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(pronounced Ko-Hane)
Dan is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Plague of Darkness, Solomon’s Grave, and the critically-acclaimed Margaret's Ark. Writing as G. Daniel Gunn, he released Destroyer of Worlds and the novella (written with L.L.Soares) Nightmare in Greasepaint (Samhain Publishing),. His short stories have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, Apex Digest and many more. He and his family live in New England.

Monday, June 29, 2009

4th in the State... Congrats, everyone

My daughter Audrey's Mountain Club soccer team, Thunder and Lightening, just finished competing in the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions, where they took 4th place (out of a total of somehting like 750 teams!) in the U12 category. They played amazing and kept us parents entertained. Congrats to all the girls, and special thanks to Coach Darryl Kinzer and Asst. Coach Dominick DiPilla for doing such a tremendous job and leading their team to such an impressive standing in the Commonwealth.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Roads Diverging, Part 6

Congrats to our daughter Amanda who just graduated middle school and is now officially, I guess, a High Schooler. Our Elementary/Middle school does quite an elaborate ceremony for graduation, rivaling that of the high schools themselves.

Two out of Elementary, one to go. :-)

Publisher's Marketplace

Decided to set up my old Publisher's Marketplace account again, as I was researching something. Pretty cool site. It's how I initially sold Solomon's Grave in the first place.

Anyway, the more hits I get the better I look, so go to it:

PS: My daughter Amanda will be returning here tomorrow as she makes another headline tonight. So many milestones, so little time....

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Mythology of Mythology

11 years ago, I discovered the joys of having your own web page on the ever-growing Internet. Before there was such a think as blogs, I'd begun writing little essay/ditties, various... how did I put it, ah, I forget, but trust me it was clever. In 1998, I began a series of short essays on the Meaning of Life, just for shits & giggles. Here was the first. Now and then, I'll post one of them here, again, just for S&G, and maybe, for a touch of Enlightenment... ("ooooooh"... says the crowd).

From July 15, 1998:

I just finished listening to an abridged audio recording of Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces. It's a tome written in the 1940's about myths and legends throughout very-early history. (This is an example of when it's OK to listen to an abridgment). Campbell compares the elements of myth with the human psyche and psychotherapy in general.... I think. It wasn't the easiest to follow, but the various myths and legends he recounted were pretty fascinating.

After hearing these tales of yore, I came to a startling revelation. Before I share this with you, let me give you an excerpt from a 2000-year-old myth of creation. It has been told throughout the generations in ancient Tumeria. (That's somewhere west of here).

Conoraboro was light incarnate. He was born as a half-god, half-mule in the age of chaos in the center of a barren field that grew neither wheat, nor rice, nor speckled fruit. In the center of this wasteland (which measured a thousand thousand cubits end to end) sat an egg. This egg measured only five cubits. It had been laid by the bird of eternity (which passes by all things only once every million million turnings of the empty cosmos).

Upon feeling the dry arid wind of nothingness, the egg cracked. A yellow light emanated from within. This is from hence issued Conoraboro. He stood only two cubits. In his infant form he ate of the sand and dried flakes of rock (chipped away with his many rows of sharp teeth). He grew. Soon he stood in the center of the field, a full six hundred cubits high.

Wings of shining gold adorned his back. His face was that of a condor, his body that of an ape. One day, he came to the realization that there must be another. From his beak there issued a flake from an earlier feeding. When it fell to the ground, two things happened: the land became lush with grasses, and trees, and lakes. The second thing that happened was the creation of a being much like himself, only with the head of a raven and the body of a wildebeest. They coupled, and from their coupling they begot six hundred sons, and six hundred daughters. Soon the lush world filled with their songs, and the sweet juices of the pomegranate.

What an incredibly fascinating version of the creation myth. After hearing this lost tale, and so many others from days long lost, I came to a conclusion: the people of that time were all insane. Now, I'm not referring just to the wise ones who told these stories. Everyone was crazy. They had to be.

