It’s one thing to take my roller derby nom-de-guerre from H.P. Lovecraft without having read any Lovecraft. But trying to write a story based on the mythos without doing so could end up making me look like an asshat.
The story I’m writing concerns a tidbit I happened to read about The Deep Ones. No, I’m not gonna tell you which tidbit–that’d spoil the story.
Anyway, I didn’t want Wikipedia to be my only source, so I did some digging into my own library and found the first story with the Deep Ones, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” in my copy of The Tales of H.P. Lovecraft edited by Joyce Carol Oates that I bought awhile back but never opened. Last night, I picked up The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories for the title piece, another (as it’s commonly agreed) Deep One tale.
Anywho, I haven’t finished “Shadows” yet, but I have to say this research is fascinating. Lovecraft has spent too long on my “bookshelf of shame” (i.e. writers whose work I have but haven’t read), and while his style doesn’t appeal to me, the mythos does. And the more I learn about his work and that of his publisher August Derleth (good, bad, or indifferent), the more fascinated I become.
What’s even better is that this material has actually caused me to think about my seekrit nonfiction project that I’ve been working on in a new light. It’s could take me in a direction which sends me back to the drawing board. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.