“THE ALCHEMIST’S NOTEBOOK” was originally a movie that was in preproduction several years ago titled, “The Cry of Cthulhu.” Unfortunately the project, like many good intentions, never came to fruition. My concept was an all new Cthulhu Mythos story to be put on film that would have done H.P. Lovecraft proud. At the time, there had been several poor attempts to place Lovecraft and his dreaded Necronomicon on the big screen. I had a notion to make an exciting, plus mind-boggling, Cthulhu movie that had the look and feel as if Lovecraft had stood behind the camera.
“THE ALCHEMIST’S NOTEBOOK” embodies the same vision in a literary format. I have endeavored to pen this Cthulhu Mythos novel as it may have been done if H.P. Lovecraft were alive in the 21st century. Nevertheless, “THE ALCHEMIST’S NOTEBOOK” consists of three separate narratives that link together a single story, where when one account leaves off, the other continues leading you, the reader, through a terrifying Lovecraftian web of mystery, horror and apocalyptic doom.
I have been known to refer to this work as “THE ALCHEMIST’S NOTEBOOK PROJECT,” because it is the first in a five novel mythos series dealing with mankind’s internal, as well as, outward struggle to control his own destiny while encountering malicious beings from another time and space.
I hope you will enjoy, in addition to being scared stiff, the first of my five part series…“THE ALCHEMIST’S NOTEBOOK.”
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
When my avocation became my vocation I was set free.
Writing, at first, was a hobby that I loved dearly. It turned into a serious endeavor several years ago when I started writing screenplays. Unfortunately selling one out of every ten was not very lucrative. Success comes in many forms and my poor returns from screenplays matured my writing style, ultimately affording me the ability to author hundreds of magazine articles that generated a decent pay check.
Fast forward to today and I have published my first novel “The Alchemist’s Notebook.”
It is a whirlwind story in the style of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and his Necronomicon that takes the reader from Vietnam to Innsmouth then Arkham and eventually to Europe wherein chaos and screaming terror awaits all living creatures on our planet.
I pledge to keep the reader on pins and needles hoping that sanity and normalcy will return.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Actually I prefer sci-fi fantasy horror. My novel encompasses that entire genre and it is a mystery as well. “The Alchemist’s Notebook” also fits into a niche market within that genre known as the Cthulhu mythology or mythos.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
That is a difficult question to answer. It would be like someone asking you, “What is your favourite movie?” The mind goes suddenly blank. My tastes are quite eclectic. To name a few: H .P. Lovecraft (of course), Brian Lumley, Dean R. Koontz, H. G. Wells and Ayn Rand…my apologies to those who have momentarily escaped the memory of this ol’ Cthulhu aficionado.
Which fictional character would be you perfect neighbour, and who would be your nightmare neighbour?
Superman AKA Clark Kent would be the guy I want next door. My next door neighbour lives a half a mile away so he could get to my place in a split second.
My nightmare neighbour would probably consist of a long laundry list of dastardly beings but one that comes to mind this instant would be Joseph Curwen. If you are not familiar with him read H .P. Lovecraft’s; The Case of Charles Dexter Ward… I think you will agree.
What do you think of the current state of the genre?
It is great! It is blossoming. The indie market for authors has exploded in the past three to four years thanks to the likes of Amazon.com and iBooks. A lot of people aren’t aware that something like 85 percent of all books sold today are purchased on the internet and about a third of those are e-books. Self publishing through e-book retailers and the new print media such as Createspace has made it easier for good fiction authors to get their work out in front of the public. A good example is all the great Cthulhu mythos books that are available nowadays.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
There you go again…that same tough question. I just got through re-reading, At the Mountains of Madness by Lovecraft. I love it.
As far as a book that disappointed me, mostly any book that is available as a free e-book. If you have written a book and you think you work has worth, don’t give it away. Sell it!
I know I am going to get into trouble with e-tailers for that one.
How would you describe your writing style?
I have endeavored to pen my Cthulhu Mythos novels as they may have been done if H.P. Lovecraft were alive in the 21st century.
“The Alchemist’s Notebook” is written as a first person narrative since it was an adaptation of my original screenplay “The Cry of Cthulhu.” In my next book I am writing in third person. I enjoy both styles.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
So far I’ve been lucky because all of my reviews have been positive. The two that are the most memorable and flattering were posted by the artist Tom Sullivan and a gentleman by the name of Fredrik King. You can read them beneath my book listing at Amazon.com and I also got permission to post them on my website www.byroncraftbooks.com.
What’s your favourite food?
Italian. My wife and I love to cook. I bake my own bread and make our own pasta.
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
Music track would be Queen and if I had a choice of any narrator living or dead it would be Vincent Price.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
Keep writing. The longer you do it the more mature your style becomes. Don’t give up and do not listen to those negative naysayers.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Answering these questions. J When a fan writes to me with praises of my work or I get a good review I am both humbled and grateful. In turn I feel awkward and embarrassed when hawking my wares. But that is part of the business.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Older, wiser (I hope) and I have learned to be more assertive in my writing and less passive.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Jim Steranko, the American graphic artist and comic book writer/artist, once told me to grab the readers’ attention with the first line. In my novel "The alchemist's Notebook" it starts out:
I am almost out of Valium, only one more pill left.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
Faren Church, the male protagonist of the story, evolves from a weak minded person who thinks of himself as a coward to a strong heroic individual.
How about your least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Heinrich Todesfall the evil ex-Nazi that becomes a sorcerer known as the Tanist. It is not that you would want to avoid him literately because reading about him is equally intense and attracting. However, he is such a despicable human being that you wouldn’t want to know him socially.
Fame, fortune, or respect?
None of the above. It would be personal satisfaction that I have created something worthwhile.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Another difficult question, “THE ALCHEMIST’S NOTEBOOK” consists of three separate narratives that link together a single story, where when one account leaves off, the other continues leading the reader, through a Lovecraftian web of mystery, horror and apocalyptic doom. One of the narratives was by Heinrich Todesfall, the evil ex-Nazi. His was the most fun to write.
And are there any pieces that you would like to forget about?
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My next novel, Tunnels, which will be out the end of this year, is a Cthulhu mythology about a group of scientists working with the military in the Mojave Desert that unearth a network of five-sided tunnels beneath the sands.
Early on they discover that the tunnels are the remains of an alien civilization that existed over 65 million years ago. To their horror they learn that an ancient remnant of that time still roams the tunnels.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do?
Where can I buy your book? J
Click on the links below for more information on Byron Craft
Amazon Author Page
Barnes & Noble
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