Think about it. If you sat around fires all night with a wiry old man who wore paint on his face and a decapitated elk head on his scalp, listening to him tell these stories over and over, you'd be a little nuts, too. This is OK, though. Since everyone's concept of reality was so skewed, there was no one individual to sneak into your tent and steal the bowl of ripened fruit while you contemplated the story of the mongoose king and the salmon princess.

And so the world and its inhabitants lived in peaceful bliss. Throughout these cloudy-minded years, however, evolution slowly took hold. Here and there, scattered like diamonds on a rocky shore, clarity descended upon certain individuals. One woman would suddenly stand up during the above-mentioned fireside talks. She'd scream, "No. You are wrong. We do not come from the excrement of the fly on the camel's dung. Rather, we most certainly must be born of the seeds of knowledge which lay hidden in the core of the mango." Well, it was a start at least. Of course, this woman was immediately put to death and eaten before the spider-woman heard her blasphemy and made the leaves of the willow rise with the wind.

Over the years the human mind popped into clarity, as much as possible, until now we can watch current events with an open and analytical mind, look for the lies in someone's words by the subtle inconsistencies in their speech. We can tell normal stories to each other, realistic ones with much better computer effects and commercial tie-ins. And we can do this with complete autonomy, as long as we don't offend any major public group with our modern myths and legends. They still, even if only metaphorically, will put you to death and eat you before anyone else has a chance to understand your truths.

Think of how far the human consciousness has changed (and not changed) over the last two thousand years. Even over the last two hundred. Not to sound like a popular song of the sixties, but consider the world in the year 3998. What kind of beings will look back on us? Oh, to be sure, they'll still spend hours looking for technical flaws in Star Trek films. But what will they think of our news broadcasts, our magazines? Will they wonder with amused minds how our age insisted on showing only real-life or depressing shows at ten o'clock, when the people of our time are trying to go to sleep? That an entire legal system of the most powerful tribe of the era focused around a tryst between their leader and a stenographer? It will be interesting. I hope they find my DNA and bring me back for a look.

"Ninchula, look at this!"


"What kind of people could they have been, to believe in such things as DNA? That the world revolves around an imprinted code in every cell of their bodies?"

"What are bodies?"

"Did you retinate through the entire Ancient History module?"

"Doesn't everyone?"

"Not me. This stuff is fascinating. How could people have survived thinking like that?"

"I honestly don't care. Let's get moving. We're going to be late for church."

July 15, 1998

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Nod for The Little Sleep

Now and then I've got to tout a book I've read and loved, and when it's from a friend, even better. Paul Tremblay's first novel is called The Little Sleep, and in all honesty this has to be a record for me, how quickly I read this book. One of those stories I was sad that it had finished.

In short, South Boston private investigaor Mark Genevich gets a new case. Problem is, he spends quite a few chapters trying to figure out who hired him and what was said, since he was asleep at the time. Genevich is a narcoleptic, a condition which causes you to fall asleep anytime, anywhere. Problem is, you might still be functioning and speaking in the waking world while this goes on, as when Genevich gets his assignment. Sounds like a premise for a humorous novel, but in reality it's not. There's quite a lot of dark humor in it, and the character - who narrates the book in traditional first-person – is rather self-depricating at times. However you hurt with the character far more often than laugh at him, and this is deliberate by the author. Even so, I found myself laughing out loud very often, mostly due to the clever dialogue and sharp writing. The case, as its nature more and more hits home to Genevich, is unqiue enough on its own without everything else thrown in, including times when the character wakes up after an action-packed scene and is never quite sure - and so neither are you, as the reader - what was real and what wasn't. In the end, it really didn't matter.
Nice job, Paul. I'm glad to hear the next book in this series is underway. Can't wait for it.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nice Review of Solomon's Grave at Shroud Magazine

Shroud Magazine's book reviewer Kevin Lucia has a nice review of Solomon's Grave posted on the magazine's website. This is the first "official" review of the book since it was released this year (not counting the Amazon reviews and some nice blog / word of mouth compliments). It'll also be appearing in a future issue of the magazine itself. Thanks for the nice words, Kevin!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Princeton Library Reading / Signing a Success

