Those Who Went Remain There Still was an oddly personal story for me, considering that it’s the tale of three men and a monster. If you order the special limited edition and read the accompanying chapbook, then you’ll come to understand why this is the case.
Those Who Went was inspired by a legend that’s been handed down in my grandmother’s family for over a hundred years; and it’s every bit as weird as the novella would suggest … though sadly, the real-life legend is bereft of monsters. You may rest assured that I have rectified this oversight in my version of events.
[If you’d like to know the whole sordid saga (which is frankly so strange that it might as well have come pre-loaded with monsters), then you’ll have to click the link above and nab the special limited edition. The chapbook explaining the details comes only with that limited edition, which is available only direct from the publisher.]
The Rocky Mountain News gave this story an A- and called it a “tightly constructed novel [that] qualifies as a â€œweird Western,â€ in the tradition of Joe Lansdaleâ€™s early work, Nancy Collinsâ€™ Walking Wolf, George R.R. Martinâ€™s Fevre Dream and Emma Bullâ€™s Territory.” Bookslut declared “For older teens and adults Priest is not to be missed and this is certainly one of her best pieces of work to date.”
And according to the Green Man Review, “In other hands, this could easily have devolved into a rote backwoods gore-fest. After all, all of the ingredients are there: a seemingly unkillable monster, angry hillbillies with guns who donâ€™t much like each other, and a party of misfits trapped in a monsterâ€™s lair as they get picked off, one by one. Then again, that sort of SciFi Original Picture premise generally doesnâ€™t account for characters like a gentle spiritualist, guided by ghosts through the beastâ€™s domain while trying to make peace amongst his warring relations. It wouldnâ€™t be able to handle the constantly shifting viewpoints and narratives, or the graceful characterization Priest imbues her rough-hewn backwoodsmen with. And, to be honest, it just wouldnâ€™t have writing this damn good.”
In case I haven’t said so lately, I love the folks at the Green Man Review.
So. If you’d like to take a chance on a weird little hillbilly novel with family lore, monsters, and Daniel Boone’s ghost in a Bluegrass setting … then I’d be downright overjoyed. Here. Let me make it easy for you.
- Special Edition – Signed hardback. Comes with the informative (and entertaining!) chapbook explaining the making of the book, with Bonus! family lore and at least one instance of my aunt making witchy finger gestures while saying, “MWOO HAH HAH HAH HAH!” Only available direct from the publisher.
Trade Edition. Fully cloth-bound hardback. Also available at the publisher’s site, if you’d prefer. Both editions are illustrated by Mark Geyer (who you may recall from the very fine artwork within Dreadful Skin.
And I thank you all for reading.