The 5th floor hallway leading to my office. A photo of the esteemed Mr. John Clute is visible in the foreground.
What you see when you get to the doorway. What do you know, it’s a desk! And a computer!
My desk from the cockpit, with glasses, water, and book I’m blurbing. (It’s good.) I’ve been sitting front of this view since 1985, and I’ve written all or most of ten novels here, plus four other books.
To my right, the sound system, with photo of Brubeck and Desmond. Life support, we might as well call it.
To my right, quaint obsolete sound-modules I once could listen to. Plus awards and truncated jazz musicians.
Directly across from my desk, a leather couch and two Kitaj prints.
Wall of books and CDs in cases.
Peter Straub has written twenty books and won, multiple times, every award his genre has to offer and a bunch of others, besides. He is the father of that dazzling whizbang literary ingenue, Emma Straub.
I'm halfway through Black House
by Stephen King and Peter Straub and several things have struck me. For one, it’s so much better than Talisman. And I kinda wish Stephen King had written it by himself. But mainly, the description of the old dude in the nursing home has me completely freaked out. Like nightmare hold me Mommy I’m gonna scream and cry freaked out. Even before I knew what I know about him, just the way his face is described and the strange and terrible words that come out of his mouth and his body language and his shifting eyes and the way his mind is there one minute and not the next then something grotesquely evil flashes across his face, it scares me to death. I came downstairs to pee in the middle of the night and I thought of him and pictured his face and ran back to bed and ducked under my covers like a little kid.
Why Traditional Publishers Matter
“Most of the editors I have worked with over the past thirty-five years have made crucial contributions to the books entrusted to them, and the copy-editors have always, in every case, done exactly the same. They have enriched the books that came into their hands. Can you have good, thoughtful, creative editing and precise, accurate, immaculate copy-editing if you self-publish? And if you can’t, what is being said about the status or role of selflessness before the final form of the fiction as accepted by the audience, I mean the willingness of the author to submerge his ego to produce the novel that is truest to itself?”
—Peter Straub to Edan Lepucki (emphasis ours), in an excellent article on the value of traditional publishing in The Millions, see also this leaked memo from Hachette that explains what traditional publishing actually does (if you’re curious)