Thanks to everyone who came out for my reading / signing for Solomon's Grave at the Princeton library. We had a great crowd, and people didn't seem to bored with my reading skills. I tried to keep it short. We talked about some aspects of writing, both in general and for the book, and I even read a passage from the German edition. Thanks again for everyone who came, and I hope you enjoy the reading!
PS: this picture is stolen from another website - I couldn't have Janet take pictures because Amanda has the camera with her in DC (if she didn't drop it over the edge during the harbor cruise, that is...) :-)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Saturday's Other Big Event

It was quite a weekend in the family to be sure. As you saw last entry, Andrew graduated from high school Saturday, and now we rock and bump through a busy summer as we prepare both for him to start college and my daughter Amanda to begin high school.

And on the Amanda-news front, Saturday wasn't just graduation day, it was also annual Dance Recital day. Amanda is 14, and has been dancing with the same studio since she was 3. I've been scouring my electronic-everything trying to find a blog entry (before the term blog was ever heard of) where I talked about her first recital. Can't find it, someday I will, promise...

This year, Amanda's been doing not only a number of group dances, but also a Duo and a Solo! And she danced and twirled and was just so good. Janet said it best, When you look at Amanda's face while she dances, it's so obvious how much she loves what she's doing so it makes you love watching her all the more.

Then, at the end of the night, the woman who started the studio and has run it for 25 years (OK, I was trying to keep things anonymous, but the name's on Amanda's shirt I realized as I proof this, so let's just say Chickee, shall we?) gives one award out, for Most Progressive Student, a monstrous trophy to the dancer who has displayed the most advancement during the year. Each recital, you can see the hope in every girl's eye as the winner is about to be announced, and of course Amanda took home the trophy this year (along with one other, very much deserving dancer, Chickee's daughter Ariana).

It was such a big moment for Amanda and all of us. But even better, her dad was finally able to see her dancing after a year of competitions when I stayed home with the other kids and Janet traveled with her state-to-state.

We're very proud of you, Amanda, and always will be. Congratulations.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Signing at Princeton Library, June 11th, 7:00 pm

I'll be doing a brief reading from Solomon's Grave, followed by a signing, at the Princeton (MA) public library on
Thursday, June 11th
7:00 - 8:00 pm.

If you're in the area, I'd love to see you.In case you want MapQuest it, the address is
2 Town Hall Drive
Princeton MA 01541

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I'm going to be on Television all this month

Special thanks to Zita Christian and the crew of Page 1: The Show for Writers with the Reader in Mind, a public access television show for which I was interviewed this past Tuesday night in Connecticut. We talked about the New England Horror Writers, and of course Solomon's Grave. The time flew by, but it was a really fun time. No idea how well I did in the interview. They seemed to think it went well.

Page 1 is shown every Thursday, and mine will be repeated all throughout the month of June. The following are the broadcast areas for the show (check your local listings for time and channel).

Cox Cable / Manchester CT franchise: Manchester, South Windsor, Glastonbury, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Newington
Cox Cable / Enfield CT franchise: Enfield, East Windsor, Windsor Locks, Granby, East Granby, Sommers, Suffield, Hartland, Union, Stafford, Stafford Springs
Cox Cable / Cheshire CT franchise: Cheshire, Meriden, Southington
Charter Communications / Northeastern CT franchise: Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Columbia, Coventry, Eastford, Hampton, Lebanon, Mansfield, Pomfret, Scotland, Thompson, Willington, Windham, Woodstock
Comcast / Hartford: Longmeadow Community Television / Longmeadow, MA
Metrocast: Central Village, Danielson, Dayville, East Killingly, East Lyme, Griswold, Montville, Moosup, New London, Niantic, Oakdale, Oneco, Plainfield, Putnam, Quaker Hill, Rogers, Sterling, Uncasville, Waterford, Wauregan