, and I never seem to tire of the intricate puzzle box that is "The Call of Cthulhu."

What's your newest book about?

My last book was Tales of Jack the Ripper, an anthology examining the weird fictional legacy of arguably the world's best-known serial murderer. Next up will be Children of Old Leech, which I am co-editing with Justin Steele. Coming this summer, CoOL is a tribute to Laird Barron's carnivorous cosmos, with a lineup which should excite and enthrall most serious seekers after horror.

What's your advice for beginning writers who want to write a story set in the Cthulhu Mythos that's really true to Lovecraft's vision?
Dig deeper than Lovecraft. His essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature" makes for an outstanding reading list, and don't neglect the works of recent post-Lovecraftian Mythos authors, many of whom you will find in my own anthologies The Book of Cthulhu I and II.

What's a project you really hope to take on in the next few years? I'll be continuing to grow my publishing company Word Horde and releasing killer, must-have books and stories by the best storytellers in the business. And some things I've got cooking are dream projects, so stay tuned!

Where else can we find you throughout the year? I live in Petaluma, CA, a city that still holds on to its small-town charm and has a lot of parades. Typically, I'm in the park with my dog or at the local bookstore. I hit what West Coast conventions I can, and any excuse to visit Portland is a good one.

What's your favorite music to listen to as you write your books? I listen to a lot of older jazz and swing when I'm working, particularly Monk and Mingus, and I'm convinced Blossom Dearie's "Rhode Island is Famous for You" is secretly about HPL. If I'm cooking, Black Sabbath is my go-to kitchen music. If I'm driving, I listen to a far more eclectic playlist: Recent favorites have included Dreams in the Witch House, Djinn and Miskatonic, Ghost, Grimes, Nacho Picasso and Blue Sky Black Death, The Slow Poisoner, Ol Time Moonshine, and The Ziggurat.

Be sure to visit Ross E. Lockhart at his website:

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