I’m so happy to have Leigh Lane here with me today… as she talks “Why Poe?”
byLeigh M. Lane
Edgar Allan Poe is to Gothic romance/horror what Stephen King is to the supernatural thriller. I very affectionately refer to the former as the Master and the latter as the King. While neither was the first to tackle his genre, he was/is, without question, the best in his class.
When the idea first hit me to write a Gothic horror tribute to Poe, the first thing I did was search the Internet to see if others had already tackled the idea. In my research, I found two noteworthy bits of information:
1. While there are many works about Poe and his writing, most of what is out there revolves mainly around a handful of his most famous short stories and poems. Most people think of “The Raven” when they think of Poe—but many have no idea that he was just as famous for his deductive/detective stories such as “The Purloined Letter,” “The Gold Bug,” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (which were the inspiration behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories). Moreover, most people have no idea just how prolific he was.
2. The most common tribute to Poe seems to revolve around attempts at finishing his final (unfinished) work, “The Lighthouse,” which I feel does little justice to him or his work. No one but Poe himself should have finished the short story, and I personally believe that others’ attempts to do so undermine the integrity of his work. “The Lighthouse” was a first draft that barely got to page three, and what he left behind would have likely been redrafted, had Poe the chance to finish the story. To use that unfinished (very rough) draft as the beginning of another author’s endeavor does no one any favors.
Finding Poe was a labor of love for me. It was emotionally draining to write, but I knew in my heart that this was a work that needed to be done. For two straight months, I abandoned myself to the muses, adopting Poe’s voice so the feel was just right, that I might write a something completely original, while also working as a comprehensive tribute. It was one of the most difficult works I’ve written, and at times I needed to step away from the computer to decompress or allow my mind to wander from the creepiness I had just relayed. At times, it was hell—yet also somehow thoroughly satisfying. I’ve never been so relieved to finish a novel, and yet I long for a similar writing experience in the future.
Why Poe? Because his soul—his muses—needed resurrection. Because he was more than just “The Raven” and three pages of “The Lighthouse.” Because he was and still is the Master of Gothic romance/horror.
About the author:
Leigh M. Lanelives in the beautiful mountains ofMontana. She writes dark speculative fiction that often contains strong social and political commentary. Her novels span billions of years of science fantasy and historical thriller past to just decades into a dystopian future, while her shorter works offer readers a taste of her fast-paced and unique prose.
Click here to read an excerpt from Finding Poe.
Thanks so much for reading!