Escape Hatch Has a New Home on Substack
I was hearing good things about the joint, so I decided to roll over and give it a shot. My brother is here — his newsletter, Don’t Press That Button, is a favorite — and he kept telling me about how good his life has been since he joined Substack: that he’s packed on ten pounds of lean muscle, he’s mastered Petrov’s Defense on the chessboard, he’s routinely bowling in the 200s. I was won over so I jumped onboard… and brought you all with me. I hope that’s okay. And, hey, if you’re going to read my Substack, might as well read Owen’s, too, right?
You mighta heard that Substack allows writers to offer subscriptions to a paid tier of newsletters… and might sensibly be wondering if I’m going to do that myself.
Welp, right now Escape Hatch is a device for getting the word out about new projects. Charging you for my mediocre, long-winded advertisements for myself seems a bit much to ask. So I’m not doing a paid tier. Not, uh, not… yet anyway. Hurrrm.
But in the long run mmmmmmaybe? If I could use this space to offer readers something actually worth a few dimes? Substack does have some neat gewgaws and whirligigs to offer paying readers. If I had a new comic book coming out, I could offer goodies, like PDFs of the original scripts. Or I could serialize a comic book right in the paid newsletter. Brian K. Vaughan (who is also over here) and some others do that.
My first thought, of course, was: Oh! I could offer flash fiction! So I sat down to write a 1,000 word story and wound up at 2,500 words instead. Guess my flash fiction game is a little rusty. Maybe I could do a serialized story someday?
But, but, but… I dunno. When I turned 50 I decided I wanted to lean hard into getting new novels written (So far, so good — see below). If I start charging money for a newsletter, it’ll be important for me to provide enough material to make it worth it to people. I could see that pulling me away from the jobs that are most important to me. I wouldn’t want that and I kinda think, in the long run, my readers wouldn’t want it either.
So I guess I’ll keep thinking about it? Safe to assume, though, that there’ll always be some free Escape Hatch so I can cram your in-box with my pitiful self-promotional musings.
The Year In Work, So Far
Turned in a draft of KING SORROW in January. I think Spring 2025 is the earliest it might be in bookstores. It’s as long as NOS4A2 and THE FIREMAN, so rewriting this thing is going to take time. And there are at least two big revisions ahead of me (there are always five: two big rewrites and three little polishes).
It might be the last long one a while. The book to follow KING SORROW is underway and I’m pretty sure it will come in at twelve chapters and 120,000 words. One chapter written. Eleven to go. It’s humming.
I’ve also written four short stories, including that work of flash fiction that stopped being a work of flash fiction after about 8 pages. That one is a gory slapstick — think Sam Raimi at his bloodiest and weirdest — and is the first time I’ve written a whole story in one sitting since I wrote “A Little Sorrow” about 5 years ago. No idea what I’m going to do with it. Something will come to me.
I finished a revision on a screenplay right ahead of the WGA strike… and now I’ve written this very newsletter. I guess that’s a decent level of production for 4 months. I’m in a weird place: this is the first time in ages I don’t have something new on the calendar. No upcoming comics, no about-to-drop short stories, no new novel or collection this year, nothing in any other media. But… maybe that’s all right? There’s been so much of me in the last couple years I was getting sick of myself. I’m sure I’ll bomb you all with piles o’ my crap soon enough. In the meantime, we’ll always have Paris… and Escape Hatch.
Locke & Key is Almost Old Enough to Drive
Okay, I do have one thing on the horizon. D’you believe the first issue of Locke & Key dropped fifteen years ago? IDW is doing a 15th anniversary reprint of the first issue and — yeah, okay, I know, this issue has been reprinted to death. But scratching around for something to make it special-ish, we came across a joke script I wrote a few years ago, called “Locke & Key, Only Bad.” Gabe drew it, Jay Fotos colored it, and we tacked it in as, like, a DVD extra. It takes the story in a direction I think absolutely no one would’ve wanted it to go. So, basically, it’s priceless. This will land at SDCC and appear in comic stores in mid-July. Check it out and… I’m so, so sorry. 😔
Thanks for readin’ along and hanging with me. See you again soon?
I have made room on my shelf for King Sorrow, which was a big deal because you're sharing shelf space with Chuck Wendig and his books are also chunky
Three generations of my family are now fans of you and your family's work. I read The Stand at 11 years old because I asked my Dad what was a good long book to read and of course fell in love, reading all your Dad's stuff as a teenager (and movies too, I am an 80s kid). Later, in my 20s I discovered 20th Century Ghosts, and then stalked down every book, short story, and comic book (still have my original Locke and Key) I could get my hands on. So when I needed to connect with my nephew, I took him to see Black Phone because I knew you wouldn't let me down. Now, a kid who never read a word unless it was required or in a meme, is becoming a fan of books and even writes fan fiction! Thanks, and looking forward to King Sorrow and beyond. Can you tell us if King Sorrow a stand alone or part of a series?